Successful independent sales organizations (ISOs) often see opportunities to provide solutions beyond providing payments. You may see gaps in your market for software that meets your accounts’ needs, common pain points that remain unsolved, and processes that could run more smoothly. You are confident that your ideas could improve customer experiences, increase revenues, and enhance efficiency – if you could develop the software to support them.
At this point, you’ll have a lot of questions, but the answer to the most important one is yes. It is possible for an ISO to become a software developer.
Different Paths to Become a Software Developer
You’ve probably heard people say, “Every company is now a technology company.” Keep in mind, though, not every leader at a company has to be able to code. One path to evolving your business into a software development company is hiring or acquiring the resources you need. Use your network – including your payments partners – to learn the names of experienced developers in your space, get introductions, and take time to demo the software they’ve helped to create to find good candidates for your project. Your research should also include understanding the salary you need to offer to attract and retain the talent you need to make your vision a reality.
Another option is forming a strategic partnership with a software development company rather than hiring or acquiring in-house developers. This strategy may be beneficial to an ISO new to software development on several levels. For example, a software development partner can provide insights on the best way to take an application to market and help you create an early proof of concept that will help you determine if your software is market-ready. The agreement you make with your partner can also include ongoing support of your product, including maintenance, updates, and adding new features.
Or Roll Up Your Sleeves
Of course, you always have the option to take a hands-on approach and develop software yourself. If you have software engineering and development expertise, you’re set. However, if you don’t, it’s still possible to become a software developer. It’s a myth that you have to have a college degree in computer science, although it most definitely gives you a leg up. Coding boot camps, online courses and studying on your own can help you, or your team, learn development languages relatively quickly. Then, by applying your industry expertise and problem-solving skills, you may be able to create an application that addresses a need in your market. Practically, though, it will take time – probably more time than you’re anticipating – and the need to rely on mentors and partners to make your vision a reality.
Keep in mind, learning to code is no small feat, but it is fairly straightforward. Creating sleek applications that seamlessly support your clients’ workflows, however, takes skill, dedication and time. Be realistic about what you can accomplish within the development timeframe you’ve built into your roadmap and how your application will stack up to others on the market. If you need help or expertise, get it.
Then, Integrate Payments
Whichever path you take to tackle software development, make sure that when you take your application to market, it is integrated with a flexible, full-featured payments platform. As an ISO, you know better than most developers how important it is to equip businesses with the ability to accept payments quickly, easily and securely from the software they use.
With software developed specifically for your market and your understanding of payments, you can provide a total solution that increases efficiency and competitiveness for your clients and decreases payment friction for their customers.
Which path will you take to get there?