We all know that it seems that everything is expensive and the more technology changes and becomes more developed, the more costly things become. The only problem is that in the economy today, many businesses are suffering since fewer people are being easy with their money. Customers either spend less or they stop patronizing a business at all. It has been a struggle for many companies. Because of this, most businesses look for ways to save money by cutting corners and avoiding too much expense. However, there is a vast difference between cutting corners and doing something detrimental to the integrity of the company.
A very good example of this would be digital signage and the software that is required to use the sign. As with any other type of software that is in existence, there are plenty of companies online advertising free digital signage software. It all sounds good, right? You get to have the cutting edge impact of the digital signage for your company and you do not have to spend all that money on the software.
You most likely have heard an old saying. It states, “If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.” This saying is definitely true about digital signage software. Especially in this case, something that is free usually involves a big cost.
Is it Really Worth it?
There is a slippery slope that many businesses find themselves on. It is the downward spiral of cutting corners and damaging the business. This is how it works. Companies do not have enough customers or those customers are not spending enough money. When the company gets desperate enough, they start cutting corners and services. At first, these cost cuts do not do that much damage, but then the companies have to cut even more in an effort to save the business.
When they do this, they damage the customer experience. This means that fewer customers visit. Can you see how this will quickly turn into a downward spiral? It more often than not results in the company going out of business or at least severely disabled and far in debt.
This is not a cycle that you want to be in for your business, is it? It is just not worth it, so you have to decipher what is a safe and non damaging way to cut corners and what is a way to lose more business. One of those damaging options would be to use free digital signage software.
Free Isn’t Free
Here is the thing about so called free software. It never is. In one way or another you will end up paying. In many cases, you could end up paying dearly. When it comes to “free” digital signage software, consider a few scenarios. If you choose to use this kind of software, one of these scenarios is sure to happen.
- The “free” version of the software is only a trial. After a certain number of days (after you have been using the software long enough to like it) you find out that you have to pay an extravagant mount of money to keep using the software.
- The software appears to be totally free so you start using it. A few months later, the company announces that the software updates are available and they are a must to keep using it. Here is the kicker: the updates cost a lot of money.
- The software actually appears to be genuinely free, which means the company is making no money, and after a few months when the digital signage has been the face of your business, the software company goes out of business and you find yourself out of luck.
- The so called free software is so glitchy, hard to use and incompatible with your digital signage that you cannot represent your company well. Customers notice, consider this a sign of unprofessionalism and make the decision to take their business elsewhere.
In any of these scenarios, what started out as free actually becomes quite costly, and it is a cost just not worth paying.
The Negative Impact on Your Business
Now, think about the negative impact on your business that this free digital signage software could have. Often, the software will not be compatible with your digital signage. Because of this, many of the features that you could be using with your digital signage will be taken away and you will be stuck with the very basics. A sign that could provide all sorts of useful information is suddenly nothing more than the equivalent of a printed sign.
In addition, often, free software will have plenty of different glitches to it. It may only display parts of words or pictures. It may change the colors you used making the whole image seem “off”. Overall, these little glitches will come back to haunt you, not the company that made the digital sign software. After all, when your customers see the signage, they will equate it with your business directly. They will see your company as unprofessional. In a competitive world, a company that seems not professional enough could result in loss of numerous customers.
Looking Toward the Future
Finally, when it comes to that free digital signage software, then you have to think about the future as well. If the company stays in business, will their software stay up to date? Will the company provide updates that will keep up with the times or will the digital signage you have look as free as it is? Customers notice when something looks cheap and free software almost never looks as professional and as cutting edge as you want it to.
Then, there are other detrimental things that could happen. The company that makes the free software could go out of business. In that case, you will be left without the software that you have grown used to using.
When it comes to cutting corners for your business, you must find a happy balance between making budget saving business decisions and making choices that will impact your business in a negative way.