How to develop a software and place it on the market
Software developers know how difficult it is to identify a need, to know their market segment well and to propose a really useful, reliable and easy to use solution. The market is increasingly competitive and the risk is not to present anything new or to always arrive after someone else. So how to develop a software and position it correctly on the market?
First fundamental rule
Don’t get into the code right away. Development is the last thing to do.
Instead, ask yourself who you are building a product for and why you are building it. From experience, we can guarantee that a software will only be successful if it solves a specific problem for a certain number of people (number of which it is advisable to give an indicative estimate immediately). Test your idea by asking questions of potential customers, especially about what they expect from the software. At this stage, don’t seek approval. Instead, try to listen to and take grounded criticism seriously. This will help you make the necessary adjustments right away, saving you from investing too much time and work in a failed idea.
In summary, the planning of the works must follow clear business choices. The technical specifications of the project come accordingly.
The importance of differentiation
To get started, focus on a niche and ask yourself why your prospects should prefer your service over others, right from the presentation and customer acquisition stages. To make it clear, the offer of assistance is not a differentiating factor, since it comes after the purchase and rather serves to retain the customer already acquired.
How will you make money from your idea? How much do you expect to earn from the first customers? Estimate the price for a certain number of customers in the short / medium term and try to understand if the gain will compensate for the effort equally. All these questions serve to understand if the business model you have in mind is sustainable. Last, fundamental question in this sense concerns the time variable: is it the right time to propose this product / service for this price range?
Resistance to change
If your software is aimed at a specific category, making them abandon the old path (the existing management software or Excel sheets) for the new one will be a challenge. This is one of the biggest difficulties when developing innovative software (traders and small businesses are reluctant to change, at least in Italy). Therefore, it is critical to know how to communicate the value that your product / service can give to your potential customer. This means that you have to abandon technical language and learn to translate concepts into a language that your audience can understand.
To launch the product: create expectation
When you have to promote a product / service, don’t wait until the last minute. Rather, organize the activities in order to create anticipation. It is always advisable to write down a list of testers to to send the software before placing it on the market (push to subscribe to the list of testers with sponsored content on social media).
Blog & content marketing
That’s what we’re doing right now: writing about a topic related to our business to share information that we hope will be useful. This is not promotional but informative content, designed to share experiences and knowledge, generate value and convey organic traffic to our site.
Actively participate with relevant, articulate and constructive comments on posts on topics within your competence. No spamming! Don’t get straight into other people’s content to promote yourself at their expense. It is unethical and even less effective.
If you have in-depth skills in a specific area, you can consider scheduling free webinars to share some of your knowledge. It will help you to make yourself known, to be remembered and to be recognized as an expert in your field.
Consider making free resources available (software downloadable from the site, e-books …) or, at the most, with the exchange of name, surname and e-mail. The principle of do ut des is critical for marketing nowadays.
In short, before getting into the code, you need to observe your target market, know (and even better anticipate) its trends and know how to propose the right product, at the right time and to the right target. Such thing is not easy at all and we know how sometimes a bit of luck is also necessary. There are no guarantees, but we know for sure that adopting a similar approach will help you broaden your gaze from the strictly technical side to the business one. Both are necessary to create softwares and position them well on the market.