How to scale software when you’re scaling your business

Scaleups face a different set of challenges as they grow than businesses that are just starting out (or ones that decide to keep it small). One of them is making sure the software they’re selling to their customers (or using internally to run their business) grows with them. Here’s a bunch of tips on what to do to make scaling up easier from the software perspective.

Getting ready to scale up  

Being a small business or a startup is great – and not everyone wants to ever leave that stage. But there are times growth is inevitable. Like for example:

  • When you’re attracting new market segments and need to add new features or products to your portfolio.
  • When you’re entering new international markets and need to adapt your product to the needs of new target groups.
  • When you’re simply planning on expanding your existing product with new features or integrating it with other software.

All this will require software considerations and careful planning. 

First of all, let’s hope your existing product was created with scaling in mind.

(If not, don’t worry – at least too much – we can find a solution, though it might take longer and possibly cost more). Updating your legacy system takes time and skill, but is not impossible (usually). We talked about this here. <link>

And if it was, factor the following things into your decision-making process.

Consider your business model

Get to know your target market very well and the solutions they might like – starting with basic ones like the prevalence of an operating system and ending with local payments people will want to use e.g. for their subscriptions or in-app payments. 

The latter is especially important with the rapidly changing digital payments ecosystem and is crucial if you want your software to be profitable. Even the best software product in terms of features won’t earn you money if people can’t pay for it using the payment methods they’re used to in their country.

Implementing and testing these might turn out to take more time than you initially thought, so have all of it figured out.

Make sure you’ve nailed the basics and have a solid base to build on. Also, take a close look at your current software’s performance. Does it need improvement? Or is it ready to be expanded or integrated with others? 

Pay attention to user experience

Never ever scale at the expense of your users – it just doesn’t make sense. Make sure their experience with your product remains great (and it also includes things like letting them pay the way they want we mentioned in the previous section.)

Scaling your product shouldn’t mean it becoming clunky, unintuitive, or a pain to use. Which might be the case if you’re building new features on top of old code, and they don’t work great with each other. Or, in other words, you’re running up technological debt. It’s the opposite of scaling, if we’re honest.

Always think ahead

Now that you’re growing, you will want to grow more. This is important to keep in mind for things like software integrations, etc. Your product needs to be open to connect with other systems (and future technologies).

Or, in the tech jargon, it needs to be future-proof (which it should be right from the start). Having a clear product road map helps. But leaving some room for flexibility is also a good idea. After all, tech changes by the minute, and your job is to keep your finger on the pulse. 

To do that, work with people who have experience scaling products across industries (like the people at DeSmart. ;)) It’s helpful to draw on the experience of scaling competitive or similar solutions, purely because you get access to ideas someone has already tested. But it’s equally useful to look for solutions from other industries and find opportunities to adapt them to your product. This is exactly where innovation happens.

(By the way, we can do both.)

Let’s talk about how you can scale up

 At DeSmart we’ve worked with enough startups and scaleups to have ideas and solutions for any type of business – but mostly the ones we specialize in, like e.g. marketplaces. What’s even more important is that we’re not only ready to talk about the tech, but also guide you through applying the tech to serve your business objectives.

So, what are you scaling next? Let us know.

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Let's talk about how we can bring your ideas to life together!