Do I have to buy expensive software?

The short answer is No, the long answer is that it depends. Before you spend hundreds of pounds on new software or upgrades look at how you use your software.

Make a list of all the features that you use or would like to use. Then google some of them. If it is an alternative to Microsoft Office there are several, one that is of note is Open Office. It is a free office package and does the basics.

This means that you can download Open Office and try it, see if it has all the features that you need. Give it a week or two because it is slightly different then Microsoft so you need to give yourself enough time to get used to it. Then see if you can use it to do everything that you need to do. Documents can be saved in Microsoft Office formats (Word, Excel and PowerPoint)

What if you are expanding your business and need more computers this is an option you can look at for some of your staff members, even if you have already invested in Microsoft Office. For Example if you have a receptionist who might also type a few letters, send messages to staff members, they would be able to write letters and reports with Open Office and if they don’t have Microsoft Outlook on their compute they could use a free email package called Mozilla Thunderbird.

If you have busy times that you hire temporary staff members you may not want to spend a lot of money on computers and software. Open Office can be used on older computers as well, especially if they only need general office software, WordProcessing (typing letters and documents), Spreadsheets (calculating, lists) and Presentations.

Open office can open and save as Microsoft formats as well as generic formats (txt, rtf and more) so all documents are available to all members of staff. This is especially important if you are starting out in business or expanding, take the time to decide if you really need to spend the money on software or if that money is better spent elsewhere in the business.

Written by Katherine Davison

Katherine Davison

Katherine has been a corporate training consultant for over 10 years and had her own business since 2001.

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