Custom Business Software For Small Business

Many small businesses’ first software purchase is a commercial off-the-shelf solution.

While this may work for many firms with similar business processes, the first sign that the fit isn’t quite right is if you find yourself conducting manual interventions or workarounds to support the commercial software.

So, what factors should you use to decide if a custom business software or an off-the-shelf product is best for your small business?

Here’s my top ten list of warning indicators to look out for when deciding whether to build or buy software development for small business!

Your employees avoid using it

Poor adoption indicates that the program isn’t working for your company. People would tend to complete jobs themselves if they can do it faster manually or prefer to do things the old way.

Nobody knows how to operate it at the needed degree of skill

This could be due to a training issue, or it could be because too many steps are required to complete the task utilizing COTS (custom-off-the-shelf) software, further complicating the process for your staff.

When you are unable to perform what you desire with your sales leads

Your customer relationship management (CRM) software, for example, does not completely support the sales process, such as unique pricing or a bespoke workflow to go through a specific rules-based process.

Manual workarounds

If your employees grumble about the shortcomings of the COTS system or rely on manual workarounds to complete basic activities that custom software development for small business could solve.

Using a patchwork of software to accomplish the task

When you need a patchwork of software systems running across different departments that rely on data from each other to process client orders or develop management reports, the necessity for customisation becomes clear. Without integration, inefficiencies arise.

Automation needed to improve efficiency

A crowded order book is one of the results of running a successful small business. If you need to connect numerous various sales processes that automation could help to streamline.

It’s time to think about custom software for your small firm. Examine your present methods for reconciling payroll, timesheets, accounting, inventory, purchasing, supply chain management, and forecasting.

Business expansion is being inhibited

Many successful firms began in extremely basic circumstances, perhaps functioning out of a bedroom or garage.

It’s not uncommon to come upon an out-of-the-box product that accomplishes the job early on. However, as a small organization expands in size, its complexity increases, which COTS may not be able to handle.

If your current system is impeding growth, consider a custom solution that can slowly add additional capabilities and user groups over time.

Data migration to new system

If your company’s needs have changed and it’s time to migrate to a new software system, keep in mind that migrating data from one system to another can be a complicated operation that necessitates the expertise of a developer.

If that’s the case, you should consider what more the developer can do, such as create a new system tailored to your needs.

Branding becomes a priority

Personalization can be critical to the success of your small business, particularly if you use an app to communicate with your clients.

While a COTS solution may suffice when only visible internally, any software that is seen by the client, such as an online ordering system, would greatly benefit from personalized branding or design to separate itself from competitors. If you’re considering using apps, consider getting a custom design!

Growing licensing fees

Off-the-shelf software is essentially rented rather than purchased, especially with the trend toward software delivery via the cloud.

Licensing fees might be prohibitively expensive, making custom software less expensive in the long run.

If you intend to someday expand the software system across multiple workstations or networks, keep in mind that you would own a completely custom-made software program that you may utilize as needed.

Custom Business Software For Small Business – Summary

Calculate your ROI (return on investment) before deciding which path to take to ensure you can recoup your investment through higher efficiency or greater economies of scale.

First, evaluate the most likely off-the-shelf software to see if it meets your needs; if not, consider custom software development for small business solutions.

Remember that a four-figure budget may be all that is required to construct a custom software solution that you own outright, but the expenditures of a COTS solution will reoccur throughout the product’s life.