How Your Business Can Save 75% Per Month On Software Overhead
Regardless of their industry, every small business owner understands the struggle of competing with large companies.
Not only do these big businesses have more extensive budgets, but they also have more streamlined infrastructure that helps them be more productive and provide a higher level of service.
One of the best ways for small and medium-sized business owners like you to keep up with larger competitors is to change your approach to information technology (IT) spending. Instead of spending thousands on monthly subscriptions, you should consider switching to custom software.
By investing in a custom software solution, you can save 75% per month on software overhead. Find out how in this guide.
The Problem: Expensive Software Subscriptions
Many businesses spend thousands of dollars per month on different IT subscriptions.
For example, they might use a learning management software (LMS) for employee training and administration, content management software (CMS) as part of their marketing strategy, a customer relationship management (CRM) system to help with sales and lead generation, and team collaboration software to help employees stay connected.
These subscriptions might seem convenient initially. However, they also present some unique challenges.
High Monthly Costs
Each of these software solutions could easily cost several hundred dollars per month — especially when the providers charge a certain amount per month per user. As you can see, it’s not too hard to end up spending thousands to run your business.
Even if your small or medium-sized business is profitable, dedicating thousands of dollars each month to software subscriptions (which essentially amount to IT rentals) isn’t great for your bottom line.
These costs eat into your monthly budget. They also prevent you from making other investments that could help you grow your business, provide a higher level of service to your customers, and gain a competitive advantage.
In addition to being expensive, these software subscriptions may also prevent your business from running as smoothly as you’d like.
If the tools don’t all integrate with each other, your team may spend a lot of time switching between platforms or searching for relevant information. As a result, they’re wasting time and resources, hurting the company’s productivity and profitability.
The Solution: Custom Software Development
After doing the math, you might be wondering how you can save money each month without sacrificing your business’s performance. The solution is to invest in custom software development.
Initially, this cost could seem unattainable. A bespoke tool designed exclusively for your business is actually more affordable than you might think.
Say you spend $2,000 per month on software overhead. If you spent $48K on new, custom software, it would pay for itself in just two years.
Once that two-year period is up, you’re no longer spending money on software to run your business — meaning you have more funds left over to invest in other areas and focus on growing the company.
Additional Benefits of Custom Software Development
Custom software development can be more cost-effective in the long run. It also offers other benefits to you, your team, and your customers, including the following:
As a business owner, when you think about wasting money, it’s essential to think beyond overspending on software and other expenses. You must also consider wasted time and lost productivity.
Say your current infrastructure doesn’t allow your employees to do their jobs as efficiently as you’d like. Your company is losing money and won’t reach its full profitability potential.
When you invest in bespoke software that helps you and your employees do your jobs, you’ll find that everyday processes become more manageable and can get done more quickly.
Improved Employee Morale
Along with causing them to waste time, poorly integrated software solutions could also create extra frustration for your employees. Over time, this frustration will likely lead to low morale and decreased job satisfaction.
Unhappy employees generally are not productive employees. If you want to help your team get more done in the day, look for solutions that can help them do their jobs more efficiently — such as custom software that was designed with their specific responsibilities, pain points, and goals in mind.
Enhanced Employee Performance
When your employees have the tools they need to be productive and experience higher morale, the quality of their work will improve.
Improvements in work quality benefit your business’s bottom line. They help your team provide a higher level of service to your customers, meaning they’re more likely to continue working with your company and recommend it to their friends, family, or colleagues.
What would you do if your business experienced a security breach?
How much would you have to spend to resolve the problem and get your business back up and running? How much would you have to spend on legal fees to protect your business from lawsuits filed by upset customers?
With off-the-shelf software solutions, you only get so much security. Since anyone can purchase these products, it’s relatively easy for hackers to buy them, learn how they work, and find ways to access valuable business and customer data.
Custom software offers a higher level of security. These solutions are harder to hack into, meaning they provide your business with increased security (and a reduced chance of dealing with extra costs associated with a breach).
Easier Business Scaling
Eventually, if you want to expand your business’s reach and become more profitable, you’ll need to scale.
Scaling a business when you’re reliant on a variety of software subscriptions can be tricky.
Not only are you spending thousands of dollars each month on these subscriptions — which reduces the amount you can spend on growing your business — but you’re also limited on the number of customers or clients you can serve, the amount of work your employees can do, etc.
Better Customer Service
Off-the-shelf software tools typically provide you with a minimal amount of customer support. If you run into challenges or have questions, you have to jump through a number of hoops to connect to an actual person and get the help you need.
With custom software, you know exactly whom to contact to resolve an issue or get an answer to a question. You can also reach these people directly, meaning you’ll get help faster and avoid long-term interruptions to your business processes.
Why Work with a Development Agency?
You could go about getting custom software for your business in a few different ways. You could ask your in-house IT staff to handle the project, hire a freelancer, or outsource development to a third-party agency.
Delegating the development process to your in-house team might seem like a good idea initially. After all, you already pay them to handle IT-related tasks for your business.
However, by assigning such a big project, you’re taking them away from other essential aspects of their jobs.
Furthermore, if these employees don’t have the experience and skills needed to develop custom software, you might not get a finished product that offers the kinds of results you’re looking for.
Another option is to hire a freelancer to design your new software.
Some freelancers are very talented and offer excellent service. However, it can be tricky to sort through all the people advertising their development services online.
If you don’t choose the best person for the job, you could end up with a subpar product — meaning you’ll have to spend more money to fix it and make it work for your business.
Another potential downside to working with a freelancer is that they might not be as reliable as an agency.
They might juggle several clients, making it hard for you to get your software done in a timely manner. They may also be more difficult to get in touch with, meaning you’ll struggle to monitor the progress of your software or get answers to important questions.
Software Development Agency
In most cases, an agency is the best choice for a bespoke software solution.
Software development agencies connect you with a dedicated team of experienced professionals. These people will handle your project and stay in touch with you throughout the process.
Agencies often have access to the latest development tools and technologies, too, increasing the likelihood that you’ll get a high-quality finished product that meets all your business’s needs.
Since agencies have a team of employees working for them, it’s generally easier to get in touch with someone to check on their progress or ask questions. They may even have team members specifically responsible for handling client support.
Custom Software Design Bonus Tips
Working with an agency increases your chances of getting a great finished product. To see the best results, though, be sure to keep these bonus tips in mind:
Choose Your Agency Carefully
Start by choosing the best software development agency for your custom solution.
Look for an agency that specializes in custom software and has experience working with businesses like yours. Find out how long they’ve been in business and ask to see their portfolio, too.
It also helps to read reviews and testimonials backing up the agency’s work. If the majority of its clients are satisfied with their results, that’s a good sign. If you can’t find any reviews or testimonials, that could be a red flag.
Clarify Business Processes and Goals
When you meet with an agency to discuss creating a custom software solution, you need to be clear about your business processes and the specific goals you want to achieve with this tool.
Explain what your business does, what each employee who will use the software’s responsibilities are, and what pain points they’re currently experiencing.
The more detail you provide, the easier it is to get a software solution that works for you and your team and provides the best results.
Consider Future Needs
When setting goals and sharing your business needs, don’t forget to think about your future plans.
How do you want the company to grow in the future? Do you plan to hire more employees or expand your services?
Share this information with your development team. They can offer suggestions to give you a better software solution and ensure you’re satisfied long-term.
Seek Input from Your Employees
You know a lot about how your business runs and the challenges your employees face with the current software infrastructure. However, your employees can provide more insight into their specific needs and pain points.
Seek input from them while you’re working with the development agency. They will provide more in-depth explanations about their needs and help the developers create the best product possible.
Even though you’re outsourcing software development to a third-party agency, you still need to be involved in the process.
Your involvement is critical to a successful finished product. The more feedback and insight you can provide, the easier it is for the developers to give you what you want.
Check in throughout development to see how the software is coming along and ensure it aligns with your needs and goals.
Encourage Ongoing Testing
The best software developers will test your software throughout the development process. They won’t wait until the end to check for bugs or design flaws.
When you meet with your development team or check in with them, encourage ongoing testing.
Ask for the results of those tests, too. That way, you can understand how the software is working and any potential issues that arise. You can also ensure it meets your expectations.
Save on Software Overhead with Custom Solutions from Digital Engage
Are you tired of spending thousands each month to rent software from other companies? If so, it’s time to switch to a custom solution.
Digital Engage offers bespoke software and app development designed to help you achieve your specific business goals.
If so, get in touch with Digital Engage today. Contact us to get a quote or learn more about our services.