Company owners and managers are bombarded on a daily basis with pitches about the next big thing in software products. Some of the claims are legitimate and some aren't. And no matter what industry you're in, there are countless good and notsogood digital products available. How to tell which ones are worth the price and which are not?
You can generally spot a rip off red flag if the sales copy includes promises that are too good to be true. For example, is it really possible for a $200 product to solve all your long-term tax planning challenges? Or, can an easytoinstall, offtheshelf piece of retail software scan your entire company's IT infrastructure and identify problem areas? Here are four widely sold digital products that either get the job done or fall way short.
Rip-off: Automated Tax Solutions
There are literally hundreds of retail software programs designed to solve one or another area of business tax challenges. Some are narrowly designed and focus on chores like recordkeeping, inventory, manufacturing costs, and another niche subject. For the most part, the programs are worthwhile and represent a decent value. Unfortunately, too many sellers try to attract the attention of business owners by touting solutions that suggest ways to avoid paying business taxes, or promise allinone tax or budget planning. In general, the bigger the promise, the worse the product. For large-scale accounting and taxation help, you're usually better off hiring a skilled CPA who specialized in your company's field of endeavor.
Solid Value: Fleet Management Systems
Most fleet management software and programs do a pretty good job of helping owners keep tabs on where cargo and vehicles are located, whether drivers are exceeding maximum onthejob hours, and similar chores. However, some outofthebox software products can't be customized and offer only barebones functionality. To make sure the system you implement meets company needs, it's best to review an online guide to electronic logging devices (ELDs) so you'll know how a given device captures data that's needed for everyday tracking and management.
Possible Rip-off: DIY IT Scanning Products
The scanning scams have been around for years. Products are priced from very low to shockingly high, but all say pretty much the same thing. They'll scan either individual computers or entire corporate environments for various kinds of problems and alert you early enough to deal with hacks and similar evils. Want to spend your money more effectively? Hire an IT pro to do a company-wide audit of all your digital processes. In the end, you'll spend much less and gain real insight into the state of your organization's IT security.
Possible Value: SpeechtoText Software
Speechtotextsoftware has its good and bad points. The lowerpriced products simply don't have the capability to learn the nuances of particular human voices. No matter how long you work with them, it will take hours to correct the final text of the content. Better offerings in this category learn how to recognize voices and get better at producing accurate written text with each successive use. Fortunately, the costlier packages offer free trials so you're not committed to making a purchase unless you like what you see.