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Smart Software Choices Through Smart Asking and Advising

Finding the perfect software to start an online business is tricky. Many people offer different advice and options, and sometimes they might have their own reasons for recommending something. I saw the following scenario in a Facebook group, and I was so frustrated with some of the suggestions that were given. Let’s take a look and talk about my frustration.

An entrepreneurial woman posted that she wants to start a seven-week challenge for personal development. She wants a tool that’s not too expensive but does the job of sharing videos, managing members, dripping content, and offering more products.

She’s careful with her money and wants something that balances price and usefulness. When she asks for advice, she gets a lot of different suggestions.

The Suggestions:

  1. ThriveCart & ThriveCart Learn: Touted for customization and a one-time fee, but does the recommendation consider the OP’s specific needs for community engagement or the ease of adding content?
  2. Skool or Circle: Suggested for their all-in-one community and module features. A seemingly good match, but does it align with the OP’s tech familiarity and integration needs?
  3. MemberVault: Recommended for its forward-thinking features and reasonable pricing. Yet, how steep is the learning curve, and is the pricing within the OP’s budget?
  4. Digital Access Pass on WordPress: A cost-effective, customizable plugin solution. It requires a WordPress site — does the OP have the time or skills to manage this?

What to Think About When Choosing Software
As suggestions poured in, I found myself frustrated by the lack of pertinent questions and comprehensive advice, as people seemed to overlook the full context for this woman’s situation.

When I seek recommendations for software, I know it’s crucial to be aware of biases and hidden motives. People might suggest certain software for their own benefit or because they personally prefer it. I always make it a point to delve into why they recommend what they do. Finding the right fit for my business is equally important. My business has unique needs, so understanding what the software offers and whether it aligns with my business’s size, how it integrates with my existing tools, and the level of customer service it provides is vital.

Moreover, I look deeper into the options by checking real user reviews and speaking directly to current users, which provides invaluable insights. I consider the full spectrum of costs associated with the software, not just the initial investment. This includes any additional fees, ongoing maintenance, and the time I will need to invest in learning how to use it effectively. Finally, thinking ahead is crucial for me; I ensure the software can grow with my business. I assess how often it updates and the reliability of the company behind the software. By taking these steps, I make a more informed decision that benefits my business in the long run.

To Get Better Advice or to Better Advise:

Questions the Original Poster Should Ask:

  1. What can the software do for me? (Like video sharing, selling more products, etc.)
  2. How much does the investment cost now and are there ongoing fees?
  3. How good must I be with technology and how much time can I spend learning/do I need to spend learning?
  4. How is the student experience for the membership portal?
  5. Does the software work with tools I already use? Do I need to invest in more tools?
  6. What kind of help or support does the software company offer?

Questions for People Giving Suggestions:

  1. What specific things does the OP need the software to do?
  2. What tools does the OP already use?
  3. Does the OP want something simple or complex?
  4. How much can the OP spend?
  5. How many people will use the software, and will this grow?
  6. Are there any specific things the OP doesn’t want in the software?

Choosing software is like going on a journey. Some advice will be great, some not so much. By really thinking about what you need, asking detailed questions, and doing your research, you can find the best software for your business. It should be a tool that helps you now and in the future.

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