As you build the foundation for your new business, the decisions are endless. Some may be limited to startup activities, but others can have a wide-reaching, long-term influence on your internal and external operations.
That’s particularly true when choosing the optimal platforms to manage the needs of customers/clients and your employees. Unfortunately, despite the abundance of third-party applications, it’s not always easy to find one that offers the functionality to meet your operational and engagement expectations.
That can spell big trouble for startups, which depend on positive engagements and efficient processes to grow during one of the most challenging phases of business development. The issue further exacerbates as you attempt to create a high-functioning web of integrated third-party platforms.
That’s where custom software can help your startup establish the strong foundation you worked so hard to create. Custom software for your startup lets you craft a user engagement platform that meets the needs of your organization and customers.
With so many decisions to make and an abundance of feasible third-party solutions, it’s tempting to postpone plans for custom software. But for startups trying to gain a competitive advantage and long-term stability, investing now can pay off.
Still not sure? Here are some factors to consider.
You get exactly what you want (and nothing you don’t).
Many great software platforms exist, but each has one major design flaw: they are designed for use by the masses. As a result, they don’t conform to your exact needs, and you need compromise, trading in the user experience you want for a subpar alternative.
Custom-designed business software solutions make it easier to give your customers the experience you envisioned from the start—a valuable offering in a highly competitive market. It can also help streamline internal operations and boost the interest of existing or potential investors.
You can give customers the experience they expect.
According to recent data, 80% of customers find their experience with a customer is as important as the product they sell. And 66% of them expect you to know what that is. As a startup, you must meet those expectations from the start—failing to do so can close the door to loyal relationships down the line.
When you work with an experienced software development team, you can build a user environment that factors in everything you know about your targeted audience. This is a stark contrast to alternatives applications, which vastly limit your ability to make meaningful customization to the customer experience.
Custom software can scale alongside your business.
If you’ve been shopping for business applications—either internal or customer-facing—-you’ll likely notice that scalability can be costly if not impossible.
Many applications have limits that dictate how many users you can have, what functionalities you can access, or even what applications you can integrate. When you’re beginning your business, that may not seem like a big issue, but it can cause significant challenges in the future.
When you outgrow a third-party application, your options are limited. In the best-case scenario, you can pay more to unlock the next tier of service.
In the worst-case scenario, you’ll need to migrate to another application. This process frequently leads to unwanted service disruption, data loss, a poor customer experience, and internal workflow problems.
The optimal software development company will work alongside you to find a solution that can scale alongside your business over time.
It’s more affordable than you think.
One of the significant barriers that keep startups from choosing custom software over third-party applications is cost. The assumption is that customization is a huge drain on budgets.
Custom software may be associated with a higher upfront investment when compared to some alternatives, but that’s not always true. Many clients are surprised to find that it fits within their budget. Not to mention that the initial investment will save you time, money, and future frustration.
Custom software is designed to grow with your business, making it less likely that you’ll need to make significant changes in the future—changes that can disrupt your business, cause concerns among loyal customers, and ultimately leave you footing the bill for direct and indirect costs.
Custom software can yield a strong ROI.
Not only is custom software affordable, but it can have a significant impact on revenue growth. According to research conducted by Forrester, every $1 spent on UX can yield up to an additional $100 in return. When we consider the value of a positive user experience, those numbers shouldn’t be all too shocking.
And we shouldn’t limit the scope of UX ROI to the customer experience. When you have more efficient software applications available to employees, their jobs are easier, which can help you cut direct and indirect labor costs.
You maintain ownership of the final product.
When you choose custom software over a third-party alternative, you’re investing in a long-term asset that your business can use as it sees fit.
You won’t have to worry about what happens if the company hosting your application is a victim of a breach or service outage or undergoes ownership or structural changes.
The stress of wondering if a competitor is using the same exact application as you diminishes. When you work with a quality software development firm, your custom application will be unique to your business, and you’ll maintain ownership even if you sever ties with the developer.
Custom software can bolster your data security.
When you don’t own your software, you’re beholden to the company that does.That means your data, as well as that of your customers or clients, is subject to their security practices. You’ll have little insight into how they manage their source code or what security policies they have in place.
Your company will also be vulnerable to any data breaches targeted at the hosting company. These scenarios are not as rare as we’d like to think, and they can have costly consequences. Software ownership can help mitigate your risk.
You can streamline your business operations.
When you’re consistently relying on third-party platforms, your options for streamlining business operations are limited by the number of applications that can easily integrate.
However, when you build your own software, you can incorporate a wide range of functions and capabilities without facing unnecessary limits that can disrupt or complicate workflow.
Custom software makes it easier to bridge the gap between the user experience and employee responsibilities, including reporting, order fulfillment, and inventory.
When you’re in the initial stages of business development, every decision counts. Third-party apps may seem convenient or even more affordable at first glance, but those benefits are often fleeting.
By investing in customized software from the start, you’ll set your business up for success and create a strong foundation on which you can build and improve upon as your business grows and needs change.
Thinking about Customized Software? DADEN can help.
Contact us today to schedule your Innovation Session