How Software Development Can Help Small Businesses Grow

From e-commerce to customer relationship management (CRM) to mobile apps, developing software signals an incredible tipping point for a small business.

It means you’ve hit a milestone that many business owners will unfortunately never reach. You’ve grown and thrived, and you’re ready to scale up!

There are a virtually infinite amount of options when it comes to building software for your business, including internal and customer-facing tools. Of course, any type of software you decide to develop will have its own unique benefits for your business. But generally speaking, there are some key benefits that everyone stands to gain.

Let’s look at some of the most promising and impactful ways software development can help you on your journey, as well as some tips for planning and managing your first build.

4 ways software helps small businesses

1. Boosts efficiency and productivity

Do you spend hours every day on manual data entry, scheduling appointments, or sending invoices? Custom software can automate these and plenty of other types of repetitive tasks, freeing up your time and resources for all the fun, strategic stuff that feels more impactful to your bottom line.

You can also use software to help you identify and optimize your workflows on a day-to-day basis. For example, you can identify the bottlenecks that bog you down and build better workflows to improve your communications, collaboration, and productivity. Custom software can also collect and analyze data from your operations. This will give you valuable insights to make informed decisions about everything from marketing campaigns to project management to data security.

2. Makes customers happier and more engaged

When you develop custom applications for your unique business model, you’re better able to tailor the user experience to your customers’ specific needs (not to mention your own). Say, for example, you’re a brick-and-mortar store looking to go virtual. You could create an online ordering platform with real-time delivery tracking or a loyalty program app to keep customers happy and engaged.

You could build a customer relationship management (CRM) tool to keep track of customer data, giving you the ability to personalize communications and offer targeted recommendations. Or you could create a tool that adds more touchpoints, as well as integrates multiple different touchpoints across different platforms, like your website, social media, or mobile app. This can help to form habits that encourage customers to engage with your brand.

3. Competes with the big players

Big competitors are out there with shiny new apps that keep customers engaged, solve their problems, and (in some cases) collect valuable data that they can leverage for marketing strategies. If you don’t do the same, you’ll quickly lag behind.

When you create software or an app with a user-friendly interface, you are showing your customers that you value their time. Don’t be that clunky small business that is hard to access or engage with.

You also show that you are as tech-savvy as the big players in your industry. This makes you seem both professional and trustworthy.

You can position yourself to outshine bigger competitors with intuitive software and apps that make your target audience’s life better and easier.

4. Scales without growing pains

When you build flexible and scalable software solutions, your tools adapt to your changing demands and growing customer base. This lets you avoid the massive headache and financial drain that can come with needing to do an extensive overhaul later on. You might do this through cloud-based solutions that let you minimize hardware costs and access resources easily, allowing you to scale your operations without huge upfront investments.

Choosing mobile-first development (think mobile-friendly apps and tools) lets you smoothly and conveniently reach customers across different devices and platforms. Automated data security and backup solutions help you protect sensitive information and keep your business running smoothly.

Tips for your first software build

Know your “what” and “why.” Be crystal clear on the problem you aim to solve and how the software will benefit your business (not to mention your customers).

Consider a minimum viable product (MVP). This allows you to launch a basic version of your software with essential features instead of a fully mature release with all the bells and whistles. This way, you can gather user feedback on the basics and make iterative improvements as you go.

Choose the right development team. Consider factors like technical skills, industry knowledge, and a proven track record in delivering solutions similar to what you’re looking for.

Don’t skimp on your tech stack. When you’re choosing things like programming languages, frameworks, libraries, databases, and third-party tools, consider things like scalability, security, and long-term maintenance. Your development team can help you make informed choices.

Use an agile development methodology. Instead of developing the whole project in one go, agile allows for incremental development, making it easier to incorporate changes as needed while staying flexible and adaptable.

Prioritize quality assurance (QA) and testing. These are crucial for identifying and addressing any issues before your software is released. This includes functional testing, usability testing, and performance testing. Test through your whole development process starting with the very first lines of code, not just the end!

Plan for ongoing maintenance. Developing software is always a “see you later.” Plan for regular updates, bug fixes, and feature enhancements to keep your software current and aligned with your evolving business and customer needs.

There’s a whole world of growth solutions waiting for you

You’re in an exciting time. Your next move will have a massive impact on how your business continues to grow and flourish. That’s why it’s important to really consider all of your options and weigh them against your needs and goals.

If you’re looking for some advice or guidance, reach out to a qualified software development company with a proven track record of helping businesses like yours. They can help you prioritize the most impactful steps you can take next while considering your long-term trajectory. The team at Dazlab would love to hear from you!

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How Software Development Can Help Small Businesses Grow
Darren-Clark-dazlab-founder

Darren Clark

Dazlab Founder

“I started Dazlab because there’s a huge knowledge deficit between people who want software built and those that build the software. I watched again and again as non-tech product owners with great ideas overpaid for complicated solutions to simple problems, or underpaid only to end up with crummy products with little chance of lasting. Tech doesn’t have to be that way. If I’m going to do something, I’m going to do it well or what’s the point?. Even now, 20 years later I’m still heavily involved in the onboarding process with every one of my clients.”

Darren Clark

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