The tech world once seemed as if it could survive anything the economy threw at it. How quickly things can change.
Considering the recent slew of tech lay-offs and the recent crash of Silicon Valley Bank, it seems that many tech companies — including the software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers that cater to many of the world’s small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) — are not as durable as people once thought.
Is your small or medium-sized business currently relying on software subscriptions from third-party companies?
What would you do if you showed up at the office tomorrow and couldn’t use these tools any longer because the company went bankrupt (a real possibility for many SaaS providers in the wake of the recent bank crash)?
These are the kinds of issues you can face when you rely on third-party software subscriptions to manage your company.
Luckily, there’s an alternative. Instead of relying on other companies to keep your business running, you could invest in custom software.
Want to know more? Learn about the value of switching to custom software below.
Custom Software Helps You Save Money
Initially, software subscriptions from third-party, software-as-a-service companies seem like an obvious choice for small and medium-sized business owners. You have a lot of responsibilities, a relatively small staff, and you’re likely looking for opportunities to cut costs whenever you can.
The truth, though, is that off-the-shelf software subscriptions aren’t as cost-effective as you might think. Many businesses spend around $2K per month on subscriptions for accounting software, project management software, customer relationship management software, etc.
Most of these tools charge a monthly fee for each user. As your business grows and you add more users, you can easily spend thousands of dollars each month without even realizing it.
Admittedly, the upfront cost of custom software is higher than that of a SaaS subscription. However, you will eventually pay off the custom software and eliminate that expense from your budget. You’ll never stop paying subscription fees for SaaS tools because you’re essentially renting them from the SaaS provider.
In the long run, custom software is the more cost-effective choice. It can pay for itself within a couple of years. The average cost of bespoke solutions ranges from $30K to $50K. If you spent $50K, your software would pay for itself in a little over two years.
Custom Software Is More Reliable
The scenario discussed at the beginning of this article — not being able to use your software because the provider has gone bankrupt and closed its doors — is a worst-case scenario. However, there are plenty of other instances where solutions from a third-party SaaS provider come with questionable reliability.
For example, say the software stops working halfway through the workday because of an issue on the provider’s end. You don’t have many options other than to wait for the problem to be resolved. You can contact the provider’s customer service line and tell them there’s a problem. That’s where your power ends, though.
Custom software can also experience downtime on occasion. The difference, though, is that you know exactly whom to contact when an issue arises with your custom solution.
You have the phone number and email address of the developers who created the product. That means that if something goes wrong, you can reach out to them directly and find a resolution faster.
Because custom software is made specifically for your business and your day-to-day operations, it’s typically less likely to experience downtime. With products made for the masses, there’s more opportunity for bugs and other issues.
Custom Software Is More Secure
In addition to being more reliable, custom software is also more secure. As a small or medium-sized business owner, you know how important security is to your company, employees, and customers.
What would you do if your SaaS provider experienced a data breach and your valuable data was compromised? Would you be able to handle interruptions to your business? What about backlash from customers and, potentially, legal fees?
Security issues are more likely to occur when you use third-party SaaS solutions. Remember that anyone can pay for subscriptions for these products — including people who have nefarious intentions. Since anyone can get their hands on software like the one you use, it’s relatively easy for them to figure out how it works and learn how to access valuable data.
With custom software, you’re much less likely to experience a data breach — and the fall-out that comes with it. Because you’re using a tool made just for you, it’s harder for a hacker to get their hands on it, let alone figure out how it works.
Custom Software Is Designed Specifically for You
As we’ve mentioned already, custom software is designed specifically for your business. Developers create these solutions based on your business processes, pain points, and goals.
Think about the SaaS products you currently use to run your business. Each one likely offers some benefits and useful features. However, there are also probably several other features that you’ve never used or don’t even know exist.
You don’t have to worry about these issues with custom software.
Custom software offers tools and features that you need to run your business. It’s also not weighed down with features or tools that are irrelevant to your needs and long-term goals.
Your custom software also provides access to all your desired tools and features in one centralized location. There’s no hopping from platform to platform, meaning your team can work more efficiently, be more productive, and achieve their goals sooner.
Custom Software Grows with Your Business
Have you ever had to change software solutions as your business grew or changed? Did you have to pay for a more expensive subscription or switch to a new software altogether?
If you had to go through any of these situations, how frustrating was it to have to spend more money for the same tools or relearn how to use a brand-new software product?
During the custom software development process, your development team takes into account your business’s status now and where you want your business to be in the future. Custom software is designed to grow with your company and accommodate changes — increasing your staff, adding new services, branching out into a new market, etc.
With custom software, you can scale your business more easily without having to pay for different subscription packages or switch to new software solutions.
Not only is this a more cost-effective solution in the long run, but it also minimizes frustration for your team and gives them more bandwidth to focus on their core responsibilities.
Should You Outsource to a Freelancer or a Development Agency?
Are you convinced that you should invest in custom software?
The sooner you empower yourself and your business with software designed exclusively for you, the sooner you can step out from under the thumb of third-party SaaS companies and enjoy the benefits discussed in the previous sections.
One of the first steps to custom software development is choosing whether you’ll hire a freelance developer or a development agency to assist with the project.
Freelancers may potentially charge lower prices than development agencies. However, they also have less manpower (most freelancers work as sole proprietors), meaning it may take longer to get your project finished. They may also do less testing if they rush to complete your software.
When you decide to work with freelancers, you have access to a global talent pool, making it easier for you to connect with skilled developers. At the same time, it’s also harder to vet candidates and ensure you’re choosing a qualified and reliable developer.
If you don’t choose the right person, you may end up with defective software that doesn’t provide the results you need.
Development agencies are dedicated to creating custom software solutions and apps like the ones you need to run your business.
When you partner with a development agency, you’ll be matched with a team of developers and a project manager who will oversee your software project and ensure the finished product aligns with your needs and specifications.
A larger team typically provides you with increased reliability and helps you feel more confident throughout the development process. Many developers also mean more opportunities to identify potential issues and resolve them before your software launches.
Many development agencies also offer financing options to help offset the higher upfront cost associated with the development process. Some of these options even come with zero percent interest for a certain period, so you won’t spend extra on interest payments.
Secure Your Business’s Future with Custom Software
As a small or medium-sized business owner, you know how quickly the world can change. That’s why we recommend taking control of as many aspects of your company as possible — including the technology used to run it.
With custom software from Alpha Bravo Development, you can rest easy knowing that you and your team have access to high-performing, secure tools that belong exclusively to you.
Contact us today for more information on our services or a free quote.