One trap entrepreneurs have been known to fall into is investing in software or equipment that they end up not needing. Stories abound of new software platforms and packages purchased by enthusiastic management that end up negatively impacting the organizations they were intended to help. One thing that should guide every purchasing decision an entrepreneur makes is whether or not the purchase will really add value to their services, and enable them to sell more of their own products or services.
An example of a software product that just isn’t very good is ReportGarden. It claims to help you produce ‘professional’ looking AdWords reports for clients in just a few minutes. You would think this could be of value to small marketing agencies or people who need data visualization for their PPC campaigns, but you would be wrong.
Take a closer look at these ‘reports’, and ask yourself if they are of any actual value. Delving into the site features a bit deeper, you would have to be hard pressed to find any sort of real benefit to having this software. When you take a look at the price points the service has chosen, things get even more ridiculous, when you consider you’re essentially being asked to pay for a report wizard.
For the same price as their ‘small agency’ tier, you can get a subscription to any of the major SEO or PPC packages out there. Raven Tools, Moz, the works; software that has actual utility and functionality, and consists of more than a desktop publishing report generator. Any of the major inbound marketing platforms can serve as a basis to generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in services and consulting revenue. ReportGarden can make a report look pretty a couple minutes faster than using other software takes. And yet, they both cost the same (technically, ReportGarden actually costs more than Raven Tools by $30/mo. as of the time of this writing).
The ancient lesson of caveat emptor is no less true today than it was in Roman Times, and entrepreneurs must be doubly careful. Remember to evaluate each purchase in terms of what it will bring in terms of revenue and real benefit to your organization.