The software industry has advanced by leaps and bounds in the last decade. There's never been a better time to launch a software business. To build and run a successful software business, however, comes with a lot of responsibility with regard to business management. Here in this post, we go through a number of compelling tips for independent software vendors and software developers for building a successful software business.
Here are 7 substantial tips for building a successful software business:
#1: Value Proposition
Many software developers are mistaken for trying building out all of their feature ideas at once. And they do so without really evaluating how those features would affect the lives of their customers. I.e, many of the features developed with the idea that customers would love them do not really correspond to the actual needs of customers. That is why it’s an important step to build a minimum viable product (MVP) or a prototype with only the most valuable features before launching a software product. So that you'd have something to test your ideas of features and get feedback on.
More features can always be developed as extra features once you establish a stable cash flow. What software vendors must focus on is the value proposed to the customer, how you're making their lives better or more fulfilled. One needs to highlight for marketing how that software piece benefits the user, not the features. Features are just tools that do not really resonate with the customers unless presented in the right context and story-telling. You need to constantly question while marketing “So what? How does this feature adds value to the lives of the users so that they care?” to tune out the right narrative.
#2: Keep It Simple
When a product design is too difficult to be understood and navigated by users, it can easily be skipped altogether. That is why user experience (UX) is vital in any interaction of customers with your software brand. The products you’re developing or selling is for the end-customer, not just for you or your team. Otherwise, no matter how comprehensive your software is or how complex of a problem you’re solving, inadequate UX would keep customers from using your software product and keeps you from building a successful software business.
Keeping the right UX principles as your key point while designing your software would surely attract more customers. So, always design your products intelligently and put some considerable time and energy so even the most complex action or interaction with your software looks more intuitive than ever.
#3: Lower the Entry Barriers
A successful software launch is incomplete without gaining the right momentum. Also, that is extremely hard to get the momentum you want in the initial phases of a product launch. You must create strategies that incentivize the customers to purchase your products when you lunch. You might consider freemiums, free trials or upgrades along with referral incentive systems to get your first customers on board for building a successful software business.
Another way to lower the entry barriers for your product is segregating your offers into different low-end and high-end features through a subscription-based pricing model. So that you cover the varied needs of users in need of certain features but not willing to pay for other exclusive packages.
#4: Constantly Analyze and Improve
The only thing constant is change. As countless new players break into the market as new trends arise and influence the needs of customers each day, one can’t simply afford to be dormant to survive. Constant improvement and technological adaptation is a must for building a successful software business at a time when technology-focus shifts every five years. You must keep an eye on the ever-changing needs of users and how your software needs to adapt to those changes.
Thus, you need to examine closely some key performance indicator (KPI) metrics to determine which features are not resonating with users anymore and which features your software needs to keep up with the most recent trends. Here’s an article piece going through the key KPI metrics examples for technology companies.
#5: Stay Open
One of the key determinants of successful software is that it provides flexibility and openness for users to add-on more functions in accordance with their needs. Simply put, it integrates easily with other software tools to adapt to the needs of the user over the long run. You may come up with new plugins allowing your users to access third-party plugins with them.
Most successful software products also have easy-to-use, open and flexible APIs to enable smooth integration with third-party software. An ecosystem cultivated through interoperability increases the intrinsic value of a product and introduces new alternate sources of making revenues. It also provides new opportunities to strike a deal with third-party software developers through cross-marketing.
#6: Invest in Growth and Progress
According to Steve Jobs really great products come from melding two points of view. The technology point of view and customer point of view. You need both. The product alone won’t get you the brand awareness that you need for growth. That is why one needs to heavily invest in marketing if wants to succeed and expand their business.
Never take a step back for investing in your company’s growth for building a successful software business. However, even though the most of the technology companies seek investment to fuel growth, you’re still better off focused on the progress of your product, and how smooth your company runs rather than just profit before sparking your company’s growth. You’d still need to place a priority on increasing monthly revenue and adding users through marketing. Just reject to grow for growth’s sake for short-term contentment. That is likely to hurt your brand in the long run if you're putting the product and team at risk at the expense of rapid growth.
#7: Core Dream Team
Having a core dream team of people believing in your software brand and sharing the same values as you is maybe the most important aspect of any technology company. If you’re seeking out a long-term success, you surely need a reliable companion or a group of people to encourage you and provide you with experienced advice in tough times.
In any tech company, especially for non-technical founders of tech companies, CTO, a technical lead or a technical co-founder plays one of the most important roles. The right tech lead, slowly but surely, will hunt for the right people to work together to achieve the common goal: the advancement of your software company. You need many leaders beside you to inspire people and attract the best brains in the industry for building a successful software business. Once you secure your core dream team, you’re almost unshakable towards any adversity you’re likely to encounter along the way.
Building a Successful Software Business
Behind every successful software business lies a software product that satisfies something consumers need, offers something they want and understand. With a customer-centric management mentality and the above-mentioned tips, you're going to be on your way for building a successful software business that is profitable and, most importantly, touches people's lives.
If you would like more information on software monetization, we have written these articles to help:
- 5 Steps to a Successful Software Launch
- 7 Most Profitable Digital Products To Sell Online in 2020
- How to Successfully Sell Software Online
- 9 Things You Must Know About Selling Software Online
- How to Price Your Software Products (Definitive Guide)
- 7 Ways For Software Vendors To Find New Customers And Increase Sales
- 7 Key Marketing Strategies for Small Software Businesses