Benefits of Custom Software for Small Business
All businesses need software solutions that support internal teams and customers alike, streamlining operations and maximizing revenue.
But which software development strategy is best for your small to medium-sized enterprise (SME) in the current market?
Whether you need service software for your small business or a client-facing app that goes above and beyond your competitors, the choice is the same — do you purchase an existing product, or do you build a custom solution from scratch?
So, why is custom software development so important? Read on to learn more as we examine the key benefits of custom software development for small businesses.
What is Custom Built Software?
Custom-built software is any solution that is designed and tailored specifically to meet the needs of the business that will be using it.
This is considerably different from off-the-shelf software, which will be delivered on a one-size-fits-all basis with few options for customization or personalization.
Businesses may choose in-house custom-developed software built by internal programming and design teams.
This is a laborious and difficult process, however, and small businesses are more likely to seek a third-party development partner to complete the software project.
Why do you need Custom Software for your Small Business?
Custom business software is growing increasingly important for small enterprises chiefly because of the dynamic and unique nature of modern SMEs.
Businesses of all types now need to find their niche — an area of the market that has not been covered by a competitor.
In order to achieve this, businesses need to offer something different, and this is where custom software comes in.
To be truly different, small businesses must deliver something that no one else is offering. Custom software at the client-end might provide this point of difference, giving customers the capabilities and solutions that other providers simply cannot match.
Alternatively, the custom software might be internal, supporting personnel as they deliver high-quality service to customers.
Wherever the software is deployed, it will fit the unique aims, identity, and structure of the business — something that off-the-shelf software cannot do.
Potential Failings from Off-the-Shelf Software
There are plenty of small business solutions already out there on the market.
Most of these solutions will be cheaper than a custom development project, and teams will be able to access and deploy these solutions more quickly.
So why not implement ready-made software instead of a custom software solution?
Unfortunately, off-the-shelf software often comes up short:
Off-the-shelf software may be intended for a different purpose, and it may not align with the objectives of the business.
Personnel may find it difficult to use an off-the-shelf solution, as it does not match with business requirements.
Customers may become frustrated if off-the-shelf software does not support their requirements.
It may be difficult to integrate off-the-shelf products with existing software infrastructure.
Off-the-shelf software may be inflexible and difficult to scale, which means it may need to be replaced if focuses change in the future.
Businesses may find it difficult to measure the necessary metrics and draw the required data from off-the-shelf solutions, potentially missing out on vital insight.
It is possible that small businesses strike it lucky in the software market, finding a ready-made solution that ticks all of the boxes.
However, this is highly unlikely. In order to guarantee proper alignment between software capabilities and operational requirements, custom programming and design is necessary.
The Benefits of Custom Software Development
There are many benefits to custom software development for small businesses — benefits that make this kind of project a wise investment for small businesses.
Business custom software is built according to the company's requirements, so alignment with specific needs is guaranteed.
Development is carried out according to common business use cases, ensuring that the product is easy to use and fit for purpose.
Small business application development can be tailored to meet highly specialized requirements, ensuring that no operations are left unsupported.
The custom software can be integrated with existing solutions via APIs for comprehensive operational coverage.
APIs also provide flexibility so that additional features can be developed in the future for maximum scalability.
Small business owners retain control over the software development project, ensuring full security for end users.
There are no wasted features — i.e., all features and functionality are designed with the business in mind.
These key advantages make custom-built software a must-have for today's small businesses.
Buying off-the-shelf solutions might provide business owners with upfront cost savings, but they will leave organizations exposed to potential failings, leading to increased long-term costs.
With small business software development services, organizations are investing in the long-term viability of the application.
Achieving Success in Your Custom Software Project
While custom-built software is an important investment, it is still an investment, so there are associated costs.
In order to achieve the right results and to secure a solid return, there are a number of points that business owners will need to bear in mind.
Decide on specific objectives before the project begins.
Define the budget for the project and set targets for deployment.
Identify who the users of the software will be — in most cases, either customers or in-house personnel.
Audit existing solutions and identify where integrations are required.
Recognize resources and time commitments — can the project be handled in-house, or is a third-party development partner required?
Understand ongoing business development targets and recognize long-term scalability needs.
Following this checklist can help to ensure that the project is a success, delivering the desired advantages while minimizing costs.
Finding the Right Partner
In most cases, small businesses simply do not have the resources required to handle a project like this in-house.
Instead, they need to find a partner they can trust — a partner with a strong track record of success in this area and with an open and communicative approach to the development process.
We provide custom software solutions for small businesses, working closely with these SME clients as we develop an understanding of their needs and objectives.
With efficient processes in place, we tailor highly effective pieces of software, exceeding the expectations of team members, customers, and all stakeholders.
Reach out to our team today to start a conversation.
If you already have an awesome idea in mind, don't hesitate to get a free quote for your project.
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