Bespoke software for small businesses

Custom made for your start-up, bespoke software allows you to get tech tailored to your exact requirements. Compare software developers here

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Buying software for your business can be a delicate procedure.

A long term investment, it’s essential that you choose the right system that can solve the specific problems your start-up needs to address in an effective and efficient way – and gain a suitable return on the big price you’re likely to pay.

While a myriad of off-the-shelf software exists however, these offerings can often fall short of meeting the specific requirements of your business.

Indeed, because of their ‘one-size-fits-all’ nature, buying off-the-shelf software can leave you paying for many features your business just doesn’t need – with this idle tech costing you more than just money.

Because of this, and owing to their adaptive and innovative nature, in more recent times start-ups have begun enlisting the help of software companies to create bespoke software for them.

In this article you’ll learn:

Or, if you’re ready to compare suppliers and receive a free quote, complete the form at the top of the page.

What is bespoke software?

Much like bespoke tailoring, bespoke software is custom software that is tailor made for your business.

An exact fit with your business’s requirements, many of the compromises that are built into ‘off the shelf’ software are eliminated from the production stage – ensuring you’re not paying for any components you won’t use or need.

When buying bespoke software solutions, you can also ensure the product is based on your current working methods – which should reduce training times for staff and ensure ease of adaptability across the board.

As the makeup of your company is likely to change over the next few years too, bespoke software can also be made to ensure it evolves alongside your business – building on your initial investment, rather having to made all over again from scratch.

With bespoke software, the most repetitive tasks employees have to constantly repeat are automated – meaning they require less supervision, improved efficiency and fewer errors.

Bespoke software examples

Now that you understand what exactly bespoke software is, you can start thinking about what exactly you can use it for.

If you’ve already identified a process or task your business carries out that could benefit from bespoke software solutions, then complete the form at the top of the page and receive a free quote from some of the UK’s best software companies.

Otherwise, check out these examples of bespoke software:

Bespoke customer relationship management (CRM) software

As it’s actually more expensive to attract new customers than to retain current ones (who’ll be much more valuable over time), CRM software is vital for businesses to ensure they keep their customers happy – and coming back for more.

So it’s no surprise so many start-ups opt for bespoke CRM software.

Some of the most common features of CRM software include monitoring marketing campaigns, handling customer service, managing contacts and clients, as well as identifying patterns and trends and acting upon them.

A CRM platform normally includes a dashboard, as well as various reporting and analytics tools, that help business owners keep track of everything that happens to their website and social media and marketing channels.

Bespoke e-commerce software

Helping businesses sell their products and services online, e-commere software helps start-ups integrate an online store into their own website.

Popular e-commerce platforms include the likes of Bigcommerce, Shopify (read our review), Magneto and WixStores, who all offer a range of various packages – though should businesses require a much more unique and specific set of functions, software companies can create a bespoke platform especially for them.

Bespoke content management system (CMS) software

A content management system (CMS) is a software application that businesses use to create and manage digital content.

Features can vary amongst various CMS offerings, but the core functions are often considered to be indexing, search and retrieval, format management, revision control, and publishing.

Off-the-shelf examples of CMS systems include WordPress, Drupal, Squarespace, and HubSpot.

Bespoke automated invoicing software

Using automated invoicing software, businesses can pay, get paid, and process payments – without being buried under a mountain of physical invoices.

Good bespoke invoice software can also help with company branding by printing targeted text and images on the front or reverse of the invoice, statements, credit notes, goods return notes, delivery notes, and more.

How much does bespoke software cost?

Unfortunately, asking how much bespoke software can cost is rather like asking how long is a piece of string – given that bespoke software development can take between just a couple of weeks and many months, or even years, depending on the size of the development.

To get an exact quote for a range of suppliers, simply complete the webform at the top of the page.

Below, we’ve provided some examples of bespoke software solutions, along with a ballpark figure of how much they’d likely cost:

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SizePossible featuresEstimated price
Small tech projectSimple wireframe prototypes, short pieces of interactive e-learning content£2,500 – £10,000
Small web or mobile appBespoke CRM solution with a small number of users with just one or two different user roles£10,000 – £50,000.
Large web or mobile appBespoke app with two or three different user roles, multiple users and more complex business workflow with built-in custom reporting£50,000 – £150,000.
Large multi-phase web appA multi-function system, with CRM, extensive reporting, complex business workflow, multiple different user roles and potentially hundreds of registered users£150,000 – £300,000

Signs your small business may need bespoke software

Now you’ve understood what exactly bespoke software is, how you can use it, and how much it could potentially cost you, you need to work out whether or not your business is actually in need of bespoke software solutions.

Recognise any of the symptoms below? Then complete the webform at the top of the page and get in touch with some of the UK’s best suppliers.

    • Your office is full of post-it notes: While it may seem convinencent at the time, using manual workarounds, such as post-it notes or physical noticeboards, can often cause a breakdown in communication and deliver great deals of uncertainty and inconsistency across your business. Finding it takes staff longer to accomplish tasks than it reasonably should? Then you need a bespoke software solution.


    • Your staff don’t use existing software: There’s nothing more frustrating than expensive tech lying idle, and if there’s a poor adoption rate among employees of existing software, that’s a good sign it’s not user friendly or fit for purpose.


    • You have an unsupported sales process: Off-the-shelf CRM systems can, on occasions, not fully integrate with your sales process – meaning you won’t be able to satisfy clients with more specific demands.


    • You use multiple pieces of software for the same job: An advantage of bespoke software is the ability to create a ‘Ronseal product’, namely, something that does exactly what is says on the tin. In the off-the-shelf software, a lack of customisation can lead you to using several different pieces of tech for the same job – creating numerous inconsistencies.


    • You want to change software but are finding the conversion process hard: Once you decide to change from one software provider to another, the migration process can be a real headache – especially if the two competitors don’t allow for a smooth transition period or integration procedure. In this case, a software customiser can build an engine that converts the data for you automatically.


    • You’re a fast-growth business: Off-the-shelf software may lack the flexibility or scalability of a custom build. So, if you’re a high growth business that wants to double in size over the next few years, standard software might not be able to keep up with you.


    • You want company branding on as many systems as possible: If company branding and marketing is high on your priority, then custom software solutions present your start-up with a range of exciting opportunities. Not only can you make the tech one of your USPs (for example, if you’re a restaurant you could have table-side POS systems) you can also ensure the dashboard is suitably decorated with your company’s logo.


    • You find licensing fees too expensive: License fees for off-the-shelf software can be very expensive, meaning custom software can be cheaper over the long term.

Software companies in London

Here is a list of software development companies in London:

Bespoke software London

Name: Softwire
Clients have included: The BBC, Microsoft, Royal Opera House and David Lloyd Clubs.

Bespoke software London

Name: DCSL Software
Clients have included: Water Aid, Mitsubishi, and the NHS.

Bespoke software London

Name: Headchannel
Clients have included: Bedford College, William Pears Group, and Four04 Packaging.

Bespoke software London

Name: Geeks
Clients have included: The BBC, hmv, easyJet, and the Houses of Parliament.

Compare bespoke software suppliers

The information on this page should help you to understand what benefits bespoke software can offer your business.

The best way to find out about specific software packages though, is to speak to suppliers today – Startups can help with this.

By completing the form at the bottom of this page, we can put you in touch with bespoke software suppliers who can offer quotes and plans based on your specific requirements.

Comparing quotes with Startups is free, quick and easy, and it could help to save your business both time and money.

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