Your business is unique - you can't rely on a shrink-wrapped, mass produced solution to fit your exact circumstance.
In order to stay competitive, eventually, your business is going to need to have custom software developed.
Many independent software developers are barely skilled at their trade, much less at business. They don't understand how your business operates - and their code is unreliable. It doesn't function properly. It isn't professional. It hurts your business.
If you want software developed for your business, what can you do?
A professional software development company that understands business and is willing to listen you in order to better understand your particular business will enable you to get exactly what you need from your software.
Professional software development companies charge by the project, not by the hour - hourly rates are great for software developers, but not for clients.
Amateur software developers tend to charge for their time, not by the value of the work they perform; so do contract programmers. Real software developers, though, charge based on the value provided to you - by project - NOT based on time.
Experienced software developers are confident in their ability to deliver your software on time and within their estimate, they are confident in their ability to provide value to you that's worth more than their time is.
Independent software developers can fall in love with their favorite technology; it's not uncommon to see software developers who only develop with one particular technology, Microsoft .Net, for example.
A professional software development company, though, focuses on benefiting you, using whatever technology is appropriate, the technology that's best suited to your business and application, whatever it may be. You shouldn't have to pick a developer based on what technology he's familiar with; they should be able to take care of almost any technological problem.
Once you have chosen a software developer, the next step is to come to an agreement on what needs to be done. You shouldn't need to worry about the particular technology used - a professional software development company will be able to determine which technology is most appropriate for a particular application. Determine what you would like to have in terms of features, functionality and user interface. You know your business best, and your software developer should respect that.
After you have an agreement, the real fun begins. Insist that your software developer give you regular progress updates - including early versions of the software (called 'builds'). That way, bugs can be detected early, and there will not be any surprises when the project is completed.
Depending on the project, you may be able to get a build every few days, or every week. The more frequent, the better. Your feedback on these builds will be of great value, in terms getting exactly what you would like from your custom business software.
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