Software programs are virtually everywhere. Many people, companies, and organizations rely on digital solutions for various tasks and needs.
But before an IT software becomes reality, it needs to be designed, developed, and maintained. This is where software development firms come into the picture.
Over recent years, we’ve seen the software development industry soar. According to Statista, global IT software expenditure was around 209 billion in 2019. The sector employs around 1.5 million software developers and is expected to grow by 22 percent in the next ten years.
Indeed, software publishing is a lucrative prospect. If you have the knack at software development or just love it, you might just find success in this sector. But just like any other business, starting your own software development business doesn’t come easy. There are a lot of things that you need to consider.
Experts at Entrance Consulting share a step-by-step guide for those who want to turn software development as a business.
1. Study the market
Before starting a software development company, you want to make sure that it is feasible. Conduct market research to identify your target audience, their preferences, and needs. You also want to know more about the competition. Most likely, there will be existing players. Look for areas that are not yet fully served or software types that are not yet available in the market. Focus on these areas as you will
2. Develop a business plan
Once you understand the market and have identified your product, you can start your software development firm. Start right by developing a strong business plan. This document outlines your vision for the business. It should clearly state the business purpose, target market, product, financial needs, timeline, and competitors. Think of strategies on how you can market your brand.
The business plan is crucial as it serves as the foundation of your business. Throughout the life cycle of your business, you’ll always be going back to your original plan. Spend time to carefully study your business plan.
3. Establish a legal structure
As with any business, you need to determine the right legal structure for your software development business. This is a necessary step to get the necessary regulatory permits as well as for taxation purposes. Establishing a legal entity is also part of your branding efforts. When clients consider your business as a legitimate company, they are more likely to trust and get your services.
4. Protect your products
If you are developing unique IT solutions, you want to protect it from theft. Secure the necessary patents for your products and register trademarks for your brand. Make sure your developers and collaborators sign an NDA to keep your ideas within the company. You should also consider getting insurance to protect you in case the software encounters problems.
5. Hire developers
Assembling a team of software developers can be challenging, costly, and time-consuming. Although your team will start with a few staff members, you need to hire the right people to avoid headaches later. Alternatively, you can outsource your software development efforts. This allows you to hire specialists and learn from them. If you’re hiring developers from overseas, you can benefit from their relatively lower labor rates as compared to their US counterparts. Take note, however, that outsourcing comes with drawbacks such as scheduling conflicts, language barriers, and longer project engagement. If you’re outsourcing your development needs, make sure to screen all potential contractors.
If you’re hiring an organic software development team, consider the following tips:
- Avoid suspicious contractors or freelancers with questionable profiles, credentials, and background.
- Run a thorough investigation of a prospective teammate or collaborator.
- Know their experience and work ethic.
The success of a software development company depends largely on their team. If you hire the right people, expect a great outcome. On the contrary, hiring the wrong people will ruin even the best business plan.
6. Engage with your clients
Once your software development team is ready, you can now start looking for prospective clients. Engage with your prospects and get them to sign up for your company for their software needs. Be accommodating and readily available to your clients. Respond quickly to their queries and concerns. By showing your attentiveness, you might impress them and gain their trust.
Considering the cutthroat competition in this sector, you must stand out. Be ready to invest in marketing. Make your services available to clients. But most importantly, be sure that you meet their needs and that they are satisfied. One of the best ways to increase customer satisfaction is by ensuring quality products.
Software development as a business involves much effort. Hopefully, this detailed guide on how to do it has given you some insights. Follow the steps discussed above, understand how the business and the market works, and learn from your competitors. These will surely help you succeed in this sector.