Nearly 20 years ago I became the part-owner of a small IT firm in Erie, PA. We had two sides of the house — a networking and general IT group that installed networks, PCs, and handled desktop support for customers in law, dental, and government; and a B2B software development side that was creating some robust apps for state and local government. While my share of the company was on the minority side, I sat on the board and helped make strategic decisions that would impact the company. Looking around the table, everyone was young, energetic, and eager to solve the world’s problems with our solutions.
Unfortunately, there’s no ending to this story that involves us selling the company and me becoming a millionaire at the age of 30. Rather, the company struggled due to changes in our core market of government, and we slowly went out of business over the course of a couple years.
Stories like mine aren’t uncommon, but after talking with hundreds — maybe even a thousand or so — of solution providers in the years since as the editor-in-chief of Business Solutions magazine, I know that they are avoidable.
Software development companies are often born out of an idea.
“Our software will make X easier.”
“Our software is a new take on Y.”
“Our software is going to revolutionize Z.”
All great seeds that, when planted, can yield some beautiful fruit… as long as the seeds are in fertile soil. Everything else about running a software development business is the soil that will determine your success. Hiring, sales, marketing, operations are critically important and yet can seem so alien to a company that’s built around and focused on its software.
Our marketing efforts were disjointed. Our bookkeeping was atrocious. Our hiring process was more gut feeling than probing. At the time we were in business, there weren’t any resources available to help us in these critical business areas. In the years since, there hasn’t been much help. Until now.
Welcome to DevPro Journal
DevPro Journal was created to educate B2B software developer leadership about best practices in marketing, hiring, building a strong team, operations, breaking into new markets, building recurring revenue models, and more. Together with Jay McCall, an award-winning B2B tech writer with 17 years of experience creating content for resellers and software developers, we want to educate you on everything about your business that doesn’t involve code.
You’ll see that our content is very case study-based, as we believe that the best teachers are your peers. As such, each month you can expect to find a bunch of original interviews with successful software developer owners and senior management sharing their lessons learned and best practices. Even if you’re an established company and feel you have everything figured out, there are bound to be innovative ideas shared and opportunities to be explored.
We will help you learn about new technologies and services you could be incorporating into your solutions. Thinking of adding a credit card component to your software? We’ll help you understand and navigate the complexities of the payment processing world. Looking for the perfect enterprise-grade tablet for your software to run on? We’ll have comparisons, run-downs, and all sorts of information to help you. Perhaps you’re looking for advice for how to move into a new market. Or, maybe you just want to keep up with the next big thing. Rest assured, we’ll cover it.
I’ve walked in your shoes and know that you haven’t had much help with key business areas, but we’re going to fix that. Our top priority is becoming the resource you need to build a profitable and sustainable business.
Please take a moment to sign up for our email newsletter and to then fill out your profile details. The more detail you give us, the more focused and relevant your newsletter will be.
If you have any thoughts or questions, or would like to participate in an article, feel free to drop us a line. We’d love to hear from you and are excited to begin this journey!