Small businesses build custom software to implement comprehensive solutions to meet their unique needs. In fact, custom software solutions provide increased control over the customer experience, better business scalability, and cost-efficiency optimizations. Additionally, they save time by allowing established business models and operating procedures to continue as managers build businesses for the future. As a small business owner, you should build custom software to seamlessly combine existing applications with new platforms, as well as protect sensitive business data.
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In this post, we will discuss several steps to building custom software for your small business.
Define Project Goals
Of course, you need to define project goals for your custom software functionalities. Some common issues include the inability to interface with other, third party software, and a lack of visibility to potential consumers. Take a moment to identify which of these problems impacts your business the most. This way, you start searching for ways to mitigate or eliminate pain points within your business operations.
Next, brainstorm some ideas with your dev team to highlight the most pressing issues that impact customers, employees or vendors. Then, define a measurable, achievable, and relevant goal in resolving these issues. Surely, identify what your custom software needs to do by defining project goals.
Determine Programming Language
Secondly, determine a programming language to build your custom software in. Select a coding language with familiar syntax and other properties.
For example, Ruby provides a powerful framework for application building and user-friendliness, making it accessible to beginner developers. Alternatively, Python works on most operating systems and boasts a significant standard library. Moreover, many developers consider Java the safest and most versatile programming language. Its platform-dependency and portability enable Java to be used for almost any programming process.
While these languages differ greatly in properties and required skillsets, most provide the core functionalities necessary for custom software development. Determine the coding properties of your custom software build by choosing a programming language.
Implement Development Stack
Third, you can use many free, open source tools implemented in your custom software development stack. Depending on the functionalities your solution requires, you may want to consider using an advanced package manager for your code.
For example, JFrog’s Conan package manager store C packages and dependencies securely. Additionally, these tools allow you to manage your binaries fully on all platforms and build systems. This way, you automate each step of the software implementation process, from installation to configuration. Moreover, these tools often have significant user communities that can serve as development resources for testing, updates and support.
An advanced tech stack will allow you to develop the required software functionalities for your program.
Create A Minimum Viable Product
Next, create a prototype minimum viable product (MVP) that fits within your business processes. The minimum viable product should only contain core functionality that your business needs. This allows the developers to build a product on a small budget within a quick time frame. This way, the minimal viable product can still solve the basic problem or improvement in the business process.
Focus on the key steps or actions that the program must complete within the system. Once validated, you can improve the product to include additional features, capabilities and integrations. Certainly, you should take a lean approach to creating a MVP when developing custom software for SMBs.
Prepare Deployment & Testing
Finally, prepare for your small business’s custom software deployment and test its feasibility. Within smaller companies, deployment can take a little as a few days. Typically, developers can integrate with the existing systems and infrastructure quickly. However, the testing phase must be conducted carefully to prevent any issues. Between deployment and testing, developers must solve many bugs, coding errors and integration configurations.
Once fully tested, the software is ready for production. Naturally, you may want to continuously test, maintain and upgrade the software as your small business grows.
Developers build custom software for small businesses in a myriad of ways. To start, they identify and determine key project goals. Second, you need to determine the coding language that best suits your application. Third, an advanced tech stack will allow you to develop the required software functionalities for your program. Next, you should take a lean approach to creating a MVP when developing custom software for SMBs. Finally, you may want to continuously test, maintain and upgrade the software as your small business grows.
When searching for how to build custom software for small business, consider the steps described above.