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Have you ever heard the saying, You get what you pay for? Well, it’s not just a saying; it’s true. When you develop software, your end result depends heavily on your budget and ability to negotiate, with quality being at the mercy of both factors. The fact is that cutting costs can often hurt your ability to deliver results to your clients. But, if you’re in business to make money, then investing more resources into software development cost isn’t always an option… and that’s where we come in!

1) Cut Features from your product
Sure, your product may have a lot of bells and whistles, but is it really necessary? While all these extra features seem like they’ll increase profits in theory, sometimes it can be hard for consumers to see past them. If you want a product that consumers will be inclined to purchase more often or even at all, think about cutting out some of those high-tech bells and whistles. The good news is you don’t need all those cool extras to make money—in fact, too many options could turn people off from purchasing at all. Once you know what features are actually worth including, go ahead and streamline your product by offering just those main options—and maybe one more extra (like mobile app capabilities) on top of that.

2) Find alternative software developers
One easy way to reduce software development costs is by finding alternative developers. Outsourcing can help you bring in talent from around the world without requiring you to relocate your entire team. Startups can take advantage of incentives from local governments and universities, such as startup bootcamps that help entrepreneurs hone their business ideas. Some cities offer hackathons that allow programmers to compete for funding with brand-new products and apps; winning applications are often able to get off-the-ground faster than before.

Crowdfunding websites also give startups opportunities for funding. A great example of a successful startup (see their pitch here) is PapystoPets – an idea created during a Startup Weekend competition in July 2012, they made it possible for anyone with a smartphone to walk into a pet store or pet supply store and order non-prescription medications that are needed right away without having to wait at all! They did so by creating an app called Pet Meds which was developed using iOS app development using Objective C on Appcelerator Titanium Mobile platform within 8 days!

3) Don’t Overlook Technology Hacks
Another way to save money on software development costs is to not overlook technology hacks, which can be found in places you might not expect. For example, when shopping for a new laptop computer, ask your sales rep if there are any bundled discounts with popular development tools. Most software vendors have bundling deals that could save you time and money on licenses—but you have to ask. Another option: check out government-provided options; local colleges may offer discounted versions of popular development tools at affordable prices.

4) Analyze Your Team Structure
Once you have a handle on your development structure, you need to analyze it. Are all of your software engineers located in a single office? If so, will face-to-face communication issues arise when engineering is done remotely? Does your company prioritize long-term talent or short-term deadlines? Do you focus more on speed or quality? There are a number of questions that should be considered when analyzing your company’s development structure.

Finding some answers (or at least getting everyone on board with asking those questions) can help you eliminate redundancies and improve team productivity—not to mention it makes your life easier. The most effective organizations I’ve seen have been run by executives who realize they can learn something from anyone within their organization; they work hard to find that knowledge before looking outside for an answer. Whether through one-on-one conversations or team meetings, figuring out how best to optimize each engineer’s talents pays dividends down the road as projects get completed faster and with better results. Being aware of where and how each member contributes value makes for a much smoother path forward than attempting to steer based solely on group momentum.

5) Automate as much as possible
Save time and money by automating your software development processes as much as possible. Rather than manually repeating a task that can be automated, use pre-built code or templates instead. You should do a cost-benefit analysis to determine which tasks you should automate and which ones you shouldn’t. The amount of benefit of each task will dictate whether it makes sense to automate it or not. Keep in mind that automation doesn’t mean going fully autonomous and removing humans from every aspect of your project; rather, it means helping to reduce repetitive tasks and streamlining workflow. This can free up employees for other important duties like product creation, researching new technology trends, improving productivity…you get the idea!

6) Improve your project management skills
You can’t manage what you don’t measure, so if your project is running behind or over budget, start measuring it. Once you identify where you need to make improvements, work with your team and stakeholders to improve as a group. Improving in one area will help drive results across all areas of project management. There are a few different ways of measuring software development: throughput, cost per feature, schedule variance (how much something runs late), burn-down charts and risk coverage. Wherever possible use automated tools (like SVN) to keep track of everything. If your business needs help understanding these tools then speak to an expert and let them show you how they can be used more effectively within your company.

7) Use open source platforms when appropriate
Open source platforms can save you money while also saving time. When you’re able to build on top of something that has already been built, it means you’re only paying for what you need and not having to hire coders or developers from scratch. While many proprietary tools are great and often necessary, open source options will always be a smart option when cost is your concern. We see way too many entrepreneurs choosing expensive tools over free or relatively inexpensive ones—sometimes with devastating results. Our advice? Use whatever resources you have at your disposal to reduce costs without impacting quality (quality should always come first!). Just because an app doesn’t have a licensing fee attached doesn’t mean it won’t help you deliver incredible results faster than another, more costly tool would!

Conclusion
The three ways listed above are proven to help you reduce custom software development costs while still producing high-quality products. If you’re looking for a better return on your investment, these strategies can help. Let us know if we can be of any assistance! We would love to help if there is anything else we can do for you.

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