Step 2: Write your requirements list

Reading time: 1:37

Once you have a clear idea of what you want software to achieve, you can start drawing up a list of the features and functionality you need it to have.

5 people seated in a waiting area using their phones, a tablet and laptop, with one reading a newspaper

As there’s lots of information about different software products out there, creating a shopping list will help you compare different options and make it easier to decide which one is right for your business.

We’ve created a downloadable checklist so you can draw up your shopping list – it breaks the process down into 5 stages. This helps you to consider everything that’s needed before deciding on which product suits you.

Each section includes questions to encourage you to think about all the scenarios you might face when implementing new technology.

Top tip

Having your shopping list to hand will also help when you start talking to suppliers about what you need and which product is right for you.

The 5 stages included in the checklist are:

1. Your budget and the software features you want
Starting with what problems you want the software to fix and the features it must have, this section covers what budget you’ve set aside for it – and the plans you’ve made for ongoing and unexpected costs. We cover this in step 3 Calculate your software budget – so you can always come back to this.

2. Your team and customers
This section focuses on the impact new software will have on your team, customers and business. It also considers what training you’ll need to provide to make sure that everyone is able to fully adopt the new tech.

3. About the software
This section invites you to think about how the software needs to work; how many people will use it, the features you need, and compatibility with other technology you’re using.

4. Security
These questions reflect on your existing level of cyber security and whether you need extra measures for protecting your business and customer data when implementing new software.

5. Support and roll-out
Lastly, this section looks at the level of help you’ll need when installing and implementing your new software. This covers extra costs you may need to factor into your budget, such as for maintenance and ongoing IT support.

Download your Shopping List Checklist (PDF 296KB)

Help to Grow: Digital guidance

Step 3: Calculate your software budget

Download our 2 checklists to help you understand the potential financial benefits and savings, plus the financial costs, you need to consider before buying software.

Step 4: Buy software with confidence

Once you know what you can spend on new software, it’s time to talk to suppliers, get quotes and trial some products. Find out the questions to ask and what to watch out for.

Apply for 50% off business software

Eligible businesses can get 50% off, up to £5,000, in approved Digital Accounting, Customer Relationship Management and eCommerce software.

Find your software
A casually dressed man, standing and smiling while looking at his mobile phone