Entrepreneur Plus - Short White
For Subscribers

At Your Service You can't custom-order an outside software developer, but you can still find what you need.

By Mie- Yun Lee

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Need to track customers' orders on your Web site? Or createa customized internal billing system? Unless you're technicallyinclined, trying to develop custom applications for your businessis like ordering dinner in a foreign country-but with morerisk. It's one thing to waste money on a meal you didn'trealize you asked for; it's another thing altogether when yourcompany makes the mistake of pouring thousands of dollars into aproject that doesn't pan out.

No matter what software development project you want, you canmake it succeed even if a technical person isn't on staff. Hereare some tips for working with outside developers:

  • Know what you want. You should have a clear idea of whatyou expect in the application you're looking for. Drafting adocument that details its purpose and desired functionality willconvey those expectations to any development firm. If you'reconverting from a manual process, it's useful to have samplesof forms and reports you use and a detailed description of the workflow. Sketching out the way the material could translate onscreenwill help the developer understand what you want to get out of yoursoftware and could even inspire suggestions to improve efficiency.You might be surprised to see how many manual steps can beeliminated and done automatically via software.

This is a subscriber-only article. Join Entrepreneur+ today for access

Related Topics

Business News

The AI Job Market Is Surging and Paying Up to $300K a Year. Here's How to Snag a Role.

According to a new LinkedIn report, AI jobs can be found in a wide range of fields.

Business News

'Not Much Financial Education' — Yet Millennials Have Boomers and Gen X Beat When It Comes to Retirement Savings. Here's Why.

Millennials might own fewer homes and make less money — but they're on track for a better retirement.

Business News

'Earth Shaking News': Fans Rejoice Over the Return of 'Retired' McDonald's Cult-Favorite Item

The McRib last appeared on menus in 2022 during the company's self-proclaimed "farewell tour" for the sandwich.


Introverts Who Use This Secret Weapon Can Be More Powerful Than Extroverts in the Workplace

Less extroverted colleagues are often misunderstood and underestimated — but their talent for one thing in particular sets them up for success.

Business News

'It's Getting Worse By the Week': Kevin O'Leary Issues Grave Warning About Commercial Real Estate Industry

The "Shark Tank" star spoke to impending devaluation of stocks in the industry on FOX Business' "Varney & Co."