They say the best things in life are free, but not in this case. When it comes to the management and well-being of your pet business, free kennel software may be the worst thing you can do. Especially if you keep in mind that you’re in charge of hundreds of pets and in possession of personal information. At first glance, your “free kennel software” may have no upfront cost, but ongoing manual maintenance and unthought of risks will cost you money and time in the long run.
Here are 4 reasons why you should stay away from free kennel software:
1. Lack of Features
2. Support Limitations
4. Not User-Friendly
LACK OF FEATURES
When you’re looking at free software, to any extent, usually the features are sub-par and will only allow you to do the bare minimum. When it comes to a software that is free to use, it will either lack features or lack customization. When you have software that only allows you to do the bare minimum, you’ll be losing countless hours doing unnecessary work. Every kennel runs their business differently and having software that is cookie-cutter and generalized to one format will make running your business difficult. Access to more features will allow you to run your pet business to its full potential without any setbacks. Having a software that gives you more features and allows customization will save you time. And time is money.
When you use a software to run your business, constant support, development and maintenance is something that you should be looking for. Free kennel software will have support, maintenance and development limitations. For example, when you buy a car, is that all you have to do? Unfortunately, no. You need to service it with monthly maintenance, and constantly fuel it with gas and oil. Pretend your car is your kennel software in this scenario. You want a software that’s constantly updating, has available support and is constantly developing new features to benefit you. Think of it this way: If your car was never serviced or fuelled with gas and oil, would it work in your favour?
MAJOR RISK FACTOR
Let’s not forget that when you have free kennel software to manage your business, you’re not only putting yourself at risk, but also putting your loyal customers at risk. You could potentially be putting the integrity and safety of their personal information in the hands of the public. That sounds a bit dramatic but implementing a free software could lead to breaching of personal information and interrupt the privacy of your customers. With all the recent security breaches in the news day after day, the last thing you want is a headline of your own.
Another major risk factor to keep in mind is that without a sustainable revenue coming in, how can they stay up and running to help you run your busy, successful dog boarding business? You didn’t pay any money for the software, so if they decide they can no longer sustain their business, who says they won’t get up and leave you behind.
BELOW STANDARD USER-FACE
With free kennel software, the only real incoming revenue they receive are through paid placed advertisements. With free kennel software, the user-face will be polluted with spammy advertisements and will make your business look unprofessional. In some cases, this will be one of the first steps a customer will take to give you business – so you want to make a great first impression. If they don’t know how to navigate and use your software, they may turn away and go to your competition. As a business owner you should want a software that is not only appealing and easy to use for you and your staff, but one that is easy for your customers too.
When looking into getting a software for your kennel, you should ask yourself four questions:
- Is it easy for myself, my staff and my customers to use and navigate?
- Can I customize it to fit my business’ needs?
- How secure and safe is it?
- Is there ongoing support that I have access to if I run into an issue?
At the end of the day, you should want a kennel software that emphasizes and compliments who you are as a business. If getting a free kennel software is something that’s still on your radar, make sure to read the fine print and ask questions so you’re not wasting your valuable time and money the long run.