Building a custom application for business growth and new revenue has been used by some of the biggest companies in the world. From Netflix, to Uber, Amazon and even McDonald’s – investing in custom software solutions can lead to greater success for an organization.
These companies obviously have enormous teams and millions of dollars to invest in their software, so what about smaller businesses? A startup? How can an organization with more limited resources and different needs find success in creating their own software solution?
We’re glad you asked! At Mutually Human, we’ve been working with startups, small and mid-size businesses for years, developing a system that creates the best possible software solutions as we understand both your business goals, needs, and budget constraints. We believe there are 4 main steps to take that can ensure your custom application is successful.
Step 1 – Talk About Your Business Goals and Needs Before Discussing Technology.
Our rule of thumb is “Think first, code later.” While technology and creating custom software is amazing, it’s critical to discuss why you want to create it in the first place. No matter the agency or software shop you choose to work with, thoughtful, intentional conversation should happen and questions like these should be asked:
- What is your company all about?
- What challenges are you facing?
- What would you like to accomplish with custom software?
Step 2 – A Custom Application Requires a Custom Plan
When you decide to create a brand new solution, a more detailed plan is required. This is crucial in keeping the needs and goals of the business in mind as well as keeping the budget on track. During this step, it’s important to:
- Define the direction.
- Develop a plan for its execution.
- Set important project milestones to keep everyone on track.
- Estimate the time and costs of the project so you’re not surprised later.
Each of these 4 pieces is critical in developing a solid plan to make sure your new product succeeds.
Step 3 – It’s Time to Build Your Custom Application
Once you’ve settled on a software company to work with and have discussed business goals and needs, as well as the plan to create your new solution, it’s time to get to building! During the building phase:
- Expect and look for regular updates from your developers to see how things like menus, screens, and buttons are shaping up visually and functionally.
- Get feedback from potential users and test the features out.
- Test the custom application live to see how it functions.
- Look for regular updates on the budget and stay in sync with your financial team as well.
Step 4 – Think Ahead
Software is never really “complete.” There’s always a new update alert on your iPhone, your computer is always buzzing you to download new versions of software, and your tablets’ apps always need an update too. The same is true of a custom application. While your first phase will prove helpful towards your business goals and potential new revenue, it’s also important to think ahead about the next phase of the software.
How will your software adapt with your changing needs?
How will it be supported?
What features would be nice to add to it?
We believe in these steps so much because they are the process that we take each and every one of our customers through. By walking through each of these phases, we have found great success in creating solutions that not only make business goals happen but create greater revenue and ultimately, make the lives of the users infinitely better.
If you’re considering a custom application or custom software, we’d love to chat with you. Schedule a free consultation today!