Tips For Building A First-Rate Software Company

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The SaaS trend is showing no signs of stopping as more customers turn to accessible solutions they can immediately implement into their businesses and more startups clamor for a piece of the pie.

Though there’s a big market, there’s also stiff competition when it comes to growing a successful software company.

Thanks to our friends at Usersnap, which offers a visual bug tracker that helps create understandable bug reports, these 25 tips for building a software company will give you an edge over your competitors.

1. Build to fix a problem

Don’t build something just to prove you can. Look for a hole in the market or problem to be solved, then go about building a product to address it. You should be taking cues from potential customers on what they need, not trying to convince them that they need to use your service.

2. Figure out your business model

As with any business, nail down your business model early on to provide a structure and roadmap for your company. Look at what other similar companies to see what works and what doesn’t.

There are pros and cons to different models and payment methods – tailor a model to fit your product, industry and audience.

3. Leverage the cloud

Not only does the cloud allow you to get your market-ready product in front of customers faster than traditional methods, it also lets you speed up iterations and serve your customers with updated tools more quickly.

4. Invest in your team

Your whole team – not just the developers. While the backbone of your product will come from quality developers, you also need to bring in talent to manage customer service, marketing, finances and more. When it comes to experienced workers who can get the job done, remember that you get what you pay for.

5. Aim for affordability

Today’s customers are expecting more affordable software offerings over an expensive suite of products and, by taking advantage of things like the cloud and providing different service packages, many companies can offer software at lower rates than ever before.

6. Sell to the users, not the CIO

Focus on spurring adoption from the bottom up – it’s the users of the software you really want to hook, not the CIO. If they’re sold on your service, you can bet the decision maker will be too.

7. Be flexible

Don’t create a one size fits all product and expect customers to go for it. How can you develop different offerings for different audiences? Can they pick and choose what services they want?

8. Always be improving

With new products and services coming to market daily, your job isn’t over as soon as you roll out an offering. To keep your customers you need to constantly be improving your service to best fit their needs and stay ahead of the competition.

9. Get understandable bug reports

As a software provider, you’ll always be fixing bugs in the system. Make it easier on yourself by utilizing a bug report tool like Usersnap that combines in-browser screen shots with helpful metadata and collaboration capabilities for streamlined reporting.

10. Keep it simple

Your customers want a tool that fixes a problem and makes their lives easier. The simpler and more easy-to-use your service is, the more people will come to rely on it.

11. Focus on user-friendly design

Everyday users are increasingly interacting with complex software. With this in mind, along with keeping it simple, also focus on user-friendly design for a more intuitive experience that will hook all types of users, no matter what their tech background.

12. Website design

Additionally, your website itself also must be excellently designed and easy to use. While many companies focus their resources into the product development, you still need to put your best foot forward with your website.

13. Support casual and power users

Though your software should be as simple as possible, still keep those power users in mind who crave added functionality.

14. Integrate

Allowing your software to integrate with other programs can help increase adoption rates as users can easily implement your services with their existing systems.

15. Offer several packages

When it comes to pricing and product packages, offer a range of options to meet different users.

16. Make it mobile-friendly

As with just about everything on the web now, your website and product should be mobile-friendly to meet the growing amount of work and business conducted on users’ smartphones and tablets. This is just another way to make your product simple to use, accessible and seamlessly fit into your customer’s life.

17. Don’t forget customer service

A great product will only get you so far, back it up with exceptional customer service at all levels that supports customer success.

18. Design your site with conversion in mind

Your website isn’t just about your product, it’s about getting visitors to convert. Clearly guide visitors through product information, calls to action and, of course, a place to purchase and then…

19. Perform plenty of testing

You shouldn’t only be testing your software, but website and marketing materials as well. Conduct regular A/B tests to help ensure you’re positing your product in the best light possible.

20. Cash in with freemiums

Offering your service with a freemium pricing strategy where users can try your basic offering for free not only is easily scalable, but also a highly effective lead generation tool.

21. Ask for feedback

Ask your customers for their valuable opinions by building in commenting and feedback support into your software.

22. Remember bigger isn’t always better

Don’t feel like you need to offer the most robust piece of software out there, pick one thing and do it extremely well. If it solves a problem and fills a hole in the market, you can bet it will still be a hit.

23. Pave the way to profitability

Don’t make the mistake of constantly investing your resources to increase growth and production. Work to create a product that is sustainable and profitable before constantly looking to build the next big thing.

24. Always provide value

While some software companies were previously allowed to get away with lofty promises and low ROIs, customers have wised up and expect ongoing value. By focusing on providing consistent value you’ll keep your customers sticking by your side.

25. Build software people love

By making your product simple, user-friendly, highly useful and always supported, you’ll be building a service and brand that people love and want to continue using.

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