You have a business. With that business, you have assets. They may be big assets, like houses, or they may be small assets, like widgets. Regardless of size, you need to be able to keep track of them. Obviously, you are less likely to lose a house than you are that small part that can roll underneath the shelving it is stored on. But if you continue to lose those small parts, it certainly has a negative impact on your bottom line.
Asset management software can help. No, it's not going to know when that small part rolled under the shelving, but it can help you keep track of how much and what kind of computer equipment you have and where you have it. Like most things, asset management software isn't a one size fits all program. There are free programs and there are programs you can pay a lot of money for. And there are numerous choices in between.
- As you search, the more detailed you are, the better the potential software should fit. Are you trying to keep track of the assets you use to run your business? Are you trying to keep track of inventory assets? Are you trying to keep track of financial assets? Sit down and work through what you want the software to do. Also write down which software systems you already use. Ideally, your new program should fit with your existing programs with a minimum of startup stress and downtime.
- Freeware (programs you don't have to pay for) can give you the chance to get used to using asset management software. You might discover things that work or don't work with your specific scenario. However, you probably don't want to spend a lot of time setting up a program only to move on to the next one just as you get used to it. Also, if you do download a freeware program on your computer, make sure you run a good virus scan on it. The majority of freeware is probably fine. A program with a virus could have been infected after it was shared by the creator. But you don't want to create additional headaches for yourself by unintentionally downloading a virus.
- One thing you probably won't have with freeware - that you should have with a purchased program - is tech support. Consider how tech savvy you are. It may be worth the purchase price to have someone you can call. But then again, not all purchased programs are going to provide you with free tech support. Check what your options are here. Chances are you may need that tech support more than you think you will.
- Don't forget to check on the new program's compatibility with your current software programs. There's nothing more frustrating than trying to use a new program that won't load properly because it doesn't interface well with your existing software. Or worse yet, it causes your existing software to start getting glitches. Check with the manufacturer or creator of the program you are interested in.
- Don't be afraid to ask the manufacturer questions! Better to ask them now, and save yourself a lot of headaches.