If you have a small business offering a product or service that solves a unique customer problem, your business is considered niche. Leveraging the right digital technology can give you the performance boost you’re looking for while adhering to your brand promise.
Off-the-shelf software can solve some of your business challenges, but chances are that it won’t be able to accommodate your needs on all counts. You might end up repeatedly trying out different readily available applications, and eventually settle on one only to find that customization costs can go through the roof if you intend to continue using it as your business grows.
With custom software, you can build your application from scratch by covering essential and relevant features that don’t over complicate your business when you are in fact, looking to simplify and automate your operations. Whether it’s a customer service tool, an ERP system, an eShop, or an intranet portal, custom-developed solutions can be very useful to improve employee efficiency while enabling you to build a better relationship with your customer base.
A bespoke application takes more time to create than an off-the-shelf solution, requiring a more significant initial investment. So, before you decide to move forward and reap the benefits of custom software development, it’s essential to thoroughly plan the software development budget, agree on the time-to-market and perform the due diligence on your software development partner.
Leveraging the capabilities of custom software is a smart decision for small businesses, especially if you are growing. Let’s delve into some of the benefits of custom software development, which will reveal its true potential.
1. It is future-proof
If done right, custom solutions are highly scalable as your business grows. After all, when you create an application keeping your business processes in mind, you will make sure it stands the test of time.
As technologies advance fast, you can incorporate future-proof capabilities in your custom application to ensure that it continues to stay relevant. By allowing integrations with other business applicationsand 3rd party services such as payment gateways, IoT solutions, or AR, your custom-built software has the advantage of being a resilient and forward-looking solution that feeds on tech innovation.
2. Can easily scale
Every small business scales over time. Whether this is achieved through a gradual growth or more ambitious endeavors, custom software supports your company through any growth spurt with reliable and scalable technology driven solutions.
The ability to quickly adapt to market changes and customer demands often meansadding new features to your application or increasing your capacity to accommodate a larger numberof clients.
An off-the-shelf application is limited in this regard. You can customize and scale only as much as the platform allows you.
However, a custom application can grow as your business evolves due to its robust architecture, and provide you the necessary resources to expand your product and services offering.
3. It is cost-effective
Although the initial cost of custom software development is higher, it is not a recurring cost. You pay strictly for the features you need, compared to out-of-the-box solutions, where you have licensing fees that include a predefined list of features that may or may not fully address your needs. With ready-made applications, you risk spending your budget on expensive features built into it, not realizing that in the long run, it costs you much more than a custom solution.
Small businesses are generally very cost-sensitive, especially to unplanned expenses. Custom software offers financial predictability because you drive the development pace and, therefore, can better control the costs.
With off-the-shelf apps too, you know what your recurring costs are. , But, once you commit to that recurring cost, you cannot avoid or suspend it if during unexpected situations, your business cannot afford that recurring cost.
4. You get fast and high-quality support
When you’re a small business, every client matters, especially when you’re facing enterprise clients; so, when an issue appears, you want to solve it quickly and offer stellar customer support to avoid losing your consumer.
With custom software, you can clearly define your SLAs (Service Level Agreements) with your technology partner to provide you with technical maintenance and support. If you have partnered with a software development company, there will be a team assigned to your project to address your issues immediately. Promptly solving platform-related bugs will earn you the reputation of a customer-centric business that values its clients and strives to offer the best app performance.
5. You rely on secure data management
Because custom software solutions are built from scratch, customers have the option to use highly secure protocols and encryption that offer better data protection.
For SMEs in the healthcare or banking market, complying with multiple regulatory and compliance requirements is crucial. So, security policies need to follow strict guidelines and ensure the safety of both company and customer data.
Custom applications are less vulnerable to security breaches because the unique security needs of each organization are built into the software product. Applications that aren’t secure enough can dramatically impacts customers’ trust level, as they tend to share their personal information only with safe platforms.
Besides, with custom software, you own the application’s data, allowing you to analyze better your customers’ behavior and your app’s performance, making you more aware of the areas where you need to build more trust through more robust security protocols.
As a small business, you want to create a differentiator, which will help you stand out and give you a competitive edge. While that is somewhat possible with ready-made apps, the opportunities are endless with custom software development.
You get to build a tool that becomes an extension of your business, which supports your growth and acts as a vehicle for driving innovation, reducing costs, and creating long-term value for your clients.