March 11, 2024

Why Your Next Software Purchase Should Be a Partner & Not a Product

Leadership

Your technology choice today dictates the future of your business tomorrow. However, choosing a tech solution should be more than a mere transaction. It's about finding a software provider who is a long-term partner that grows and adapts with you. 

In this blog, I will share my insights on how to go about selecting a technology partner that aligns with your business goals.

10 Questions You Should Ask Before Choosing The Next Software For Your Landscaping Company 

Here are the 10 things you must ask your software provider before you make a purchase.

Does your product meet your current AND future needs?

When it comes to selecting software or technology, it’s imperative to go beyond the basic functionalities. Ensure that the product you choose not only meets your current requirements but also has the potential to accommodate future needs. 

Team work

A good tech partner will openly discuss their product roadmap, giving you a glimpse into future innovations designed to meet evolving customer needs.

You should understand how they are currently anticipating the needs of their customers to plan their innovation tomorrow.  Seek out examples from them on how they have executed this in the past to gain more clarity on their process.

Additional Read:

Lara Moon Talks Growth, Sales, and Tech in Landscaping Industry

Can they innovate consistently with helpful features?

Technology in the landscaping industry is not static; it progresses rapidly. A valuable tool today could evolve to become indispensable tomorrow. Stay abreast of these changes and seek partners who are committed to continuous innovation. 

So, when evaluating a tech partner, don't just ask about current features; inquire about their track record for innovation. Have they consistently delivered new, valuable features? 

Ask for specific examples of recent innovations and how these have addressed customer challenges to gauge their commitment to progress.

Do you really know the team behind the tech?

Investigate the team developing the technology. Their drive, vision, and resilience in providing unique solutions are as important as the technology itself.

The right partner understands that as your business grows, your tech needs will also evolve.

Does your software provider offer strong post-sale support?

Because a product is much more than the immediate solution to your problems.

Opt for solutions that offer long-term benefits rather than a quick fix or a point solution. The relationship post-purchase, particularly the support and service, can define your experience with the product and its impact on your operations. Frankly, it will be where you spend 99% of your time in the partnership.. 

Post sale & go-live support should not be undervalued here.

Can your software partner customize solutions? 

Your tech partner should have a deep understanding of your business objectives. Look for solutions that align with your strategic goals and can be tailored to your specific needs.  

Besides, customization is a two-way street. While a flexible partner who can tailor their solution to your needs is valuable, they should also possess the expertise to advise when a request may not serve your best interests. 

So, your ideal partner balances customization with strategic foresight, offering pushback when necessary to ensure your long-term success.

Like any solid relationship, candor is essential.  Be wary when the answer is always “yes.”. 

Do you have a say in their product roadmap? 

A transparent roadmap provides insights into the product’s future. It’s crucial to understand how the technology will grow and how customer feedback influences its development. Ask if you can contribute to this roadmap & what this process looks like from their perspective. 

Ensure that the partner values your feedback and has a structured process for incorporating customer insights into their development plan.

Additional Read:

How US Lawns, the most significant franchise business, has leveraged technology for growth

Does the software allow smooth integrations?

Consider whether the technology is a closed system or if it allows for integrations. Open systems that can connect with other software through APIs offer greater flexibility and future-proofing for your tech stack.  Ask for a few examples and understand the current integrations available to you. 

Can you really communicate with your software provider? 

The communication style during the sales process often reflects the company's culture. Look for open and transparent communication that is supported w/a sense of urgency.  This will signal a partner who will be responsive to your needs.

Is your software provider a prompt troubleshooter? 

A genuine technology partner is proactive in problem-solving and ready to offer expertise and collaborate on overcoming challenges. This collaborative approach can make all the difference in achieving your business goals.

Does your software provider include you in decision-making? 

As you assess different technologies, ask how you will be involved in their innovation process. Your partner should value your input and show a commitment to developing solutions that cater to your evolving needs.

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Over to you: choosing a product vs a partner

Choosing the right technology partner is a strategic decision that can significantly influence the trajectory of your landscaping business, or any business for that matter. By focusing on partnerships rather than mere products, you position your business for sustainable growth, innovation, and success.

Remember, the right partner doesn't just provide a service; they embark on a journey with you, ensuring that both your landscapes and your business flourish.