Last year was a roller coaster ride full of ups and downs for ISVs across the board and it hasn’t been easy to ride out the storm. Between layoffs and budget cuts, it feels like the sky is falling. All eyes are on 2023, and no one has a crystal ball to know what will happen, especially when it comes to the global economy. What’s sure is that with every economic downturn, there are always incredible opportunities to be created. This new year is no exception, and while there are certainly challenges to come on the horizon, there is also great potential for growth we can’t afford to miss. Here are a few opportunities to think about as we begin 2023.
It’s Time to OEM Your Product
If your software solution cannot be integrated, embedded, or at least connected via API to other software solutions, now is the time to make this your focus. While overall end-user sales declined in 2022, OEM deals for software companies increased. ISV-to-ISV partnerships are a win-win because both leverage the relationship to sell more product; the OEM gets a kickback for each license sold, while the ISV can take a better product to market, helping them secure a competitive edge over other available offers. This can help ISVs branch out into new markets, sell to new industry verticals, attract additional reseller partners, and more. Targeting ISVs is also easier than convincing business decision-makers to evaluate your product in many respects because they speak your language. Product Managers (very often the people responsible for the decision to embed features into their solution) understand the ins and outs of software solution development and are keen to evaluate buy versus build use cases. In addition, they are by nature constantly making improvements to their products; looking at valuable OEM partnerships can help them do that in a highly cost-effective manner, and they know this! Make sure that your marketing collaterals are focused on this audience since end-user messaging is not going to work when targeting ISVs for OEM sales.
Tap into Talent from a Wider Pool
The number of incredibly talented people who lost their jobs in 2022 is mind-blowing, giving ISVs a much wider pool to select new hires and freelancers. Smaller ISVs should absolutely take advantage of this to find amazing resources who are actively searching for jobs. And if you can’t justify the expense of hiring someone in-house, outsourcing can be a great way to leverage the budget you do have. In fact, outsourcing can often give you access to several resources for less than the cost of hiring one full-time employee, especially when it comes to sales and marketing positions. Getting creative by outsourcing certain areas of your business to reliable external suppliers is a huge opportunity to do more with less.
Streamline Costs for Greater Efficiency
Reviewing costs to ensure that each budgeted line item is necessary and then deleting those that are not is a great annual exercise at the start of each year. Passive legacy costs accumulate over time and can become a burden when no one questions whether or not they are still warranted. In fact, you’d be surprised at how many companies continue to pay for internal software solutions that no one actually uses, and very often, they don’t even know it! Overhauling onerous company procedures can also help uncover inefficiencies that cost you time and money. Simplifying such systems and processes can help your employees get more done faster while increasing their overall job satisfaction.
Invest in Expanding your Offer
Tapping into new markets can take on many different shapes and forms. Recruiting new value-added reseller partners in countries abroad can help you expand your reach. If there’s one thing Covid taught us is that borders don’t matter — there are literally millions of potential end-user customers out there for you to reach. Expanding your marketing efforts into Europe, APAC or LATAM can be a great next step, especially if your offer is not heavily compliance driven. Many people stop themselves from moving forward on expansion strategies, thinking that it’s too complex or too difficult to sell outside of the US. But it doesn’t have to be that way. By connecting with the right expertise, you can easily get the insight you need to go global.
The economy is like a pendulum swinging back and forth. When times are good, we forget what it’s like to struggle. And when we face challenges, we need to get resourceful to intentionally create opportunities that will help us come out on top. Providing even more value to even more people should be our mantra as we start off 2023 so that we can do just that.