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  • Writer's pictureDaniela Vidal

5 Steps to Successful Software Development for Startups

Updated: Sep 28, 2022

If you have an idea for an enterprise, first let me congratulate you, is not easy to get a good idea, it is the first step to success, but let me tell you that now is time to work, work and work. Remember what Thomas Edison said, “Genius is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration”.

In this blog, we’ll tell you 5 steps to successful Software development for start-ups.

As a startup, you may not be able to afford to hire a full-time developer or designer. That doesn't mean you cannot develop your product yourself. Learn how to do so by following these five easy steps!

Understand the Business Model of your Start-Up

First, you need to understand and be clear about the business model of your enterprise, you can start with a Lean Canva, this is a frame that helps you shape your business.

The Lean Canva Model is just a page that replaces the long and old business models and will give you clarity on issues such as:

The problem you solve with your idea and the existing alternatives:

Here you can ask the question: what is the pain of my customer? Here it is important to put in the shoes of the person you want to sell to, or even better, to solve a problem that you are experiencing, that's the best way of finding a solution.

Most of the answers to customer pains today are found in software developments because it gives us the ability to solve problems with just one click.

Think of the ease of ordering groceries on your cell phone or asking for a car at the click of a button, all of these are software developments with a high degree of usage.

2. The Solution you give

You can do brainstorming with your team at this point to find the best solution and then filter ideas.

If you have a software development idea, think about whether mobile development, web development, embedded software development, and others would be more useful to your client.

3. The Key Metrics you need to track

Here you need to think about the most important metrics you have in your business, we can talk about money inflow, and the valuation of the company in X time, or we can also measure how many people we are reaching in our social networks or how customers rate the service or product we have created.

4. The Cost Structure

At this point, you need to think about the cost of your business, the team you need, offices or equipment, and legal advice, among others.

You need to focus on starting low cost, for instance, to have a development team on your own is expensive but you can outsource this service. Latam outsourcing companies are an excellent way to get excellent service at a lower cost.

5. The Unique Value Proposition

This is an important step, so take some time with your team to think about your company's value proposition, what makes you unique? how do you differentiate from your competition?

The unfair advantage is something that cannot be easily copied or bought by your competitors” which is also known as a competitive advantage, you don't need to fill this blanket at the beginning but it is necessary to think along your process about what makes you unique.

7. The Channels you are using for sales

A sales channel strategy is essential for businesses to understand as it allows them to choose the most efficient and effective path to market their products.

  • E-commerce

  • Traditional Marketplace

  • Modern marketplaces

  • Retail

  • Wholesale

  • Resellers

  • White label

  • Mobile apps

  • Direct to consumer

  • B2B sales

  • Partnerships

Each of these channels can be enhanced with custom software development, creating online stores, or generating unique virtual experiences.

Have you thought about augmented reality, virtual reality, and entering the crypto or NFT world with your product or service?

8. The Customer Segment and the Early Adopters

Segmenting your customers can help you more effectively market your product to the people who are most likely to buy it. There are many ways to segment your customers, but the most important part is finding the traits that they share.

For instance, you can segment your customers by age, gender, or occupation. You can read more about this interesting topic in this Hubspot blog entrance.

The early adopters are the people that are going to use your product or service before others.

9. The Revenue Streams

At this point is important to ask our team how are we going to get the cash, and how much is the customer willing to pay for your product or service.

A lot of enterprises start without a business model, but for start-ups, this is a compass that guides us towards our goals and focuses us on our value proposition.

While the company is growing it is important (to create more value), to adjust our lean canvas model to new financial goals, new customers, and new value proposals.

Identify the Product Features

At this moment, we must evaluate whether we want to make a profit with a product or a service and whether it will be offered physically or virtually, what tools we need to carry out the production process if the product requires it, and the sale.

One of the most important characteristics of today's start-ups is the technology used and the software development needed.

Whether technology-based or not, almost all companies need software development either because the product or service is digital or because digitization is a way to maximize the value they generate for customers.

Here is a good tip for entrepreneurs, look for an option of excellent quality but with affordable prices.

In the beginning, not all ventures can have their development team, as it is costly and also takes a lot of time and effort to do all the paperwork for hiring and training team members.

A good option to do software development for startups is to outsource these services.

There are several outsourcing models, it could be inshore, offshore, or nearshore.

For North American companies outsourcing with Latin American software development companies is a good idea, since there are lower labor rates and in some places better tax rates.

Another advantage of outsourcing software development for startups in Latam is that the time difference is not very big and this makes teamwork much easier.

Define the User Experience UX and User Interface UI

The difference between UX and UI is easy. UI is the

graphical layout of a website, application, software, or general product. It is made of buttons, sliders, entry fields, texts, images, and in general all the elements the users use to interact with the product.

On the other hand, UX is the overall experience that the user has with the product or service.

The UI team is made of UI designers, and graphic and product designers. The UX team is made up of UX designers. This team of designers could be part of your employees or they could also be outsourced.

UX and UI are part of the important inputs that are delivered to the software development company, these are within the list of detailed requirements.

Build the Minimum Viable Product

For startups developing software is important to build an MVP.

A minimum viable product (MVP) is a version of a new product that has only enough features to prove whether the idea works. If the MVP is successful, then you can build out the rest of the product.

The MVP is only a starting point to evaluate how customers or users interact with the product or service. This is an affordable way to test the hypotheses we have about the UI and UX and start developing and improving the product based on what the customer says and not based on what we believe as entrepreneurs.

Test it with Customers

In software development for startups is very important to make test the MVP. Real customers, overall the early adopters are the group who is going to test the product and their feedback is the input for designers and developers to improve and strengthen the digital applications that are being developed.

To conclude, it is important to remember that if you have an idea of technology-based entrepreneurship you must develop the business model, identify the characteristics of your product; define as important inputs for software development, the UX and UI; build the MVP, test the MVP with customers and based on this, make improvements and strengthen the product or service.

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