Benefits of custom software development for small business
A good business is always on the lookout for new ways to engage with its customers. Though the customer’s needs are constantly evolving, and so should your business strategies. Conventional business software development may have been the solution a few years ago, but the world has changed a lot since. That is why we should be looking for new ways to address the customer’s needs, optimize their experiences, and give straight-up answers to their questions and take less of their time. While there are many ready-to-use, general applications out there in the market, they cannot answer all the concerns at the same time. That is where custom software development becomes your best choice.
To summerize the benefits of Custom Software App, you can check this list and then read the rest to fully understand the concept:
- Custom software apps don’t get old-fashioned
- They are flixible
- They help you save your capital
- you can integrate them
- It’s for you! Yourself!
- They lessen the risks
- What is custom software?
- Advantages of custom software
- How to create custom software?
- How much does it cost to develop bespoke software?
- To conclude:
What is custom software?
Custom software development comes in when a company has specific needs that cannot be resolved by off-the-shelf options. They contact and commission custom software developers to create an inclusive, suitable software option for them. Bespoke software development is another name for customized software development. The word is rooted in old English and the tailoring trade, and that is perhaps the best way to describe it; a custom software is made to tailor fit your business. A bespoke software solution or a custom solution is built around the specific needs of the project. Custom software development aims at a narrow set of qualifications while commercial, off-the-shelf options have a wider set of goals so that they can be commercially marketed and distributed. Software development business involves building a software application from ground zero, considering elements like your market niche, the user groups, their needs, what they respond best to, and more.
Of course, if you are a small business trying to get started, a conventional software program can give you what it is needed to quickly appear in the market. But you should remember that custom-designed software is more flexible to your needs, and can perform better in the long run. Here are some reasons why a custom software solution is the way to go.
Advantages of custom software
Custom software does not get rusty
This article started by stating how things are not the same as they used to be. Times have changed and they will keep changing for certain. There will always be newer ways to get answers and resolve problems and fresher alternatives to how things are done. We used to make phone calls to order food a few years ago, and now we do it online. Devices are getting smarter by the second and in no time they will be doing it all autonomously. A few years from now, commercial software will be out of date but custom business software will simply have to be updated and patched, based on your needs then. With customized software, you will not be old-fashioned as long as you have a good eye for detail and a good ear for listening to the user’s needs and requests. This makes custom software future proof.
Custom software application is flexible
with custom enterprise software development, your application is flexible to what you need and your overall situation at that moment. Custom software development lets you have more options compared to the out-of-the-box applications out there. custom made software can be optimized depending on the growth of your company and the services you choose to provide. You can extend or downsize an application based on your needs. If you go global, you can add extensions and some new features to make your software match your current scale. You can also trim down some of the features if you don’t need them anymore. General off-the-shelf options are made to match any business with any basic system, but custom-made software can be created in a way to use the full potential of your infrastructures.
You save a lot of money in the long run
Of course, if you had to change your software each time you went outdated or expanded your business, you would lose a lot of money. That goes along with the additional cost of losing all the existing customers that have gotten used to your old software. Other than that, with licensed software, you are paying for all the features it offers, no matter if you use them or if they are irrelevant to your business. This will lead to you spending way more in the long run. While with custom-developed software, you are only paying for what is necessary and ideal for your business. Bespoke software development equals saving a ton of time and money. Customized software could seem expensive at first- depending on the custom software companies you speak to and the other factors- but believe us when we say this is not the case in the long run. Custom software development for small businesses is the best choice, as you don’t spend extra money on unnecessary products that come with an additional cost. Ready-made solutions also come with licensing fees, these might be yearly or monthly depending on your providers, but they make your expanses grow over time even though the costs may seem low initially. As a small business owner, it is best to invest in custom software for small businesses. Also keep in mind that a custom software development firm is easily accessible, which means when you require an upgrade, you can always depend on them to add the desired features. When working with a general software company, you rely on the prices they have set for their services. You cannot be sure of getting renewals which cost extra.
Today’s internet operates as a large ecosystem where there are no stand-alone tech services. All of the applications work together, to offer the ideal consumer experience. That is why most applications today come with any third-party integrations, such as payment gateways and analytics plugins, and many more depending on the business. Most general software comes shortly here, while it is not an issue even worth discussing when it comes to bespoke software development, It is very easy to manage and no big of a deal.
You are the priority
When working with a big company that offers general software which many big businesses use, small businesses are not as well treated. They are put on hold and long waiting lists before given support. And while we wait, we lose our clients. This is one of the biggest strengths a custom development software company has, they offer excellent service. While we are nothing to the big tech companies, we are one of their premier clients. With small companies, you get assistance the moment you need it. To say it another way, a small software company is a friend you can rely on.
There will be less of a risk
The rates of cyber attacks are increasing daily. Intellectual properties, personal data, credit card passwords, etc are leaking every day. Quoting Statista, the most targeted industries are finance, manufacturing, and healthcare. The more off-the-shelf software is popularized, the easier becomes to hack it. Hackers get to know these applications and understand their vulnerabilities. Because of the complexity of bespoke software, whether it is a mobile application or a desktop one, the chances of attacks and intrusions are drastically reduced. The software is built for a niche purpose, therefore it is harder to hack. Other than that, tailor-made bespoke solutions offer specialized security code and encryption. It is also important to keep in mind that with off-the-shelf software, you are completely dependent on the software developer you are purchasing from. If anything happens to them, say they go bankrupt or decide to switch to another form of business or completely retire, you will be highly affected. Your data may be lost, and you will need to find another provider or completely change your business process.
How to create custom software?
Creating software is no simple task, here are some simplified steps down below to help guide you through the process.
- Define your status and possibilities
To be able to communicate your needs, you should first be aware of them. Define your requirements. They might include things as simple as ways for the customers to access their data, to more complicated things such as managing your payment transactions. Make sure you have been clear in communicating your desires, expectations, and measurement of success, as bad communication at this point can lead to a great disaster later on. You can then brainstorm with a professional team to find answers to these problems.
- Define your goals
many things can motivate your team to move and get started. Your starting goals could be as simple as starting to use social media marketing, to going global. Remember though, it is easy to set goals, the real work starts when you are trying to meet them. Specify a map of your goals and desired achievements, and highlight the key parts of your project. Responsibilities, costs, initiatives, etc, must all be taken under consideration. It is also important to sent milestones as they will keep your project on track. Various stages of development should be done within a certain time and budget. Clear milestones will also help you review your progress easier and go forward.
- Research development needs
You are of luck if you have your development team. That is a luxury that most start-up businesses dream of. Do not worry if you don’t though, there are many great outsource development teams out there. Using your own team has its downsides as well. Although it might save some cash, They are already occupied with their other tasks. Giving them another great responsibility such as this, will slow down business, and result in lower quality software. After all, your tech personnel may not even be trained for development. Outsourcing is a handy and popular option and you might even find a company that specializes in your specific product!
- Build your software
You are aware of your wants and needs and the potential problems you might face. You might know what you want but now it is time to design and plan the software before any code is written. After that, you can get started. Document everything as you go to not be confused later on. Testing is key, and remember to test how the user experience feels as well and not just the technical stuff.
How much does it cost to develop bespoke software?
Well, it depends on what you need and who you contract. Factors like the software size, complexity, design, integration with other software, and data migration might affect the costs greatly. Overall the cost usually ranges from 2000$ and 250000$. It is important to understand the costs of a custom software project, as 66% of projects go over budget. You can consider those elements to not run over budget:
- Preproduction research
You probably want to design a software requirement document. Getting the help of one of your internal employees or hiring a consultant are both good options based on the scale of your project. This may take on to six months depending on the complexity of your software and the cost will be about 5% to 10% of the final project implementation cost.
- Calculate the implantation cost
Your budget is split into two main elements; internal resources (time) and Software engineering development (time and materials). Time is an element easily forgotten. It is easy to underestimate the amount of time needed, and the importance of this resource. Establish who will be working with the software development company and plan on at least one to ten hours weekly. Software engineering factors include design time 10-20%, development time 40-60%, testing and deployment 20%, project management 10%.
- Never forget the maintenance cost
To keep the system healthy you will be spending 10-20% of your implantation cost. It is a vital element that is easily undertaken. This includes updates and adding features. The main two options of maintenance plans are the fixed cost, and a break-fix alternative. You should consider your software needs while picking a plan as not all projects require the same maintenance. If you cannot have any downtime and it is vital to keep the software running at all times, you may want to consider a more generous maintenance option.
- Hosting and licensing
Make a list of all the services your software will consume to compare offerings based on your estimated usage and make a choice. Does not matter if you are hosted internally or on the cloud, there will always be recurring licensing costs. Go with yearly plans if you want to get better deals, and monthly ones if you want to go around and try different hosts.
It is up to you to choose what software your business requires. It should match your small business software needs and goals. By investing in a custom software design, you can save a lot of time and money in the long run. The perfect bespoke solution gives you many advantages over any off-the-shelf option and will fit your business like a glove. They are designed to meet your business’s specific needs and will help you get exactly what you want from a software project. Customized software scale and adapt to your project’s progress. By building a bespoke solution in your business, you have made a great investment in the long run.
Custom application development is the creation of a software application from scratch that best matches the needs of a business or organization. Opposed to the off-the-shelf options out there, a bespoke application is designed for a specific user base.
As stated above, there are many reasons why you would choose a customized software over a ready-made one, including:
Made specifically for you
Customized software addresses your exact needs. Off-the-shelf ones, as is obvious in the name, are made all alike and do not match your exact needs or give you an upper hand over the others in the market. Every business is unique and it is impossible to find something made-ready that matches you exactly. Many businesses start with general software and then come to realize that it is unsuitable for them.
Your business grows, and so does your need. Bespoke software is made for you and can expand as big as you wish. An off-the-shelf solution may seem the better fit for companies when they are at their start-up phase, but most seem to regret it as that stage passes and they are left with an application that is not suitable anymore. Choosing a solution that can grow and scale as you do is a very intelligent choice. You do not want to be limited by your software, do you?
Integration made easy
With customized development, you can merge your existing application with your new one. Custom software lessens the chance of integration issues and can fit right in your business and the whole internet ecosystem.
It is cheaper in the long run
bespoke software best matches you. Meaning with choosing it over off-the-shelf options, you will not have to buy hardware for it to run smoothly. With custom-developed software, you will only pay for what is necessary and ideal for your business. Bespoke software development equals saving a ton of time and money, as you are not forced into purchasing a package, with many features that you mostly do not need. Ready-made software also comes with licensing fees, which means you will have to pay monthly or yearly to maintain your services. This will add up in the long run and turn out to be pretty expensive.
It is more reliable
With the ready-made options, you are completely dependent on the provider. The pricing, terms of conditions, and the future of the business are all out of your hand. Contracting a custom software company comes with benefits such as a more personal experience. You can use your custom software as you please and as long as you like.
Managing your business strategies can be hard, especially with smaller businesses where the management of individual elements of the business is way less functional. Luckily there are a handful of useful software tools that can help smooth the process. Here is our list:
Every business, no matter the size, needs to keep track of its money. It is very important to choose an accounting program that best matches your business. Many types of accounting software cater to different aspects and needs. Having a good understanding of what is out there will help you make the best use of your time and monitor your cash flow, tax filing, expenditure, etc more easily.
This helps create a hive mind preventing the waste of time, one of the most important resources of a small business. It will give you and your employees a better understanding of how your time is spent through the detailed documentation of work performance on different tasks. Allowing you to comprehend where your business can make better use of its time.
Good project management software can aid you to simplify your whole business operation progress. These kinds of software help users organize their projects, by breaking them into smaller chunks and specific task segments. They will also ensure that you know how your resources are expended toward the completion of a given project.
Customer relationship management
CRM is one of the best ways to better understand your relationship with your customers and aid your trade to grow. CRM is software for managing your relationship and all your interactions with customers and potential customers. CRM helps you understand vital data trends and that can turn many new heads towards you. It allows you to identify appropriate marketing areas to invest on and make the best use out of your resources and tools.
Communication is the key to a great workflow, both internally and towards your customers. It is best to grasp a good understanding of the communication applications out there before choosing one. Softwares such as skype and zoom will allow you to communicate with the other members of your team and clients, regardless of where they are. Without such software, it is impossible to go global. Combined with a good choice of time management and streamlined programs you will be able to work with anyone, from any place all over the world.
This tool will help you manage your billings and create a better overall workflow, by streamlining and automating your payment transactions. It can keep detailed records of all the payments and help make refunding processes easier. Automating the payment process can also reduce the chances of your customers forgetting to pay their invoices. The main issue with this kind of program is what we often hear people nagging about with subscriptions. If they forget to unsubscribe, you might continue to charge them through the software. This is a very good tool for any kind of business, and a must if you are providing a subscription service. But yet again, if each payment process in your business is unique to the customer, automating things will not be a very possible solution.