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April 2022

Why You Should Own Your Own Software

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In a market that is full-to-the-brim of out-of-the-box software solutions such as WordPress, WooCommerce, Wix, Squarespace, and Shopify, what is the incentive for entrepreneurs to own their own software, nowadays? Let’s find out.

1. A Lack of Customisation

It’s all well-and-good using an out-of-the-box software solution such as Shopify, but in reality, they offer very little in terms of customisation. Whilst Shopify is certainly a quick, cheap, simple, and easy-to-use system, once you start to scale, issues may arise.

This is particularly apparent if you’re building or launching something that’s far more complex than a bog-standard software platform. Shopify won’t cater for the level of complexity required when it comes to payment splitting, bespoke features required, and/or multi-vendor profiles for marketplaces, for instance.

And whilst there are plenty of out-of-the-box solutions for these more complex systems, too, the same rules apply: they can be incredibly expensive (which will put your start-up costs through the roof), and once again… they tend to lack customisation.

Sooner or later, you’ll need to migrate to a scalable solution, and this is where bespoke software comes in. However, migration can be a nightmare, so why not start now? Save yourself the heartache later.

2. A Lack of Control

If you’re using Shopify, what if the server suddenly goes down? What if there’s a major outage, a major hack, or a global password leak?

Not only can out-of-the-box software solutions make you feel like you’re in the passenger seat, but often, there’s a lack of support, too. This can leave you feeling frustrated, only to end up wasting hours in tech support forums, with… little to no solution.

Whereas with a bespoke software solution, there’s a team you can call upon and rely on to fix these issues as and when they occur (which they do, by the way).

3. Generic Designs

You can tell when someone has used an out-of-the-box software package, because their site will look overly familiar; too familiar, and sometimes even amateur at best. What does that say about your brand? However, the same can be said the other way round: you can tell when someone has put time and money into building a unique platform that gets results.

You simply can’t beat a bespoke design that fully reflects your brand, tells the right story, achieves your long term goals, and most importantly, encourages users to come back.

4. Scalability

There comes a point where your user base will outgrow your out-of-the-box software solution, which can lead to a wide range of issues, including server crashes (especially if you’re using shared servers), website malfunctions, slow performance, and more. Once again, why wait for the inevitable?

This is especially important if you’re planning on scaling fast, following some VC funding, or if you have an idea that is already growing exponentially. ‘We can’t keep up with our growth.’ Well, if your software isn’t equipped to handle growth, then the above statement will be true.

5. Bugs

Software breaks. Things go wrong. 

What’s really annoying though, is when you’re not in control as to whether or how you can fix it or not. We’ve seen this happen time and time again with out-of-the-box software solutions. 

Once again, it’s back to the tech support forums, with no solution, and plenty of patience required.

5. Increase Your Company Value

Last, but certainly not least, is that owning your software will increase your company value. Of course, this will require an initial upfront investment, but you’ll get it back later in abundance if you ever decide to sell your business, particularly if your tech is innovative.

Just look at the amount of tech companies that have been bought out, because they owned innovative, and sought-after tech: WhatsApp, Instagram, Slack… the list is endless. 
The one thing they all had in common, is that they owned their own software. A good analogy is this: imagine buying a house, and building a large extension. This will increase your property value.

At Wirebox, we’re experts when it comes to building bespoke software solutions, from start-ups, to SMEs, to large corporations.

By George Taylor April 2022

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