Have you ever been looking for a new app or software for your business and you’ve come across something like this?

  • Pricing is per month, per amount of users, per tier, and paid per annum. 
  • The features you need are in tier 5, but your budget says tier 3. 
  • You only need ten spaces, but you’re paying for 25.

Shopping for the right web app for your business involves a bit or research, and a lot of patience. 

Don’t get us wrong, there are many companies that get it right. They have reps that are willing and able to help you choose the best option. However, sometimes an “off the shelf” or “out of the box” solution isn’t what’s best for your business. You end up having to use multiple web apps with overlapping features to fill a gap, or do a lot of manual work when two separate systems won’t integrate.

Rather than adapt to a system or use multiple systems – it might be time for a custom app.

What do we mean by app?

What we’re covering in this post are web apps. Web apps are like software you install on your computer. However, there’s no installation with web apps, you access them using a web browser.

They can fit your monitor, tablet, or mobile device depending on which devices make the most sense for the app’s purpose.

What would a custom app do? There are many possibilities, some of which include:

  • Project management 
  • Customer relationship management 
  • Content management
  • Workflow management
  • Data entry 
  • Reporting
  • Enterprise resource planning 
  • Integrating multiple systems

Your developer will need to know your business’s unique processes, needs, and goals as well as your current list of apps / software (if any).

They will also need to know who the app will be used by. Would all users have the same level of access? Would you want different levels of access and functionality for different departments, employees, clients, vendors etc.?

What are the benefits?

If done right, a custom app can check all your boxes. Depending on the needs your app meets, you may have a more streamlined process, resulting in an increase in productivity.

You can also leave behind the apps that use the Saas (service as a software) model. Instead of paying monthly, quarterly, or yearly – you now own the software. You won’t have to worry about an update that makes it unusable or the company deciding to close its doors – you and your developer are the ones that decide to make changes.

A custom app also grows with your business. When you think of a feature you’d like to add, you ask your developer directly. When you need to add more users, your pricing won’t increase.

It’s also much easier to get support when you know the person behind its development!

Are there any drawbacks?

A custom app might not be right for every business. Depending on the complexity of the app, it could be both a costly and lengthy process. Most of the investment will be upfront, however, you will also need updates, support, and maintenance from time to time. Third party companies often include updates, support, and maintenance in their pricing.

Also, it can be a timing issue. If your business is in need of something now and can’t wait – starting with an off the shelf solution might be best. Development takes time. It also might be best to wait if it’s too early to tell what your needs, goals, and processes will look like. You want to make sure you build it according to the way things are and not how you think they will be; which will result in a lot of revisions.

Conclusion

While investing in a custom app for your business could be beneficial, like any other decision it will go much smoother if you plan ahead. Take time to map out your goals, needs, and processes to make sure you don’t miss any key points.

While it may be difficult to get an exact quote and timeline, use those numbers to weigh the pros and cons, and make sure you’d be getting a good return on investment.

If you have any questions about custom software, get in touch here. We’d be happy to help.