The startup world is a cutthroat one. Companies in this space must constantly prove themselves as legitimate businesses as they also work on developing and refining a successful model.
It may seem that the first year would be the hardest. Yet, it’s actually the second through fifth years that spell the end of most startups. Besides a lack of market need due to poor market research, cash flow issues are the most common reason attributed to new business failure. This underlines the importance for startups to make sound and informed decisions to determine how to invest.
When startups are primarily concerned with providing valuable digital products to consumers, companies should choose cost-effective and robust methodologies for any software development projects. Methodologies need to be stable yet flexible enough to adapt as the needs of business change.
A startup is more likely to be successful when leadership anticipates the challenges encountered during software development. Keeping up with the times and learning from the failures of other startups can prove very valuable. Companies should have a clear grasp of their vision, robust team and culture development, and integration with powerful software monitoring tools.
Evaluate and Strengthen the Vision
All startups must make sure the vision for their company is very clearly outlined. A clear understanding of the product and end goal is absolutely necessary. They also need to select the best methodologies from the start. Building brand-new technologies from scratch can pose a major risk to the startup.
Be sure the team is up to this task and can handle obstacles commonly associated with custom software development. More importantly, a startup should choose scalable technologies. Once startups start to gain ground by increasing revenue or customers, then it’s not long before they’ll start to outgrow their own infrastructure. When a startup’s infrastructure can’t keep up with growth, it can critically stunt itself and never again regain that momentum.
Emerging technologies are a source of major temptation for startups. Successfully integrating new technology is impressive but, if a startup experiences setbacks and release date pushbacks in an attempt to include new technologies, this can irreparably harm cash flow. Given the pace of these technological advancements in recent years, new exciting technologies in artificial intelligence are further anticipated for 2022.
Artificial intelligence software assists companies with automation, decision-making capabilities, and efficiency. Although AI advancements are powerful, the application of these technologies is simply not necessary. Software development existed long before AI technology. Businesses don’t need to use every tool from the toolbox to be successful.
For instance, AI coding editors are exciting software platforms that showcase the power of artificial intelligence. Popular choices include:
- GitHub Copilot – Assistive software that suggests entire functions and bits of code for a range of languages and frameworks. Available on Visual Studio Code.
- Kite – A free AI-powered auto-complete assistant compatible with 16 languages and 16 code editors.
- aiXcoder – Allows developers to search and apply open-source code efficiently, using deep learning models.
These AI-powered code editors are unlikely to make up for a software developer, so startups should remain hesitant of leaning too heavily on assistive technologies. The goal is to build robust and valuable software that consumers can count on. Developing software for a startup is a highly involved process, and employees should be working in their area of expertise. Assistive technologies should only act to speed up development, not make up for skill deficiencies.
When companies require software development, they can instead turn towards outsourced development teams to help complete their projects on time and within budget.
Key performance indicators (KPIs) empower startups by highlighting areas where companies are particularly effective and areas for making improvements. Data is essential to making informed business decisions and accelerating a startups’ success.
Modern software monitoring tools collect data and can then cut through enormous datasets by highlighting key indicators in real time. KPIs provide the quantifiable measurements that allow startups to develop a strategy for the next actions. Startups can identify trends and produce understandable visuals for stakeholders and investors.
There are a variety of tools available, but Tableau and PowerBI control most of the business insight market. By having access to crucial information at all times, businesses have the ability to make educated decisions and meet their goals.
In the first few years of business, most startups have a pretty compact team of highly-skilled individuals who don many hats. Employees need to be able to handle a wide range of tasks proficiently and represent the business professionally. If management decides to overlook recruiting, the quality of employees is likely to decline.
Businesses must develop a thorough recruiting process from the outset, aimed at hiring self-starters with strong technical skills. Expanding team size too rapidly and without proper vetting may result in a lower percentage of high-quality workers. This directly impacts the employees, teams, and business.
Companies also need to carefully set employment policies. The great resignation caused distress for companies in 2021. Workers everywhere leveraged their labor power or quit, choosing to find better opportunities elsewhere. Startups that adopt rigid, unforgiving rule systems can turn away quality talent. Employees want to work in a healthy work environment that provides flexibility to accommodate their lives.
Carefully curating a company culture increases retention and prevents a revolving door workforce. Turnover is expensive and when developing new products and software, the cost of bringing new hires up to speed is a large investment of time and money. Be careful not to push employees towards competitors
Increase Productivity with Outsourcing
Software development outsourcing grows more popular year over year. Outsourcing offers improved efficiency and productivity while providing access to an affordable talent pool. Those new and powerful methodologies mentioned above? The ones binned because employees are not familiar enough with them? There’s an outsourced software development team available for hire that specializes in that methodology.
Businesses should select from onshore, nearshore, or offshore outsourcing options to find the best-dedicated team to fit the business needs and budget. If they’re struggling to hire talented individuals fast enough or working with a compact team, outsourcing helps bridge the gap, allowing the team to stay productive while recruiters methodically build out the core team.
Expect Stiff Competition in 2022
It’s not 2020 anymore. The pandemic’s grip on society and business diminishes with each passing day and competitors are bringing their A-game. With this return to normalcy, expect a major push for productivity and efficiency improvements. Keep up with the times without falling victim to poor business practices by implementing the strategies outlined above.