As the year wraps up, it’s time to start planning what your technology goals will be for 2020. No matter what your specific goal is, it needs to reflect an essential component of your business that needs to be improved. It could be you need to create a new tool to be more effective or creative a mobile solution that compliments what you already do well. Whatever the case is for your business, you should always plan before you begin to build. Technology is the best investment you can make for your business. Although it may seem costly up first, but when implemented correctly you can see returns within the first year of development.
Start with pain points
What are your greatest pain points? Where does your company seem to face the greatest difficulty? Consider the problems before you begin building your solution. There’s nothing worse than starting to build a product then realizing it doesn’t address the problem, and now you’ve seen time and money go to waste.
When you start with the problem, you can quickly begin to notice what else is related to it and this will influence your approach. What are the broader implications of the problem you face? How does a solution affect other aspects of that problem? Can a solution be applied other places? Once you find the problem you wish to solve, consider what makes it worth solving.
Monetize your new solution
The only solutions you should be considering are those that make you more money or reduce a cost to your business, thus increasing your EBITDA. A monetization strategy needs to consider the solution, the users involved and how this solution is going to be distributed.
It could be your solution tacks on to an existing business model, in which case you’ll be able to add your new solution as an additional cost of doing business. Otherwise, you will want to create a new pricing model that is reflective of how it can be accessed (digital download, subscription service, or add on to pre-existing solutions) and reflects the value of what you’re selling.
When you’re building to improve an internal inefficiency, you’re not exactly going to sell that away. It might be a proprietary solution, but start crunching the numbers on what it saves you long term. An investment that delivers a positive ROI in saved costs in just one year is a worthy investment, even if it requires a significant upfront cost. Don’t get stuck on the initial cost if you can plan a clear path to a positive return quickly. Also, you can always set up your product to be white labelled and sold to other companies who have similar needs, which further increases the ROI.
Who builds your next product?
Choosing who builds your next custom software product depends on what you hope to achieve. Short term projects can be achieved with a freelancer or two. These may include making edits to an existing app, cleaning up a database, and or front end design work. Meanwhile, a large scale project will require the expertise of a development team. The scope of this work may be building a new product, integrating new services into an existing product, or building connections for interaction between separate software products.
While we’ve separated who to hire based on the length of time, that’s not to say a group of freelancers can’t build a large scale project, but it’s harder to manage and communicate with them. Likewise, it’s unlikely they’ve worked together. Similarly, hiring a development firm for a short term project may not be the most cost effective choice if all they’re working on is improving a website.
Ready to build?
New technology is an investment. There’s no getting around that fact. It’s important to assess the problems in your company, then identify the one you wish to solve with technology as your approach. From there, constructing a strategy for how to derive revenue from your investment becomes just as important as the specs of what you’re building. Finally, you’ll need to find a team you can rely on and you trust to deliver the product you expect.
We get it, this may be a lot for you to consider alone. Lucky for you, we consult and design on our projects. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get you prepared for 2020.