Traditional brick and mortar businesses need to be built on solid foundations. Nowadays, software development and your online presence is the equivalent. And you wouldn’t save too much on building a house, would you?
There’s this well-known axiom that “you get what you pay for.”
Hopefully, with this article, we’ll be able to help the decision makers in your business avoid the temptation to penny-pinchon the most critical building blocks in today’s competitive environment.
Those fundamental blocks are software, website, and mobile development.
Preserving an Established Business Reputation After Digital Transformation
Best development practices are even more critical for established traditional businesses and organizations making the transition to the digital business world online.
A bargain basement web presence can ruin the hard-earned reputation an established business has gained over the years leaving consumers with the impression that the company is a “dinosaur” which has failed to keep up with the demanding and highly competitive 21st-century marketplace.
Today’s online customers are sophisticated web users who expect effortless purchasing, immediate customer service, and thoughtful follow-up from all the companies they choose to do business with online. They also care about the most recent trends.
There’s nothing better than a word of mouth – but it’s only achieved through making your customers’ experience exceptional.
A satisfied customer can become your best evangelist when she or he happily shares hers (or his) positive experience on social media. If they’ve struggled with poorly functioning apps though, they can become your worst public relations nightmare.
Your professionally developed web presence is essential to building and maintaining the reputation which enhances profit and growth. Today’s websites are the new storefronts. Most frequently they are the first contact point for visitors to your business so they need to be welcoming and efficient to convert leads to sales.
Avoiding the “Redo”- Code Documentation and Getting it Right the First Time
Choosing a bargain-priced web developer to build your website is equivalent to choosing the local handyman to build your company’s headquarters. He may be a cheaper initial investment, but eventually, you’ll end up hiring a truly qualified professional and paying a premium for a master craftsman to undo poor work.
It’s the best business practice in both cases to invest more in the best available talent and get the job done well the first time.
A “redo” to correct poor development can be more involved than a project with original application architecture developed and customized to suit your specific business applications, especially if the low priced developer cuts corners on proper code documentation practices.
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Documentation is crucial for tracking all aspects of the application to improve quality of the software, as well as its maintenance.
A quick-buck developer who neglects the documentation process creates quite a burden, impeding efficient knowledge transfer for all of those future developers who pick up the development process later as an application evolves or needs to adapt to various server environments.
Documentation is a must and should cover all of the following:
Databases and files.
And more. As much as possible, to be honest.
Low Bidders Make Any Business a Risky Business
Choosing the low bidder for any commercial project has always been a risky business practice, but never more so than in today’s digital age, where the online review has replaced word-of-mouth as the defining factor for business reputations.
Yeah, you could buy thousands of bot-written reviews for pennies on the dollar, but today’s customers are more aware and bullshit-aware than ever. These practices are extremely short-term and not suitable for any firm looking for a steady growth over the years.
Customers, suppliers, and business partners all entrust sensitive digital information to your business.
They’ll expect the enterprises they do business with to maintain professionally developed websites and smoothly operating applications which can meet or exceed business demands while keeping sensitive data secure.
Clunky applications, poorly developed software, or a cheaply priced low-performing website will not only impede business growth, but it could also cause a negative return on investment which sinks the startup regardless of the quality of services or products provided.
Nothing destroys customer relations like an application which fails to take orders or a website which crashes under peak traffic, or worse is incompatible with mobile platforms. We’ll discuss the importance of mobile compatibility in today’s consumer environment in more detail below.
Narrow Scope Developers Who Bite Off More Than They Can Chew
Anyone who has started a WordPress website is aware of the many “developers” who volunteer their services by email.
It seems that anyone with an email address and a laptop can hang out the developer shingle. While it may be possible to stumble across a truly competent individual, too often a WordPress expert lacks the skills in other crucial IT specialties, such as marketing design and branding, and he may freak out completely at the mention of a horizontal portal. If you’re especially unlucky, the freelancer you hired might now even know about these nine mistakes killing your website SEO and conversion.
Which brings us to our next critical core competency for any business development project.
Mobile Development Skills Are Mandatory
Mobile development is crucial today for businesses operating in the mobile-first marketplace.
71% of total digital minutes spent in the US originate from mobile devices and mobile usage is still growing exponentially. Developers need to have expertise across the full range of mobile platforms including iOS and Android.
That bargain-basement developer on Craig’s List may be able to get a homepage posted for your business, but you may find yourself hung out to dry when it comes to staying on the leading edge of the mobile consumer tidal wave. Also, there are a lot of different types of apps. You can go for a native one, a Progressive Web App, or launch a cross-platform project.
And you need to know which will help you achieve your desired outcome.
Don’t Hire an Individual to Do a Team’s Job
There is always a reason when a developer comes cheap, and it’s usually the fact that he doesn’t have a payroll to support because he is truly a “sole proprietor”. This is another classic case of “you get what you pay for.”
If he does have a team it’s highly likely that they aren’t among the most versatile and competent, or they wouldn’t be working for the peanuts he pays based on the rock-bottom prices he charges.
There’s nothing worse than outsourcing your business development work and realizing that you need to hire more IT help because that inexpensive development team lacks the tech-savvy know how to cover all of your web, software, and mobile bases.