Do You Really Need To Buy More Software?

    March 18, 2004

It has been estimated that most people only use about 10% of the features included in any given software program. That’s quite a shame not to mention a tremendous waste of both time and money. The good news is there is a “cure” for this software ailment.

What normally happens is a new piece of software is bought and installed. Then the user begins playing with the software until he/she figures out most of what they want to know at that particular moment in time. And the rest of the features? They go uninvestigated and unused.

All of this results in a huge amount of wasted time and money… something no small office/home office needs. Many small business owners have even been known to spend hundreds of dollars on a software program that actually duplicates part or all of a program they already own.

For instance, did you know that Microsoft Word can be used as an email program? Did you know Word can also be used as a Web design program? How about a spreadsheet? Yes, it has some of those abilities, too.

For those small offices that don’t do complicated calculations or who only need limited HTML abilities, buying Microsoft Word (at around $200) beats buying Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Dreamweaver for over $800.

What should you do? Simple! Learn more about the software programs you use. No, I’m not suggesting you read through every mindless user’s guide. What I am suggesting is that you take advantage of the free and paid tutorials online. Spending just an hour to go through a few of them every week can shed a lot of light on the software you already use and save you from potentially having to buy yet another expensive program.

Another example is the contact management software called ACT! This software does track your business contacts, but it also does much more. It performs as an address book. It includes an email program. It functions as a calendar/appointment log complete with a reminder feature. So, rather than buying a specialized email program and calendar/appointment log, you can just buy ACT! and save about $300.

By unlocking the hidden potential of the software you already have – instead of buying new programs for each, individual feature you need – you can save your small business thousands of dollars.

Before you purchase another piece of software, take some time to use the “help” feature or to browse through some online tutorials. Then make a log of each program you already own and what it has the ability to do. You will likely discover that some of the software you already own is capable of handling the job.

Cavyl Stewart is the author of “135 Hot Tech Tips for Small
Business Owners.” To Download your free copy, just visit: