As a business owner, you’ve been trained to consider the bottom line and projected results for each decision you make. When it comes to software development decisions, waiting for the long-term return on investment (ROI) can be stressful. And when someone throws “custom software” into the mix, you may even shut down before the words have even left your colleague’s mouth. How can you be sure that custom software development will help your business grow, and that now is the right time to act?
Because of the high costs associated with custom software development, it may be difficult for you to see the short-term and long-term benefits that can ultimately help you increase your bottom line.
Here are three reasons why beginning custom software development in 2018 will help your business grow in 2019 and beyond:
1. Win more customers
Is your business able to attract new customers? Are you able to market your company to the latest generation of business leaders or consumers?
Investing in custom software shows an internal focus on innovation and growing your business. By showcasing your software as a differentiator and selling point, you can boost your company’s reputation. Customers like to feel like they are advancing innovation and forward-thinking ideas. Your movements to stay ahead of the curve can encourage new customers to invest in you.
If you’re not sure where to begin, consider the feedback that you are already getting:
- Have you noticed your customers asking for features you don’t currently offer?
- Is there something you could offer that would help improve their interactions with your business?
- Have you been shelving an idea that may make a difference for your customers?
2. Address key issues within your organization
There will always be room for improvement. This is life.
Start by streamlining processes, reducing office supply expenses, and enabling teams to be more productive. While software development can’t solve all the issues, it may be the first step to solving your workflow inefficiencies.
Finding an off-the-shelf (OTS) software system that answers every business need can be near impossible. Such a system may not be developed yet. Perhaps you’ll end up spending time and money to customize a pre-built system at the start, while continuing to pay increasing licensing costs.
Most companies patch together a network of OTS systems to perform regular functions, which in turn slows productivity. In doing so, employees spend precious time flipping between screens.
Let’s also consider the equipment you use to run your business. Running multiple OTS systems will begin to wear down your hardware. IT teams may end up having to recover crashed computers and unsaved data. All the while, this time could be better invested elsewhere. It’s wasted opportunity.
And what about the customers?
Even if custom software isn’t a customer-facing system, it will still improve your customer service. If an employee jumps from system to system while trying to provide information to customers over the phone, your customers can experience delays and frustrations. And, even if the team is doing all they can to offer top-notch customer service, your customers can still walk away feeling let down. Good customer service is key to customer retention. It’s also a vital part of boosting your bottom line.
3. Create new opportunities
If your competition decided years ago to innovate, you may be working to keep up with them and keep your customers. Alternatively, if you decide to build something new and forward-thinking, you may be able to capture a greater market share – and some of your competition’s clients – along the way.
A strong foundation paves the way for new opportunities:
- Stand out from competitors: The right innovation can allow you to offer something truly unique to your customers.
- Find the “next big thing”: Innovators predict changes in the market and offer solutions before people realize they need them.
- Attract talented innovators: The most forward-thinking people want to work for and be challenged by innovative companies.
Finding the bottom line in software investments
Investing in custom software development may seem daunting. Remember, you are investing in your company and creating a way to grow your bottom line.
A custom system can help you win new customers, create new opportunities for growth, and solve challenges within your organization. These systems address immediate concerns and goals by customizing a workflow to match your existing processes. If you think about it, custom software not only brings you a return on investment, it also supports how you do business.
The key to sustainable innovation through custom software development is to have the system align with your long-term business goals. If you’d like to think through how a custom system can automate your business process and quantify that number, check out the alligatortek ROI Calculator.