When starting a business, most people opt for off-the-shelf solutions to run their businesses. But with time, your business needs start increasing and becoming more specific. In such cases, the software becomes a hindrance for business, and it requires you to get custom software.
Custom software development involves the process of designing and building new software. The developer uniquely builds the software to fit the needs of your organization. The process is progressive, as the developer does the maintenance of the software. If your business needs change, the developer can upgrade the software to fit the new needs. Custom software gives you exactly what you need to make your business grow.
People know custom software to be more expensive than ready-made software. But growth in the global technology landscape has led to considerable cost reduction. As the knowledge spreads globally, companies can now access more tech-savvy members. This has made custom software more accessible and affordable for small businesses.
Here are 6 important questions to ask to determine whether you need custom software.
Do you need a customized solution?
If you have started a business, ready-made software could be the best option to go for. This will help you start up and run your business while it grows. But it is important to note that no two companies are alike. The ready-made software has generic features that any company can apply, which might not fit all the needs of your business. For instance, if your business is an accounting firm, the ready-made software can work. But you might need extra features, especially if your complex functions are manual. An example of such a feature is the consolidation of monthly reports. Note that custom software does not have to be complex.
If you are an owner of a beauty salon, there are multiple benefits that you get from a salon software. It will help you keep up with the salon’s growth. Depending on the salon software you choose, your customer directory may even be able to store payment information for regular clients. This makes the entire checkout process seamless and efficient.
Do you have expansion plans?
Any business starter has a goal to expand their start-ups, and this could also be your vision. The main question you should ask yourself is whether your software will match up the growth. You need to have your goals in mind when choosing. A lot of businesses opt for ready-made software due to cost. Custom software could be expensive and stressful. But the cost of limiting your business growth could be worse over time.
Do you have a budget?
The experts from Active Logic, a Kansas City software development company, say that custom software involves a bigger investment than off-the-shelf software. You may have to buy high-end servers, more hardware, and run updates for efficiency. You also start incurring an annual software license cost. Most companies take this as an excuse for choosing ready-made software. But few consider the obstacles that may arise in the future, especially during expansion. Consider the budget you have. Opting for a cheap option now may cost you more later than if you invested in custom software at once. If you think about the budget, custom software is the best way to go in the long run. It will save you money and benefit your business in other areas for longer.
Do you need to upgrade your efficiency?
As the business grows, every function becomes more complex. You start experiencing breakdowns in workflow, communication challenges, less work efficiency, and disorganization. These problems may appear one at a time or on rare occasions. But if they are rampant, this could be a sign that you need to upgrade your software. The best software to get your business back up and running is the custom-made one, and it will also improve efficiency than ever before.
Has your staff number increased?
The more your business grows, the more staff you need to manage operations. The more people access your information, the better the management should be. A custom-developed software should incorporate all functions, including Human Resources, Accounting, Supply Chain, Marketing, and so on. As your staff team grows, your system can conduct proper onboarding. To manage such positive growth, you need a tailor-made solution, and it will be a better fit for your business needs.
Have you outgrown your legacy solutions?
There’s a chance that your business is using an outdated legacy solution, which has not been updated for years. The sad thing is, you might continue using such a solution because it functions well to get things done.
Or, there is a chance that different developers might have worked on your legacy solution over the years, leading to a poorly designed solution that is barely working behind the scenes. However, it’s essential to understand that continuing to use an outdated solution can hinder your business from achieving its goals and reduce your efficiency and creativity. So, if it feels challenging to change how your software has worked for years, having custom software allows you to achieve your dreams.
Choosing to have custom software is a significant decision for your business, one that will integrate most of the aspects of your company. Besides, it plays an essential role in the operation and success of your business. Custom software will boost your productivity and increase your revenue.
So, if you feel that your business needs a technological boost after answering these questions, it’s time to take a leap of faith and start a custom software development project. But, make sure that you understand your business requirements before starting the project.