Computer programmes and apps can help speed up processes, giving you the edge over other businesses.
They could be used to train staff or to organise your entire database into one place.
They can also make for excellent marketing products. Examples including digital catalogues, menu apps, digital loyalty cards, training manuals for clients or interactive games themed around your product.
Whatever your idea is, here is how you should go about turning it into a reality.
#1 Research The Market
Before you start developing your programme/app, you should check the market thoroughly to make sure that a similar product isn’t already on the market.
If the software is for personal use, there could already be a useful programme that provides the same features (for example, accounting software or a specific project management software).
If you’re making a marketing app, make sure that’s it’s different to the apps provided by other similar businesses (for example, you could be a driving school providing a driving theory quiz for clients – make sure that its different to that provided by other driving schools, otherwise it’s not worthwhile).
#2 Come Up With a Budget
A basic app can cost from £10,000 to £15,000 to produce. More complex software might cost anywhere up to £100,000.
This makes it a venture only worthwhile to large corporations and established businesses – unless you sport your own coding knowledge, in which case you won’t have to hire any programmers at all, only testers and distributors, drastically lowering these costs.
Ensure that you keep to your budget and that your programme/app is going to have a positive affect.
#3 Get Programming
Whether you’re developing it yourself or hiring professional programmers to do it, you should keep tabs on every step of the process.
You may want to make changes along the way, or certain parameters may be unable to be met due to your budget or due to the complexity of the programme.
For hiring programmers, sites such as Freelancer.com are very handy.
#4 Test it Out
Your software/app will have to be tested for bugs. This will require finding a focus group of testers.
You should download a test management tool so that you can oversee the process. Testers will use this tool to report bugs and you or your team of programmers can then take steps to amend these bugs.
For more complex software, you may wish to also hold a beta testing phase, which usually involves offering it to the public as a demo for a limited time.
From here you can gather reviews and sort out the last of the bugs before releasing your app or programme officially.
#5 Market Your Product
This doesn’t apply to programmes and apps that are used for the businesses personal use.
However if your app or software is to be used by clients or potential clients, you will have to market it.
Let all your existing clients know about it, shout about it on social media, advertise it on your website (with the option to download) and send out promotional emails.
This will get people using it and from here it can become a part of your business model.