One thing I do not have time to do is review and research programs and applications that will help me do my business easier or work for my personal life. I think we are all like this to some degree and relying on a referral to a great product with instruction is what we are looking for. Either a referral or ignore the need completely is how I often handle this task when I’m absolutely swamped.
If you do not have an assistant or employee that can help you find what you need then, of course the next resource is the Internet. Recently my son decided he would like to start mixing Dubstep. We thought we would fine a starter software package for him to explore the interest, but as you can imagine, there are hundreds to choose from and a huge learning curve to help in the decision making.
Here is how I recommend making decisions around software.
1. Find the industry’s most popular software
This does not make it the greatest or the best price, but this is a great place to start. Being the most popular will make the company more accountable to upgrades because they will be more highly scrutinized.
Ask in forums or search YouTube where professionals are gathered. The forums are often monitored by experts at the software companies. You can also ask people you know or go directly to the companies to ask their experts. I found a neat site (PCM Tech Help) where the owner is interested in reviewing, blogging, or vlogging his findings.
3. Find a site that does side-by-side comparisons
When looking for video-editing software I came across a site that reviewed the top 10 amateur software packages and compared their features and price side-by-side. Companies like Staples may do this as well.
4. Hire someone
All of these three ideas above still require you to do the research, but you could give these ideas to a student or VA to find out and report back to you. If you can pay them a fraction of what you would charge for your time then make time to do the important things in your business and hire out the rest.
5. You can help
If you have other suggestions or want to offer people your help, then let us know. You can be the expert on the forum. I still haven’t compared Dubstep mixing software so if you know a great starter application please let me know that too. Maybe I should ask Craig on PCM.