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Entrepreneur's Complete Guide To Software Paralyzed by all the software choices out there? You're not alone. How to choose the software your business really needs.

By Mie- Yun Lee

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

What? You don't have time to track all the latest developmentsin software? For an entrepreneur, researching changes ininfor-mation technology often takes a remote back seat to theday-to-day tasks of running a business. And that's probably theway it should be. But believe us-it pays to take a hard look at thesoftware your company is using.

In this year's "Entrepreneur's Complete Guide toSoftware," we've examined software products in 16different categories. Some of these products won't change theway you do business. If antivirus and utilities software programsare doing their jobs, for example, you shouldn't even noticethey're there. However, a number of these categories includesoftware that has the potential to improve client relationships,streamline finances, replace expensive hardware or revamp yourdata-handling. In short, these products are designed either to givea nice push to your company's productivity or just to save youmoney; in some cases, you'll get the best of both worlds.

Small companies have to make the most of their resources, andsometimes that means people have to focus on areas in which theyhave little knowledge. From accounting to Web site design, softwarepackages can eliminate the need for training or experience. Theright software could be your com-pany's best friend.

Exciting, isn't it? But before you rush off to buy a bundle ofsoftware, keep in mind that you have several factors to considerother than just the capabilities and costs of the software. Yourselections should be based on your company's size, industry,internal organization, computing environment, technical expertise,and, of course, the ever-important user interface. Even a -greatproduct can end up being a nuisance if it's not intuitive toyou as a user.

Mie-Yun Lee is the founder and editorial director ofBuyer Zone, the Internet purchasing hub for smallbusinesses.

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