Just because you’re a start-up owner doesn’t mean you have to rely on off-the-shelf solutions for your software needs. As an entrepreneur, you’re already paving your way in the business world, and software is one more area for you to make your mark.
Building Custom Software for Your Startup: The How-to Guide
A startup that relies on custom-built software can better meet the needs of its customers, operate more efficiently, and better support its employees. You want the software you use to fit your enterprise, not the other way around.
If you’re ready to ditch the generic for DIY, here’s the complete how-to guide to building custom software for your startup.
Should Your Startup Hire outside Help to Build Custom Software?
Building your own custom software might seem intimidating, but the good news is that you don’t have to do it alone.
If you ever feel like you might benefit from an experienced eye, you can use third parties for certain aspects of the software development process.
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For example, outsourced software testing from experts like XBOSoft can help make sure your software is debugged and running optimally before you put it into action.
Just like you might hire a tailor to custom-fit a suit, enlisting outside help can ensure that your custom software fits your operations like a glove.
Ask Yourself: Where Can My Business Improve?
It’s good to take a big picture view when you’re in the planning stages of your software development journey. Where are you finding that your business could benefit from computerized or automated systems?
These are the gaps that your custom-built software should fill.
The beauty of custom-built software is it can optimize virtually any business operation with the right plan and implementation.
What’s holding your startup back from maximizing profits? This consideration is among the questions entrepreneurs must ask themselves, and it’s one question that your software solutions can help you answer.
Determining these factors takes time and should be a collaborative effort. Have a brainstorming session and bounce some ideas off your colleagues.
You should also rope any client-facing or internal employees into your brainstorming, as their insights will only make your development plan stronger.
Once you’ve identified the ways your business can benefit from custom-built software, it’s time to move on to the next step.
Come Up with a Specific and Achievable Goal
So your team has identified a few ways custom software could potentially help your startup. Now it’s time to figure out how to address these needs.
Effective goal-setting is critical to the success of any startup. You should make sure your goal is specific, measurable, and realistically achievable.
For example, imagine your startup offers SEO services to small businesses. You’ve determined that your business could improve with custom-built software that tracks improvements in the search rankings of your clients.
Your goal might be to help your clients better understand their SEO results and metrics.
Your team can measure progress by compiling reports that show growth in web traffic over time and movement in search rankings.
Finally, the startup could further achieve this goal by developing custom software that automates this process.
Draw Up a Technical Game Plan to Achieve Your Goal
Once you’ve set your goals, you’re ready to begin drawing up a specific blueprint for how you’ll build custom software for your startup. The details of this blueprint will vary depending on your startup’s goals and facilities.
These steps will help you and your team put your blueprint to good use.
What Programming Language Should You Use?
If you have a less expansive team, you may need to take the time to learn one or more of these languages.
You could also consider hiring a freelancer who specializes in the language you choose for your software.
Implementing Development Resources
If you want your app to run on multiple operating systems, it may be wise to implement a cross-platform integrated development environment (IDE). Your app would be supported by iOS, Android, Windows, etc.
There are many benefits to opting for a cross-platform IDE over a native development environment, such as:
- Streamlined process with one team handling development for all platforms
- Availability on multiple platforms widens the market reach
- Less time-consuming and less expensive
- Easier debugging and maintenance
Writing Source Code for Custom Startup Software
Now it’s time to start building your software by writing your source code.
If you decide to implement a cross-platform IDE, you’ll be writing one source code that can be used across multiple platforms and devices. Make sure to focus on keeping your code accessible to read so that others can easily understand it and modify it.
This source code will be the backbone of your custom business software. Be careful and protect it with required permissions for storage, access, and editing.
Deploying Your Software
The final step is pushing your software out into the world. This last stage is a detailed process that should not be taken lightly.
Make sure that your software has undergone thorough testing and runs without any major bugs.
You’ll also want to decide what type of servers will host your software (Windows or Mac) and which online platforms will sell the program.
Developing custom software for a startup is hard work, but it pays for itself with some patience and elbow grease.
Custom software that addresses your startup’s specific areas for improvement can result in much higher profits for your business and smoother operations for you and your team.
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