At some point, business owners hit a point in their growth where they have to decide whether to build their own software or not, usually through developers. While not always necessary, it can be an essential step for certain businesses, especially if they have been heavily dependent on other software and still don’t find it delivering the performance needed. If this sounds like your business, it just might be time to branch out into commissioning your own company’s software. But before you do, just keep in mind some design principles that will help to make the process smoother.
Why Build It Yourself?
Custom software isn’t the solution for every business, but it does provide certain benefits. One primary benefit is the customization that building your own software or application affords businesses. You have complete control over the entire process. Another major advantage of building your own software is that there are not the same license and policy agreements. Third-party enterprise solutions tend to carry certain licensing requirements and contracts. Businesses can avoid these potential issues by developing their own software.
Use Your Data
Everyone knows that analytics and data are key to any business. Time to break out all of the data you have about your company’s performance. Focus on the large parts first. Don’t spend time on the details and small issues in the beginning. Use the data about software available on the market and reviews of customers to help you further decide what components you’re going to need in your software.
Do Not Get Attached
The way to create the best product is to combine passion with objectivity. It is good to remain partially detached from your product to see if there are any corrections needed along the process of creation. Do not be afraid to make changes, remove certain parts, and fix any weaknesses in your initial idea. This will result in a better performing product.
Become The User
Whether you’re going to use this software for either employees or customers, put yourself in their shoes and test it as if you were the one going to use it. This way you will get an actual feel for your product. You can also spot any optimizations and changes that need to be done to make the software feel comfortable and satisfying to the user. This is especially critical for software aimed at customers, as one single bad experience might discourage them from ever coming back. The design of your app is very important, so it’s important that continuity is maintained for the sake of not confusing your users.
Strive for Perfection
The initial step is in building the basic product that can be adjusted with several rounds of revisions. Use testing, measurements, and the learning experience from its use by customers to optimize it regularly. Make small changes with time as this is easier than making all of the significant corrections. This will also reduce the chances that the corrections or changes come back even worse, as you will be focusing on one at a time.
Question the Norm
It is good to learn from the experience of those who have gone down your path. Even so, learn not to believe everything that is accepted as the status quo. Most businesses continue their practices since they began, but the market is dynamic and continuously changing. Keep what works, but if you know something might work better if only this or that could be change – go for it. It might just pay off.