As businesses grow, they also outgrow desktop calendars and dry-erase boards. This is particularly true if you or your staff frequently work off site. Whether you need to touch base occasionally or frequently, good planning and scheduling software centralizes the "where" and "when" components of doing business. Good planning and scheduling software enables you to: Plan and forecast business developments and growth Schedule appointments for yourself and staff Set calendar reminders of important appointments and events Coordinate multiple schedules among employees For entrepreneurs with or without employees A few simple programs can run almost your entire business. Industry-specific software Get your particular needs met with software designed for your niche. Read reviews and decide where to shop There's ample help finding reputable, user-friendly products through unbiased product reviews. Once you've settled upon the best product for your company, do a price comparison and choose a retailer with fast shipping and a solid return policy. Talk to colleagues and competitors to learn what software works for them and ask for recommended retailers. Many retailers offer sales tied to specific events like "back to school," Father's Day, or holiday giving; check fliers for deals around these times. If the software you like best lacks a key feature, such as the ability to download to your PDA, call the manufacturer and ask if any software "plug-ins" or downloads exist. Check manufacturers' Web sites for coupons and special discounts. Sign up for email updates from your software company to keep abreast of upgrades and special offers sent only to existing customers. Ask retailers if they'll match or beat competitors' pricing or honor their coupons.