Choosing a Software Developer For a Startup. How Not to Be Alone With Your Problems
When another startup hits the news, it’s usually about innovative ideas implemented in a unique product or service. The reason is simple. For a company that doesn’t have a significant budget and hasn’t been introduced to the market long enough to get user recognition, the only way to succeed is to offer something special.
Unfortunately, in the world of innovations, solutions are not so obvious, and success is not guaranteed. As a result, a large number of promising startups fail due to one cause or another. The irony is that the reasons why startups fail are way more trivial than the ideas that they were going to implement. But the good news is that we can analyze and categorize these issues which can help new companies to avoid the problems of their predecessors. In this article, we’ll consider the main reasons why startups fail and how custom software development companies can help them to succeed.
Know Your Enemy. The Main Reasons Why Startups Fail
The term “startup,” in the business sense, was first used in Forbes and Business Week in the mid-‘70s. As you can imagine, the humankind has had enough time to study this phenomenon and gather some significant insights. Among them, there are the main reasons why startups fail. These factors can be divided into two main groups. Outer issues are related to the environment in which startups operate. Inner issues, in their turn, appear when startups don’t have a thorough plan and acts on a hunch.
Let’s take a look at some examples. We’ll deal with outer issues first:
- There’s no real market need in a product. Let’s be honest, even such bright ideas as Wi-Fi-connected juicers can fail. The reasons for buyers’ disinterest may vary. Costs may be too high, or the idea may be too breakthrough for its time.
- Your startup went outcompeted. There’s not enough room in the market for everyone, and a slight advantage can decide the fate of a startup. Welcome to the jungle.
Now, let’s check what the main inner issues are:
- The startup ran out of money. Sad but true, inaccurate financial management can empty your pockets even before the first client receives a working version of the product.
- Lack of a suitable team. Almost every startup is limited in resources. This issue relates not only to money but to the specialists as well.
- Wrong pricing strategy. Clients won’t trust a new player in the market with their money. Balancing between your income expectations and customers’ willingness to give away their bucks is a real art.
- The users abandon your software. Poor UI/UX design and development can turn great business ideas into the garbage nobody wants to deal with.
- Poor marketing. Even if you have a working product or everyone’s dream service, you still have to know your niche to understand when and how to propose it.
- Lack of a business model. A modern startup is a complex mechanism with a lot of moving parts. Ignoring one of the aspects of its functionality may bring some unexpected and unpleasant consequences.
- Ignored customers. Deceiving customers’ expectations is a luxury that only the titans of business can afford.
- Product wasn’t delivered in time. No startup should make their customers wait. After all, there’s always someone that will treat them better.
The list may look terrifying. If you’re planning to open your startup, you may think that keeping in mind all these issues is not the task for average minds. But have no fear. The good news is that there’s a proper solution to most of these issues. Moreover, you can delegate them to a software development company.
Forewarned is Forearmed. How to Prevent a Startup Failure
For startup owners, it may be pretty hard to control every aspect of their newborn businesses. After all, it’s barely possible to imagine a person that can perform market research, form an expert opinion on the prospect of the business idea, design and develop the product, collect and process the feedback from the first users, and constantly improve the provided services. One of the possible solutions is to find a custom software development company that has profound experience and can take care of most of the described activities.
Let’s take a look at how a startup can shift the lion’s share of tasks to the partner vendor:
- Market analysis performed by specialists. A marketing team and business analysts can help with idea validation. It will help you to understand who’s your main competitors in the market, what exact features they offer, and what features your potential customers want to get the most.
- Market audit and constant product management will help your company to adapt to the constantly changing market. It can be performed on the company’s side or with a vendor’s assistance.
- Correct business and finance management is usually performed on the company’s side. The main purpose is to get full control over your funds and make sure that you spend in proportion to your capabilities.
- Outsourcing project development and further maintenance. A custom software development company can take care of the full cycle of development. Also, it can maintain your project after its release, process users’ feedback, and make improvements if needed.
- Business and finance management. Pricing strategy development and implementation usually handled on the company’s side.
- UX/UI issues. Your software vendor can take care of UX/UI design and development.
- Marketing strategy development. An effective marketing strategy requires knowledge of the market and years of experience. If you work with a software vendor that launches and supports hundreds of projects in different areas, you can be sure that your idea is in the right hands.
- Business administration is dealt with on the company’s side.
- Product marketing. A vendor that practices a partnership approach can take your idea to a whole new level. With the knowledge of customers’ needs, it can promote your product by new features development, improvement, positioning, and other means.
- Life cycle analysis, product marketing, business administration. While business administration is your concern, your partner vendor can take care of the product life cycle analysis and marketing.
Unfortunately, as a startup company owner, you can’t delegate all concerns to the software vendor and just wait until your wallet starts to crack at the seams from clients’ money. As you can see, some issues are yours and only yours to deal with. But despite that, some critical tasks that are extremely hard to handle without proper experience may become someone else’s headache. At this point, the right question is how to choose a software vendor for your startup. After all, you’re risking with your money, and it’ll be pretty hard to get a second chance. To help you with this task, let us share some tips.
There’s Safety in Numbers. Choosing a Reliable Partner
There are no one-size-fits-all solutions when we talk about software vendors. Therefore, don’t just offer your money to the first software developer that looks like the one that you need right now. Choose wisely. Here are some tips to help you with that:
- Make sure that the company provides a full range of IT services. Web application development can be a good starting point for your company. But successful product launch includes more steps.
- Check the portfolio of a software vendor twice. And then, recheck it. Estimate the final results of previous projects that your potential vendor dealt with. Be skeptical about testimonials and focus on the results.
- Learn about the domain expertise of a software company. Find out the technologies the selected vendor is proficient in, have a look at implemented software, quantify its accomplishments.
- Communication skill is as important as code writing skill. Try to choose a software vendor that has similar cultural and educational backgrounds. Make sure that the communication process won’t be affected by language, cultural differences, time zones, psychological aspects of people, or any other issues. You have too much weight on your shoulders to solve these extra problems.
- Software development and testing take time. Make sure that your creation won’t become outdated a few days after the launch. Pay attention to technologies and software development techniques of a potential partner. o the research and find what the most popular technologies for web and mobile apps are.
- It’s not enough to launch an app. You have to make sure that everything will work well in the long run. Pay attention to companies with a long presence on the market and check if they provide stable after-sale support.
- Running a startup is a risky thing with a lot of uncertainty. Such companies usually don’t have much. All that they can rely on is the idea and some money. It’s better than nothing, but without experience and knowledge, the risk of failure is too high. Software development companies have both knowledge and experience that can make your idea shine like never before. Lucky you.