Fall is for pumpkin-spiced everything, cozy sweaters and… buying project management software. That’s right: autumn might just be the best time to invest in a new tool for your team. The year hasn’t quite ended yet, and the new one is right around the corner. With strategic timing, you can save time and money before taking off for a holiday break. From being smart about onboarding and implementation to scoring a great deal on the tool of your dreams, here’s why.

More time for onboarding

Whether you’re adopting one because your company is scaling or you need to streamline a very specific aspect of your business, project management solutions can make your life a whole lot easier and more efficient. But not right away. There are always onboarding pains to bear through as you consolidate data, set up workflows and get your team to adopt new habits. And, when you invest in a project management tool in the fall, you position yourself for success in the new year, when it matters the most.

“The time of year you choose to invest in a project management software can significantly impact that software’s effectiveness,” says Cody Miles, CEO of Ashore, an automated online proofing software combined with approval workflow tools. According to him, companies often attempt to adopt new technology at the beginning of Q1, which presents a problem: Q1 and Q2 are most businesses’ busiest seasons and teams are drowning in new work.

“So, instead of becoming familiar with the software, employees have to focus on the more pressing tasks. By the time Q3 rolls around, people have only learned bits and pieces of the platform, but they’ve been using it long enough that the urgency to learn more has faded, leaving the company with an underutilized solution that isn’t half as effective as it could be,” he adds.

By purchasing your project management software in the fall, you give everyone enough time to familiarize themselves with the tool before the work becomes faster-paced. “And when Q1 hits, people will have the knowledge and understanding necessary to actually benefit from the software,” says Miles.

Budget-allocation

Fall is also an interesting time to buy project management software because you have a clearer picture of how much money you get to spend before the end of the year. It would be a shame to underutilize your Q4 budget. However, you also want to avoid purchasing something for the sake of it.

While your budget-allocation decisions should always be strategic and informed by your business goals, fall is the perfect time to maximize the impact of your leftover resources. You have visibility into how you’re going to end the year and begin the new one in a way that’s more concrete than, say, Q3, when you realize that you need to adjust some of your priorities.

So if you’ve been toying with the idea of adopting a project management platform such as Hive this fall, you’ll be maximizing your Q4 budget with no remorse. After all, there are always projects to work on, and the best platforms can adapt to various teams and use cases.

Great end-of-year deals

“Maybe it’s the holiday cheer or maybe it’s the impending end-of-year, but sales reps can also be motivated to give the best value in Q4. They might offer you this year’s pricing for next year’s services or throw in a free add-on or upgrade,” writes Lauren d’Entremont, blog manager at proposal software company Proposify.

Salespeople are under a lot of pressure to meet their yearly targets before the holidays. Which gives you leverage to score a great deal on project management software. Don’t be afraid to negotiate and say that you are shopping around. They will have more leeway too.

And if you shop in the fall, you might be able to get the expensive option you truly wanted but couldn’t wholly afford instead of settling on an inferior pick.

“Fall is usually the best time to buy as it’s the run-up to the holidays, meaning more people will add discounts to entice you. So if the most expensive software actually is what you’re looking for, waiting until fall could save you a lot,“ says Alex Alexakis, Founder of web design company PixelChefs.

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