5 Benefits of Custom Software Development for SMBs

In today’s often saturated business markets, your business needs to stand out and make a good impression. This means that customer-facing solutions need to stand out, look unique, and function in a way that best caters to your customer’s needs. 

If you want to elevate your customers’ (or internal teams’) experience through an app or software program, you can choose to use a third-party app and customize it to your needs as much as you can or get custom software development. 

Here are five benefits (in no particular order) of developing a custom software or app for your business: 

1. You can define the features you need (and those you don’t)

In the software business, it’s rare to find software or an app that does everything you need. You’ll have to pay full price for a third-party app, even if you don’t utilize all its features. 

With custom-designed software development, you can eliminate (or minimize) paying for features you don’t need and focus on the features you need. You can also work with your developer to customize everything from back-end workflows to third-party app integrations, customer-facing branding, experience, and all functionality. Your possibilities are near-endless!

2. Never worry about third-party apps shutting down

When you put all your effort into a third-party app, you’re trusting that they won’t change the app (to your disadvantage) or go out of business. The company could stop supporting the app, leaving you with nothing. 

When you develop your own app, this isn’t a problem. You are in control of app updates and uptime. If you need to shut the app down for maintenance, you can do it at a time that is convenient for you, not the company of the third-party app. The app will stay active as long as you have a team to maintain it.

3. Combine benefits of off-shelf products and custom development

There are benefits to using off-the-shelf apps and software. For one, if an app or script exists that suits your needs, why pay to reinvent the wheel? You can often do a combination of off-the-shelf apps and your custom development to personalize it to your needs. This gives you the cost-benefit of using trusted, pre-existing code, with the benefits of more customization options to stand out in the market. 

This is called a hybrid app. Based on the needs of your project, your developer can recommend options to build your software from scratch, use off-the-shelf apps, or a combination of the two. 

4. More flexible scalability

Holding the reins of your software development gives you greater flexibility for scaling the software or app. When you use solely third-party applications, you may not have access to the scalability features you need, but with your custom-designed apps, you can easily add any additional feature you need. While the custom development may come at a higher up-front cost, you likely won’t pay any additional ongoing fees or subscription increases (like you would when upgrading third-party software). 

5. More proactive, rather than reactive

When you use third-party software, and they stop supporting the app or go out of business, it is often without much notice. This means you’ll be rushing around to download your data before it disappears and migrate to a new platform. This reactive approach is not ideal as it could result in lost data, wasted time researching a new solution, and downtime for your team or customers as you migrate to your new system. 

Instead, you can be proactive and design your software. This puts your business in charge of your data, not a third-party app developer. You can choose when you integrate new software and upgrade your systems. You can take the time to be proactive and set up redundancies and fallbacks for migrations if you ever choose to redevelop or switch apps. Essentially, you’re not at the mercy of an “unknown” developer.

How do you create a custom software for your business? 

Twelfth Dream creates custom software solutions for your business. When we work together, here’s what to expect:

  1. Defining features and priorities: Our team will learn about you and your business goals and struggles. Together we’ll develop a wish list of must-haves and nice-to-haves so we can create a phased project scope to meet your exact needs.
  2. Review off-shelf products: Once we know what you need, we’ll see if any off-the-shelf products already exist that meet your needs. If it’s flexible and economical enough for your needs, we could recommend third-party software or a combination of custom development and third-party integrations and inclusions. 
  3. Conduct feasibility study: Next, we’ll compare your requirements and custom development needs to see if they are feasible and possible with today’s technology. It also helps us refine the scope of requirements and ensure that we can turn your dream into a reality from a technical point of view. 
  4. Pick a platform: In this step, we’ll determine the best platform. For example, an app for seniors may not be successful as a desktop app. Similarly, an app for peer service delivery or ride-sharing (like Uber) may be quite popular on mobile, so that should be factored into the plan. 
  5. Choose development strategy: Next, we can choose the right mix of third-party products and custom development that best meets your needs. We can also integrate e-commerce solutions. 
  6. Choose programming languages: There are many coding languages, each with its benefits. We’ll look at everything we’ve scoped to date and pick the best programming language. Within our SCRUM methodology, we’ll begin working in sprints to develop your software. 

Depending on your requirements, we can complete a prototype app within 1.5 months and a full app product within about five months (depending on the scope and complexity of your requirements). We’ll keep you updated every step of the way. 

Do you have an idea to make your business more efficient or provide a better customer experience? Schedule a call with our team today, and we’ll help you develop custom software for your business.

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