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Small Business Software Development: Break New Ground, or Optimize What You Have

By Danijel Filipovic, Technical Account Executive

You’ve survived the startup process. Your fledgling business has established itself — who it is and what it does — and has begun building up a customer base. Growth is now the focus and small business software development is the way to get there.

Your choices for empowering growth seem simple, yet limited. These choices are the same ones every company faces as they look to move from startup to SMB — and beyond.

  1. Get more customers. The more people using your product or service, the better it is for your overall revenue and the bottom line.
  2. Increase the lifetime value of customers. By focusing on customer experience you can endear your business to them, generate loyalty, and thereby increase the likelihood of them sticking with you longer or purchasing more. 
  3. Increase the averaging buying price. By continuing to refine your product, you can establish higher end services and offer upsell opportunities.
  4. Reduce expenses. You can always look for ways to streamline your processes, eliminate redundancies, and cut the costs needed to provide the product. Tech advancements and automations can help.

Small business software development addresses all four of those options, by presenting two broad avenues forward. You can embrace that startup mindset again by developing a new product or feature, giving you the potential to earn more customers or better serve the ones you have. You can also optimize your existing product, or the processes you use in your business, to drive more value or save both time and money. 

We’ll examine both of these paths for small business software development further below. But whichever way forward makes sense for your business, it’s critical to envision how the right outsourced product strategy and development team aids this effort. They alleviate the risk taken on when breaking new ground and allow your core team to continue focusing on what is already proven to work. 

Unlock Your Next Project with Vault: From persona research to product launch, and beyond, we’ve been the secret sauce for hundreds of custom software development projects. Connect with us to learn more.

Pick Your Path for Small Business Software Development

Blaze a New (Revenue) Trail

Your company has just found its footing. It’s small, but it’s healthy and poised for growth. You’ve found something that works. The next step could logically be to find something else that works. You need a new revenue stream to fuel that growth, and a new product — or features or line of features — is a sensible place to start.

If you were still in startup mode, this could be a seamless transition. You just built a thing, you’re in a great position to build the next thing. But for more established companies this can be difficult to navigate back to. If you’ve left that innovative space, or aren’t as reliant on technology in house, you might be wondering how do I do this, how do I get there, what direction do I take?

At Vault, we permanently reside in that innovative space. We partner with businesses to use technology to help them grow. From validating new ideas, through design and implementation, and post-launch support, we support your success. What we’ve learned through a decade of empowering our partners is when looking at creating a new product or feature, it’s important to treat it like a startup.

Get Started Quickly, Then Iterate

Get a lean version of the product out first, and quickly, then iterate on it. This new feature won’t come with the maturity of your previous product. Don’t worry about full integration, don’t overbuild it. Give your customers what they want and need, then advance it once it's out in the wild. Use feedback and analytics to determine what’s there, what works, and what doesn’t.

There are a lot of pain points that can be eased by working with an outsourced innovation partner. Maybe you lack the internal resources or technical expertise to tackle the project. Maybe the contributors to the original product have moved on. Perhaps there’s a fear of disrupting what is working by expanding on it. 

Again, this is where an outsourced partner shines. They can run in parallel with your team to allow your core group to remain focused on what is working right now, minimizing risk and disruption. They’ll arrive with a complete team in tow, accounting for every skill set and specialized insight needed to tackle the project. And if getting your new idea on the market quickly is a goal (and it should be!), the outsourced partner will be up and running on the project before you’ve even filled out an internal team to begin brainstorming how to get there.

Refine and Optimize

The other way small business software development can help grow your business revolves around applying refining touches to either your existing product or the tools you use every day. Whether it is adding more value for your customers or making your own processes more efficient, an external team can tackle these challenges more quickly while allowing your business to remain focused on other objectives.

Here’s four ways optimization can effectively act to grow your SMB:

  • Automation — There is always something that can be improved from your process as a growing company. Finding ways to automate repetitive tasks is an effective way to eliminate time and open up personnel for higher-value efforts. Instead of data entry, employees can research the competition, talk to your customers, or investigate new features for example.
  • Integrations — Today’s world in stuffed with different software and systems, and not all of them are talking with one another. Making sure your tools are communicating effectively, and you’re optimizing that experience for your customers, is a critical component of small business software development. Making things easier and faster comes with integration.
  • Transparency and Visibility — Data tracking and analytics are an easy-to-implement solution for better efficiency for any company. Diving deep into analytics can deliver insights into customer behavior and what they need moving forward. Are employees using the tools they’re supposed to? Why not? Optimizing here often leads to innovative ideas and solutions.
  • Customized Experience — Delivering a unique experience for your customers is the best way to differentiate your business and product in an increasingly digitized world. Everyone knows how your viewing preferences impact what pops up next in your feed on a streaming service. Incorporate that kind customization into your product. When you order coffee on an app, does it offer you a favorite or recommended order? When getting a workout from your personal training platform, is it customized to you specifically? 
Custom Software Development with Vault: From targeted solutions to greater scalability, custom software can move the needle for your business. Read more here.

Unlock Vault for Small Business Software Development 

At Vault Innovation, we’re more than just another custom software development company — we’re a partner in your success. We’ve assisted tech-powered brands, founders, and visionaries in solving design challenges and ship purpose-driven products and software for more than a decade. We provide the human capital necessary to get your projects to the finish line with a complete team of experienced and proven professionals. 

Our Learn, Build, Grow model allows us to grant flexibility, accessibility and resiliency through all our small business software development efforts. With a proven track record of results, we use technology to grow your business according to your specific goals. 

Connect with our team today to schedule a no-obligation discovery session.