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This article was published on March 17, 2016

5 compelling reasons you should build a custom business app

5 compelling reasons you should build a custom business app
Jamie Tolentino
Story by

Jamie Tolentino

Jamie Tolentino is currently working as a Digital Marketer at a Global Asset Management firm. She was previously an Innovation Strategist at Jamie Tolentino is currently working as a Digital Marketer at a Global Asset Management firm. She was previously an Innovation Strategist at Quirk London. Aside from writing for TNW, she also blogs on the Huffington Post UK.

When managing a business, it makes sense to have software that can help optimize your internal processes. However, when you’re a small-scale operation, it doesn’t make sense to spend your resources on static spreadsheets or on hiring a developer to build you the solution you want.

Thankfully, there are various platforms that let you customize your business application interface while they take care of the back-end processes such as uptime, server infrastructure, security, etc. that you don’t have time to worry about.

Here are five strong reasons why a custom application can benefit your business:

Ready made solutions don’t fit all your business needs

Every business process is unique, thus, the traditional software model of one-size-fits-all doesn’t work anymore.

You know your business better than anyone else and exactly what features you need to manage your business effectively.

rowing, teaching, managing,
For example, a construction company can set up an application that lets one party report construction errors, while also building a workflow to send automatic notifications to whomever is responsible for fixing the error. Similarly, a large retailer with multiple stores, can build an application to manage and track inventories across locations.

With a custom-built application, you get exactly what your business needs.

Software infrastructure is a money sink

If you’re a startup or a small business, every penny that you save or earn counts. Therefore, you’re probably looking to minimize spending on infrastructure and IT staff – necessities for setting up and maintaining servers that more established companies are able to afford.

By opting to build a custom online application, you’re not only saving money on infrastructure and data security, but on scalability as well.

building, old, design
More often than not, platforms providing custom applications charge according to the feature set you require, number of users and data storage. Thus, there’s no need for a big upfront investment to get started as you only pay for what you need and use.

Faster integration with other platforms

Unlike installed software, online database platforms have pre-built integrations with several utility products.

From custom integrations with platforms like Zoho Creator – which connects to PayPal, Zapier and Twilio, to name a few – to the ability to connect to social media, send invoices and add an event countdown with those such as Wix.

This ability to integrate seamlessly eliminates a lot of headaches.

The benefit of having pre-built integrations is that you don’t spend time and money hiring an IT resource or third party to do the integration for you. It’s already pre-built, so you can get the integration up and running much sooner than if you had build it – or worse, pay extra to have it built.

Spreadsheets and stickies don’t scale

Custom database applications do.

It matches the size of your business and scale according to your business needs.

business, overwhelmed
Start small with limited features and a few users, but very rapidly add functionality and users without the need to migrate into a new platform or system.

Most development cycles for custom applications are really short so you can scale the application with ease as your business grows.

Visualizing data is a huge challenge

Most online custom applications offer various reporting tools and packages, helping you keep track of essential business data. For example, you can track the number of products sold, orders received or support tickets raised in any given period.

When all this data is stored in your custom application, you can organize, analyze and present your data more efficiently – saving you from having to go into excel and work out the numbers yourself.

Beyond saving the sanity of both yourself and your employees, custom business apps are a cost effective way to manage the internal workings of your company.

Read next: The productive person’s guide to serendipity

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