Custom Software Development

Software Development for Startups: Everything You Need to Know!

Running a startup presents many challenges, from balancing an often over-stretched budget, to putting in long working hours with limited resources on product prototyping and product strategy, plus winning clients. All of this while building your business infrastructure at the same time. It’s often been likened to trying to service a car while travelling along a motorway. So many things need to be done simultaneously and there’s no time to stop or slow down, with time to market being such a critical element of brand positioning strategy and gaining a competitive edge.

Startup Software Development

Developing the necessary operational or customer software can present something of a dilemma, unless software development is your core business. Most startups aren’t able to develop their own technology solutions and need to outsource software development. You may need software for project management, sales and customer management, payroll administration… the list can be long.

Or you may have an idea for a really useful piece of software and want to build your startup around that, but don’t have the technical expertise to create the application yourself. In this case you have the choice of hiring expensive developers for your startup, or outsourcing it as a software development project.

You typically have three basic options to obtain the software required for successful startup growth, or to develop a software product of your own:

Buying out-of-the-box software

Off-the-shelf software can be extremely useful for small businesses, but it has the drawback that it can’t be customised to your particular business needs. You have to incorporate its features and abilities into your working processes. This can sometimes mean that you’ll have to adapt the way you work, as you won’t be able to change the internal logic or the interface, for instance. You could also encounter escalating costs, like annual licensing fees that can become expensive as your company grows and you hire more staff.

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

The SaaS model has become a very popular and powerful way for startups to obtain the software they need in a cost-effective way. Its big advantage is that you only pay when you actually use the software product. It uses cloud computing to store software on a central server, which you can access and use as you need it. You’ll either pay a monthly fee for unlimited use, or work on a pay-as-you-go model. Microsoft Azure is an example of this.

Custom software development for startups

At first glance, custom software development services might seem like the most expensive option. Development companies for startups that create bespoke software do indeed come at a cost. On the other hand, the benefits of having your tailored solutions are immense, as they’re precisely designed to serve your business strategies, project goals, and the milestones you need to achieve.

Rather than buying or leasing a standalone piece of software, as in the above models, you’re embarking on a software development journey that will enable the kind of growth you’re looking for, and help to sustain your business in the long run. You can easily get further development for your software, as you’ll have access to a skilled team providing full cycle development services. You’ll also enjoy expert advice and ongoing support through effective communication with dedicated developers.

10 Advantages of software development for startups

The costs of software development services to serve startups are well worth the benefits. Many startup success stories have been written as a result of the market leverage and internal productivity gained from using external software development companies. Here are 10 tangible benefits…

1. Time to market

If you have a great new idea or your market research has identified a fresh opportunity, you don’t want to waste any time in positioning your startup to take advantage of this. It’s generally the case that the first company that brings products or services to market will have brand authority and end up with the lion’s share of the revenue, at least at first.

Custom software development can give your business a huge advantage. A startup software development company will work alongside you as you waste no time in creating that all-important minimum viable product.

Development companies for startups will create exactly the software you need to optimally execute the specific business tasks necessary. Using methodologies like agile development, they can very quickly roll out iterative versions of your application, put them through quality assurance and stress testing, and incorporate changes you want. You’ll get the software you need to reach the market faster and get first-mover advantage.

2. Cost-efficiency

As we’ve noted, buying software suites can be onerously expensive for startups, especially as you start to scale up. While commissioning a software development company does require an upfront investment, the rewards will far outweigh it. You’ll have powerful bespoke, high-quality solutions specifically tailored to your business operations. These will streamline or automate processes, reduce manual work, and improve efficiency and productivity. Furthermore, by optimising resources allocation, you’ll save even more money in the long term.

3. A head-start on the competition

The streamlining, automation and heightened efficiency that you’ll gain from your own software or mobile app development will give you a competitive advantage. We’ve mentioned the faster time to market, but bespoke software development companies can also quickly create unique functionalities and new features that allow you to offer better user experiences for your customers that your competitors don’t.

4. Better decision making processes

Using the right software development strategy, combined with analytics and big data services, you can quickly collect and interrogate data for a thorough business analysis. This will give you insights into areas like business operations and performance, market trends, and customer behaviour. It improves your overall decision making process, allowing you to make informed decisions based on real-time data.
You can also use this kind of analytical feedback to build continuous improvement into your software.

5. Agility and flexibility

Startups have to be nimble and quick on their feet. You don’t have the luxury of time or budget that a more established company may have. You’ll be working in the face of unpredictability, fast-changing market conditions and ever-evolving customer demand. By investing in your own flexible, adaptable software system you can respond these realities and quickly pivot to remain viable and competitive.

6. Quick scalability

Flexibility and customer sensitivity go hand in hand with scalability. You need a scalable platform so that you can effectively respond to market conditions. It’s no use recognising an increased demand in an area if you can’t quickly adapt your business to meet it. By commissioning software that has scalability built in from the start, you’ll have “burstability” – you can rapidly scale up your offering to deal with higher demand and expand your customer base. Afterwards you can scale it back again, to avoid unnecessary expenditure. Critically, this will all happen without any business disruption.

7. Iteration, evaluation and validation

Outsourcing your software development process to expert professionals will allow you to quickly test and validate ideas, and make changes in response to customer feedback. You can release a minimum viable product and swiftly gather feedback and data that will either validate your assumptions or not. This will then allow you to release constantly improving iterations faster, resulting in a better final product.

8. Improved collaboration

Effective, efficient teamwork is a must in a startup, as you usually won’t have all the resources you’d ideally want. Some personnel may have to perform multiple roles. Having your own collaboration tools developed for your specific needs can vastly improve communication, teamwork and productivity.

9. Enhanced experience for end users

By having your own software solutions developed to your exact specifications, you’ll be able to offer the best possible experience for your internal users or your customers. Whether its web development, mobile development or desktop applications, outsourcing your software development projects gives you access to cutting edge technologies and expert software developers. You’ll be able to offer end users more personalised interactions and intuitive visual interfaces. This leads to increased customer satisfaction and better customer retention.

10. Future-proofing your business and products

Technology is constantly evolving, which stimulates continual changes in customer demands. By working with a trusted partner who specialises in software development for startups, you can stay up to date with technology advancements, and use them to constantly improve your business performance and your products. This protects you from becoming outdated and helps to keep you competitive and market-relevant.

Pulsion software development services for startups

Pulsion is a custom software development company with highly experienced developers who have years of industry experience and a proven track record. We provide dedicated development teams with an unwavering customer-centric focus. You get expert consultation and innovative software development for startups, incorporating both proven and emerging technologies.

End-to-end software development for startups

We offer full-cycle software development that starts with a thorough needs analysis and continues through implementation, training and ongoing support. We aid you with user adoption and continue to work with you to make sure your software is kept up to date with the latest technology for sustained business growth.

Startup software development consulting

You can tap into our decades-long expertise in software development, helping you with business analysis, planning your software architecture, and translating your vision into concrete success. We can undertake software feasibility studies for you and advise on how to accelerate your software development while keeping costs down.

Our software development process for startups

Together with you, we follow a proven and robust software development process that helps to ensure rapid delivery of bug-free software that has been subjected to rigorous testing, and does exactly what you need it to.

Ideation and concept

You’ll probably have done a lot of thinking about the software you want, and we work with you to expand and enhance your vision. We can help you to conceptualise software or mobile apps that target gaps in the market, and address your users’ needs in great detail. This phase can include brainstorming workshops, market research, and developing consumer personas of your target audience for optimal software alignment with their needs.

Product requirements gathering and needs analysis

Once the software concept has been solidified, the next step is to gather all user requirements, whether in-house or customer-facing. It’s important to engage all potential stakeholders at this stage, not only to gather their input, but to prevent having to make fundamental design changes once development has started, which can add significant time and cost. This also allows us to define the minimum viable product parameters, by prioritising the most important requirements that must be met. It highlights the features that will be most valuable for users.

Guide: Requirements Analysis for Software Development

Architecture and prototyping

Once the requirements and scope of the software has been clearly defined, we bring in user experience designers and software architects to start creating the first prototypes. This is designed to validate the initial functionalities and its usability. We constantly consult with you during this phase, and use an iterative process to make changes and refinements, until you’re happy for us to begin the actual software development.

Programming and developing

With the prototype finalised, we start writing your software. We use agile development methods to speed up the process. This involves breaking down the software programming into smaller modules, allowing functionalities to be developed and tested concurrently to save time. We follow recognised industry best practices and the highest coding standards. A continuous app development loop of programming, testing, bug fixing and code improvements helps to ensure that your final software is stable and reliable.

Quality control and testing

We have dedicated QA experts who cover all aspects of software quality control – from QA engineers to user interface testers. They examine all aspects of your application to ensure that it meets all your requirements detailed in the scope, and provides a seamless user experience. We test your software in all types of environments in which it will be used, analysing performance, response times, functionality and security.

Deployment and implementation

After ensuring that your software runs optimally under test conditions, we release it for implementation. We use a considered deployment strategy, designed to minimise business disruption and smoothly transition you onto your new system. You can implement your new software suite all at once, or opt for a controlled release. This is a phased roll out, wherein we gather user feedback to fine-tune the final live product.

User training

If we’ve developed an in-house software application for you, we’ll train all your users so that they can quickly start using your new system. During this process we’ll also gather user feedback to incorporate into future upgrades. If your software is customer-facing, we’ll train your personnel in how to support your clients in all aspects of using the application.

Ongoing maintenance and support

We consider ourselves your partners in building the right kind of software development for startups that you need to make a success of your business. So once we’ve developed and implemented your software, we provide constant support and maintenance.

Responsive improvements and updates

We’re always ready to create your next, improved version as new technologies emerge, or to respond to changing customer demands. Having a partner who already thoroughly understands your systems is a huge advantage when it comes to updating your software.

Why choose Pulsion as your startup software development company?

You’re likely to find plenty of software development companies for startups by doing a simple Google search. So why should you choose to work with us?

1. Diligent requirements gathering and analysis

We don’t stop at gathering and scoping your software specifications. We spend as much time with you as it takes to understand the strategic reasons behind your requirements, and exactly how your application must be designed to meet these. We focus on what you want – and why you want it.

2. Skill and experience

We have more than 30 years of experience in creating software for businesses of all sizes in a wide variety of industries, from large enterprises to startups. Each member of our team is an expert in their field of speciality, be they software architects, software engineers, QA controllers or visual designers. Our teams are led by seasoned project managers.

3. The latest technologies

You’ll benefit from the latest technical knowledge and technology platforms when you work with us. We use cutting-edge methodologies and the most up-to-date programming languages, emphasising rapid delivery of high-quality software and successful solutions.

4. Flexible software that evolves with your business

We help to secure your business growth and future success by providing software that can be upgraded and expanded as you need it to. We continue to work with you, providing updates that create new functionalities as they’re required.

5. Real-time analysis and strategic insights

With our ongoing monitoring and maintenance, we’re able to collect valuable data on your software’s performance and use. Our business analysts can formulate this into actionable insights that you can use to optimise revenue and inform new decision-making. These can then also be incorporated into future versions of your application.

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