“The more clients and profits I make, the more expensive my development gets!” This business owner reached out to us worried his business would crash. He runs a software as a service platform, has a web-based backend, and mobile applications on various platforms such as Android, IOS, and Windows to share with his clients. He sells this solution as a white-label solution to his B2B clients who, in turn, deliver it to their own clients.
His problem turned out that every time he got a new client, his developers would copy and paste the whole code base, put it on a new server, and modify it according to the new client’s needs. Furthermore, he also had problems with his setup. Wondering if you have similar issues? Here are the top signs that your growing platform will fail if you do not have the below aspects in place:
- No Central Code Base
This means that every client has a different code base. Developers who do that charge hefty fees in order to setup new clients which should be a simple process instead. The client we mentioned is getting charged between 5 and 10 thousand dollars per setup for every new client, excluding the changes he requests for each. Instead, the whole setup process should be automated. You should pay your developer this fee once to automate the setup. Therefore, developers should focus on automation to make things work, and should keep their client’s business goals in mind.
2. No Version Control
Git or GitHub is a version control where you track multiple versions of your code. If you change something in the code and need to roll back, you can do so by simply issuing one command that would bring back the previous code base. Let’s say a client asks for a feature and then decide they don’t like it. If you don’t have version control, you will have to go through every line of code manually and risk breaking the app in case you forgot something. Version control is necessary to avoid complications and makes work easier for the developer.
3. No Cross Platform Development
If you have an Android, an IOS, and a Windows app, it means there are 3 different codes. So, if you want to change something in the Android app, you will have to change the Android code and push to the Play Store. You would have to do the same if you had to change the same thing in the IOS app. Now imagine you have to do this for 7 clients, each with 2 apps, which makes it 14 code bases.
Instead of using 3 programming languages, the developers could have used Flutter. Those are the reasons why we prefer Flutter:
- You build a code base once and it deploys to all the platforms.
- It’s developed by Google.
- The code is converted into native machine code. This means it runs as a regular application that was coded in that platform’s language so there can be no performance issues.
- Other platforms have a performance problem.
What we suggest you do:
- Do some research before using your development platform.
- Do not directly settle to what your developer suggests. I
- Question their choice and ask them about other platforms.
- Choose a developer who has a wide knowledge of development platforms.
4. No Automated Deployments
This means everything is manual like adding a new app on the app store, setting up new servers, rolling back code, etc. However, all this should be automated. A developer should build their code base with the mentality that entrepreneurs want to grow their business and won’t settle for a few clients. Making everything automated will actually make it less expensive because we have one code base to write, one platform to manage, and everything is in one place.
Once a platform starts facing technical problems, the business loses clients, gets bad reputation and will definitely crash. Your technology and development can impact your branding so keep that in mind when choosing your developers.
5. Cost of Development Increasing as Client Base Increases.
Development costs will increase with every new client if the project was built the wrong way. Let’s say the business has 5 clients and the developer is charging 5K a month because of all those different platforms. When the number of clients increases to 500, it will need more developers to handle the work. And if this number increases even more, developers won’t be able to handle it and the business will crash. Software as a service platform can work only if built properly.
There are things you can do to avoid finding yourself in a similar situation:
- Put more money to develop an elegant solution. On the long run, development costs will decrease the more your platform becomes mature. If in 3 to 5 years, you have a million clients and you’re paying 5K USD/month for maintenance and upgrade, your business will also be making a lot of money.
- Keep a look out for your development costs.
- Consider it a red flag if your development costs are increasing along with your business growth.
- Change your developers if they do not use any of the above-mentioned points.
- Hire the right people.
Hiring the right people is the most important thing you should do because as an entrepreneur, you are mainly interested in building your business and therefore should be able to trust your team to do that. Here’s what true developers would do:
- They understand your business goals.
- They talk to you in business terms and then translate it into technical requirements.
- They share those requirements with their team of developers.
- Those developers will then be able to build the project quickly at the lowest possible budget.
We explain the step-by-step process of hiring the right people on www.staggeringroi.com. Go ahead and visit our website where you’ll find lots of valuable information! And please feel free to contact us we’re always here to help!