A common challenge for business owners – especially for start-ups – is to decide when, and in what situation to invest in long-term plans or take the less costly and conservative approach.
This includes investing in solutions to streamline processes and to scale the business. So begs the “build vs buy” question. Before making the decision to invest in either, consider the points below.
Why invest in a customized solution?
Like all humans, businesses come in all shapes and sizes. Though we do purchase stuff off-the-shelf, but they are not always the right fit, not only in the physical sense but also our unique needs.
Off-the-shelf solutions may meet some of the needs, but not all. The needs that are not met ends up causing inefficient and manual processes.
Instead of conforming your business to the limitations of a solution, the solution should be built around the processes of your company.
What will customization help achieve?
Customization solves the common pain points of business owners.
- Increasing productivity by standardizing and optimizing processes, at the same time adopting best practices within the industry
- Being able to measure more accurately, in real time, the current state of business.
- Gaining competitive advantage by being able to make better, timely decisions.
When to consider buying off-the-shelf?
Like any quality, made-to-measure suit, it can be pretty costly to customize a solution. After considering all funding options, if buying an off-the-shelf solution makes better financial sense, probably hold off on the customized solution.
Customized solutions do not come with a standard manual, it not only takes time to develop and implement successfully, and users need to be trained to use them. If time is of the essence, probably better not to pursue customization immediately.
Pick a solution that can grow with your business, instead of limiting the business to the restrictions of the solution. Just like any investment, do consider the timing and costs.
What happens after adopting a customized solution? Making it work, and reaping its benefits is the next phase. Here are some tips from our customer success consultant: 5 tips to increase user adoption.