Your business is unique. You do something for your customers much better than others do, and that’s why you’re in business. Whether you own a window cleaning company, work as a professional in education, or run a healthcare clinic, you are providing value to someone, and in return, you are getting paid. Your value proposition is presumably much different than that of your competitors. So to manage this unique value proposition, it may be time to consider an investment in software customized to fit your business, your customer’s needs, and even the industry in which you work. Let’s discuss why you should explore opportunities to invest in custom software.

1. Competitive Advantage 

Some business functions are fairly standard, such as accounting.  Our company uses for all our bookkeeping needs, and you probably use the same (or similar) software. But the non-standard business functions you perform likely provide your competitive advantage, so those non-standard functions require a non-standard approach.

For example, a client of ours manages the inventory (i.e. lamps and sofas) of many interior designers. Before they were our client, however, they were managing their customers, inventory, and work orders with a standard, off-the-shelf inventory software package which didn’t fit their business very well.  They soon realized they were adjusting their business model to fit the confines of their software, rather than letting the software actually support their specialized services.  By compromising to the one-size fits all software package, they were not fully realizing the competitive advantage they had to offer.

So they made a strategic decision to invest in a custom software project with us.  We studied their business model and provided a unique solution that set them up for rapid growth, reduced costs, streamlined operations, and a dramatically better customer experience. They have now filed an IP (Intellectual Property) patent for the software and in doing so, have greatly separated themselves from their competitors and increased their company’s value.

If you are looking to set yourself apart from the competition, look at the touch points where your software (or manual procedures) limits or hinders your business, and then look to a custom software solution to drive your business forward.  Custom software development is an investment, not an expense.

2. Respond to Change

The rapid growth of technology and telecommunications and tighter government regulations means our business environment is changing. Continuously. If your business isn’t keeping up with these changes, you are quickly at risk of falling behind.  Staying competitive means you must be prepared to change faster than your competitors.  Businesses who use an off-the-shelf software package to manage their business are then inherently tied to that software vendor’s release cycle (meaning vendors make updates based on their own timeline, not their clients’). Or, those businesses will have to pay exorbitant costs for a custom change to the software, which is often a lengthy and complicated experience.

However, businesses with their own custom software and an excellent relationship with their software development firm are able to respond to change quickly.  The development firm will know their current software and business intimately (meaning you won’t be starting from scratch explaining your business needs or your competitive advantage). They’ll work with you to create the next round of updates, schedule them imminently, and be ready to start the process again when the need arises.

Look for opportunities within your business where change is frequent and see how your software accommodates those dynamics. Then, look at how a custom software solution will put you back in control of your schedule, your changes, and your ability to remain swiftly competitive.

3. Additional Revenue Generation (problem solving turns into revenue)

Once you’ve invested in custom software and created a solution that performs something faster, cheaper, and with highest industry quality standards, it makes perfect sense to secure your IP (Intellectual Property) rights. You can make an industry impact—and augment your own revenue stream—by selling the software to your competitors through licensing fees.

Just imagine: everyone in the industry faced the same problem you did; but you invested in custom software to create a solution. Now you own the IP rights, so why not create a new market for yourself and profit from your custom software solution?  By investing in a custom software product, you’ve evolved your business, launched ahead of your competition, and created a new revenue stream.  In essence, you’ve turned your initial business problem into an exciting investment.

If you are interested in further discussing the opportunities that a custom software solution could present to your business, please call (952) 855-9393 or contact us.  Let’s explore the potential together.