Nishtha Singh, Negosentro.com | Softwares are being used very creatively, in hitherto unheard of sectors these days. Programmers are going all guns to make a mark in the current age of tech revolution. As a result, numerous companies are found working on a variety of technical projects ranging from development of modern web apps, mobile apps, websites and enterprise applications, etc. So what makes you a cut-above?
Breaking into the software development industry isn’t always the easiest thing, at least for now. Gone all the days when people aspired to become Bill Gates or Larry Ellison to build a successful company. Today, you will find hundreds of software development companies looking to do just the same thing worldwide. Now there’s been an interesting thread circling my corner of the internet for the last week or so. It started with a question: “How can I stand out?” To which I replied, “You can’t expect to stand out unless you have something to back you up.”
So here is my experience…
I have been running a prominent software product development company in the UK for over 16 years as of now. We provide services on a wide range of technical projects ranging from modern web development to mobile app on various open source technologies like .Net, Biztalk, SharePoint, SalesForce, IOS, Android and so forth. I always wanted to make a lot of money by doing the most exciting things. I always had that entrepreneurial spirit in me since I was a child. I use to sell candy out of my backpacks, involved in the landscaping business during the summer, due to which I learned the virtues of hard work early on. However making a few dollars didn’t teach me anything about building a tech company. And by the time I entered the market, the dot-com bubble had burst. This left numerous smart people unemployed. I remember a lot of people left cities like London to go back to wherever they had come from but I was stupid enough to know anything about the logical decisions they made.
Soon after, I decided to create a software firm. And all I knew about the concept was that “it develops and distributes computer software that can be used for a variety of purposes such as learning, instruction, assessment, calculation, entertainment or the performance of a multitude of other tasks.” Thanks to Google. And starting one, in general, requires funds, a knowledge of programming, marketing expertise, and technical support skills.
Overview of the Industry
The entire software development industry has grown rapidly from 2010 to 2015, due to which more businesses and consumers started doubling their investments in technology. It may quite interest you to know that the market has grown in less than a century from a non-existent industry to apps like what App, Snapchat turn startups into multi-billion dollar ventures. The demand for IT services such as software development is largely driven by rapid technological advances like cloud-based services.
By the year 2015, more than 50 percent of customer-relationship management deployments were deployed by SaaS and it is estimated that by 2025 the number will surpass 80%. It is a safe bet to say that software as a service is eating up the world.
Tips to create a Successful Software Development Venture
- K-I-S-S (keep it simple, stupid)- SaaS products are often self-serve, and as such need to be self-explanatory, simple, clean and highly intuitive. Sales and marketing collateral need to highlight value, return on investment and use flows, not features and technology.
- Offer several packages– The entry SaaS offering must be free, but limited in a usage volume, functionality and time. Thus, it is always advisable to offer two to three paid packages fitted to different customer segments in context with different usability, ROI, and Willingness to pay.
- Cultivate an ecosystem– Do you know what makes a product successful? They are wrapped with open and flexible APIs that enables easy third-party integration. The better ones enable the development and promotion of third-party plugins as well as introduces an ancillary source of revenue from referrals, resale opportunities, and equipment manufacturer deals.
- Committed to your customers’ success– Most of the businesses fail as they get involved in signing new and new customers. A successful venture is said when it not only succeeds in signing new customers but defends and grow its recurring revenue from existing customers at the same time. To achieve this, one requires a customer success team that continuously monitors a wide range of tasks, starting from customer’s usage levels to send them product updates and satisfaction surveys, and invite them to customer-advisory board sessions, etc.
- Growth is King– For a software development entity, gross margins require to be greater than 70 percent and their valuation is mainly dependent on annual revenue growth rate. The average company growing at about 25% per year is valued at around four to five times its forward revenues. On and all, if you have the means to do it, you should invest heavily in growth.
Believe me, somehow you’re going to figure it out!
Author Bio: Nishtha Singh
The author works as a presales manager at TatvaSoft UK– a software product development company in UK. She relishes writing about various technology trends and management. Moreover, she simply aims to spread her knowledge of the latest technologies through her online contribution.