After the challenges of 2020-21, it can be difficult to know when and where to invest in your business. We often meet with customers who have inefficient processes and technologies that are limiting their agility and ability to generate competitive advantage. Software solutions can help businesses adapt to these challenges and be ready to cope with further changes, as well as being key to rebuilding profitability.
If your business needs a new, bespoke software solution but you have concerns about the costs involved, we want to highlight five ways to reduce the cost:
- Keep to a minimum viable product
When implementing a new solution, it can be tempting to attempt to address every corner of every process and create every imaginable feature. This is a risky strategy because adding too much complexity and change can overload the project and detract from the number one focus which is to get something running in the live environment. At KLOC, we urge our customers to identify, agree and adhere to a strict minimum feature set and get this live. Then, once the new solution is running, work out the next priorities and deliver these. If you can keep a tight focus, your projects are more likely to run to schedule and you won’t waste money on features that you don’t really need.
- Establish a deep understanding of your requirements
The definition of your project requirements is the basis for your implementation project and the quality of the requirements will dictate how well the development project meets your needs and thus how accurately the budget can be met. When defining what the system needs to do, we recommend speaking to all stakeholders and never assuming that you know how the system needs to behave. It never ceases to amaze us how many requirements emerge after coding has started (or finished!). Time spent up-front, understanding how process really work, will pay back double in time saved coding.
- Build resalable intellectual property
When building a bespoke software solution, you are generating intellectual property (IP) which can be a valuable asset. Once you have built and started using your solution then KLOC can help you earn a direct return on that investment by licensing it to other businesses. KLOC has all the facilities to market, develop and support your IP, and you can be as involved as you like with the process – either helping to sell it or simply counting the income! If you decide to take your solution to market, it might not cost you anything at all and end up becoming an additional revenue stream.
- Claim Research and Development tax relief
When you build your own solution, you are likely to be able to claim corporation tax relief if your project meets HMRC’s definition of Research and Development (R&D). The tax reliefs support companies that work on innovative projections in technology and seek to research or develop an advance in their field (it can even be claimed on unsuccessful projects!). Many of our clients have been able to do this and enjoyed the advantages of bespoke software at a fraction of the cost. KLOC can offer advice and guidance on how to claim so you can benefit from this.
- Choose the right development partner
Protect your investment by making sure you choose the best software development partner for your business to work with. It’s important to find someone with the right knowledge and understanding of your requirements. You should spend some time deciding what is important to you and find a partner who can meet those needs. Do you want someone UK-based to avoid any language and time-zone barriers? Do you want a company close to your office to make it easier to meet face-to-face when required, or are you comfortable with Skype calls and desktop sharing to communicate requirements and progress? All these factors (and many more!) will make the project run smoothly, without costly delays or changes to the specification. For more tips, check our blog post on how to choose a development partner.
Developing a bespoke software solution is an investment for your business that we firmly believe is a cost-effective option. For more information or if you have a requirement you would like to discuss, contact KLOC today.
KLOC is a software development company based in Berkshire, specialising in solving business challenges with software solutions. We have years of experience designing, building and delivering high-quality solutions backed by expert support for a wide range of companies. We want to use our expertise to help other businesses grow and develop during this time.