Many business owners have been trying to retrofit their entrepreneurial operations by adopting new software in an effort to remain at the forefront of an ever-changing market. Despite the increasing importance of software in the business world today, however, many entrepreneurs are struggling when it comes to finding the right option for their niche industry. This has led many business owners to make the foolish decision of embracing off-the-shelf software that’s generic and cheap, and promises everything but fails to deliver anything.

Here’s why successful businesses build custom software instead of relying on off-the-shelf alternatives, and what you’ll need to do to churn out a unique piece of software that’s perfect for your company.

Don’t buy the false promises of off-the-shelf software

Far too many businesses are struggling to make ends meet because they bought into the alluring promise of an off-the-shelf software option. Countless generic options call out to business owners everywhere, insisting that off-the-shelf products which are so vague that they can meet anyone’s definition of enterprise software are really top of the line options which make for a great investment.

The brutal reality of the contemporary market insists of a unique approach to digitization, however, so business owners who believed the lofty promises of generic software have more often than not found themselves losing ground to the competition.

By relying on custom software, you’ll bypass this terrifying fate and instead supercharge your company by giving it the digital tools needed to succeed in a 21st century business environment. Customized software is the best option for businesses for many reasons, but the most obvious one is that it will drastically improve efficiency by more thoroughly melding with your existing IT operations.

Off-the-shelf software options for businesses are just too bland to be effective—they’re made in a boilerplate, one-size-fits-all fashion that effectively render them worthless when it comes to your business purposes.

Nonetheless, many entrepreneurs shirk off the idea of developing their own custom software. Insisting that custom software is too lavish and complex, many business owners are opting for mainstream options that render their brand into another lackluster option that most consumers will entirely ignore.

By mastering some effective means of reducing the development costs associated with custom software, however, and by assembling an ace team, you’ll soon discover that successful businesses everywhere invest in custom software because it produces real results.

The right way to build custom software

It’s no coincidence that most successful businesses use custom software solutions to one degree or another—after all, the skills and resources needed to develop custom software are often the same skills and resources needed to succeed in the broader marketplace itself. Entrepreneurs who are interested in developing custom software should understand that you’ll need to enlist the help of a savvy IT team, for instance, a pivotal part of any modern business team. Similarly, you’ll need to learn to master resource management and scheduling on the arduous yet worthwhile journey of developing software that’s entirely unique to your business operation.

If you take a look at a list of reasons that off-the-shelf software usually fails the businesses that rely on it, you’ll be on the right pathway towards avoiding common software misfires. Generic software options are often burdened by countless features that you’ll never actually use, for instance, so it’s imperative to understand that you need a streamlined development process that only focuses on a trimmed down product equipped only with features that will be used. Consider packaged software to be junky fast-food that will weigh your company down, whereas custom software may be a more expensive yet healthier and better long-term option.

It’s also imperative to understand that your leadership figures can’t sit back and let the tech gurus get to work developing your business’s custom software. Management officials need to be tied into the process from day one in order to ensure that the software in question can be leveraged by your leadership figures to more effectively communicate with their teams.

Everyday employees who will be expected to use the software, too, should be brought in during trial runs to give their feedback. Always remember that this software will mostly be used by employees, so it’s worthwhile to listen to their concerns about what your present software is lacking.

Fighting back against spiraling costs

Finally, any business owner seriously interested in developing their own custom software option will want to know how to fight back against spiraling costs. Developing your own software isn’t always cheap, but it’s not accurate to say that it’s always a ludicrously expensive endeavor.

As a matter of fact, many attempts to develop custom software for enterprise fail because they’re mismanaged from the start by those who don’t have a clear vision about what kind of software they need. Make sure to make your expectations clear and to thoroughly communicate with the developers you’re working with during the entirety of the process.

It’s also helpful to read up on some tactics for reducing the costs of custom software development that others have relied upon in the past. What’s worked for other businesses could prove to be useful to yours, after all. Remember that entrepreneurs who refuse to invest the needed amount into custom software development are selling the potential of their company short, however, and that too much penny-pinching can ultimately diminish the software you receive.

Despite the associated costs of building custom software, successful businesses everywhere have come to realize that a unique approach is needed to make it in the digital age.

Aaron Lee
Aaron Lee is a serial entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist. Since the age of 17, he has started and sold five businesses before creating Dash Serviced Suites--Hong Kong’s fastest growing asset-light, tech-enabled, serviced apartment community operating over 100 apartments. Aaron focuses on investing in technology to build industry disrupting startups.