Being an entrepreneur is one thing, and being a software developer is another. But what happens when you’re an entrepreneur with a software product idea? You may not necessarily know anything about developing software, but you’re well-versed in the world of business growth, marketing, and sales.
And because of your experience, you already get how hard this is going to be. Even if you’ve already decided which software development agency you’d like to partner with, you’re still going to need to play a major role in ensuring this product is successful.
If you’re ready to go down this road, here are some tips and lessons that come from years of experience, as both an entrepreneur and a software developer.
What are your top priorities?
You have an overwhelming amount of options when it comes to developing a product, and every single one of them is going to have its own set of pros and cons. What you need to do is establish what your priorities are, and then weigh those against your various options.
To get clear on your priorities, you’ll want to ask yourself questions like:
- What is the scope of the product?
- If we change or reduce the scope, will that negatively affect the end result or quality?
- What is your budget?
- What is your timeline?
- Do you mostly value getting to market fast, saving money, or something else?
How important do you think quality is?
No amount of money or marketing will save a crap product. Thay may sound harsh, but it’s true. Understand that quality needs to stand above all else if you want to be successful. The quality umbrella touches every aspect of your product, from the overall design, the user experience, the function, and more.
Have you created an MVP yet?
A minimum viable product may not sound like a cost-saving measure, but I assure you that in the long-run, it will be. In the software product world, MVP’s are not only expected but welcomed. Validate your idea before finalizing anything and give your user base the chance to use your product and tell you what they need from it.
Can you offer a free proof-of-concept version?
One great way to gain enterprise acceptance or investment is to create a beta or free version of your product that’s handed out direct-to-consumer. When investors and potential customers can use and gauge a product’s appeal, they are much more likely to fund or pay for the real deal.
Have you explored your options?
Before selecting a software development partner, make sure you know what your options are. In a nutshell, you should know about:
- Local software development agencies
- Remote software development agencies
- Onshore or local freelancers
- Offshore freelancers
- Software developers who wish to become equity partners
We can’t really guide you on this one; obviously we feel that software development agencies provide the best results, but it’s important that you do your homework on this one.
Do you know what you’re looking for in a development partner?
As you work through exploring your options, you’re going to want to start outlining what exactly you’re looking for — this will be instrumental in helping you to make the best possible choice for your particular situation and needs.
If you’re selecting an agency, you want to consider things like business philosophy, communication styles, and team members. Are you on the same wavelength as these people, and do they have the mix of expertise that your project needs?
Another thing you want to consider is your partner’s experience specifically with software product development. All software is not created equal, and there is a massive difference between building an enterprise application and a product that going to be sold. Look for proven experience that match the scope of your project.
Software product development isn’t for the faint of heart but with the right plan and team behind you, you’ll have what it takes to turn your incredible idea into a tangible product.