How Automated Software Development Can Prolong Your Startup's Runway
Start-ups' burn rate and runway are often some of the key metrics that founders get questioned on by potential investors. Just as airplanes need a runway to be of a minimum length to safely take off and land, start-ups must have sufficient cash to reach product-market fit. The term “runway” indeed is a metaphor to describe how many financial resources a company has at its disposal to operate before it runs out of money. It’s critical to determine as accurately as possible the runway you’ll require, adding in contingency funds for unexpected challenges. Otherwise, if your company runs low on cash, you risk a “fire sale” price for the business. Or worse, your company could be forced to cease operations.
Understanding "Burn Rate" and "Startup Runway"
Burn rate, or cash burn rate, is the rate at which the business uses up its cash reserves or cash balance. It is essentially a measure of the net-negative cash flow – how much money your start-up spends and how quickly it spends it.
Usually, the burn rate is quoted in terms of cash outflow per month. Hence, its better definition would be the actual amount of cash a business spends in one month. For example, if your business has a burn rate of $10,000, it means it spends $10,000 per month. While this burn rate is generally expressed in months, it can also be expressed in terms of days, weeks, and years, depending upon your requirements.
A start-up runway, also called runway or cash runway, is the amount of time a start-up can operate at a loss before running out of money. In simple terms, it refers to the period after which your start-up can’t survive in the market if the income and expenses remain constant.
A recent report suggests that running out of runway is the second most likely reason that startups fail. Through this blog, we would like to explore how deploying automated software development could indeed credibly enhance your startup's runway which would help keep your company afloat during trying times.
How can startups extend their runway?
There are numerous reports where experts weigh in on how they can potentially prolong the startup runway. Reducing expenses, taking charge of receivables, and creating an emergency fund are all potent ways in which early-stage companies can look to take charge of prolonging the start-up runway. Another key approach to reducing the burn rate and thereby substantially increasing their runway would be to invest strategically in technology.
The early days of any startup are often spent on the founding team, with their core developers, building the product iteratively – building key modules, going out, speaking to potential users, and refining based on the inputs they receive. This process is often exhausting and even after innumerable iterations, there is significant room for improvement. Additionally, as a startup one cannot afford senior or expensive technical resources or a large pool of developers who would help build a customer-centric product.
So, what are the options?
Either your startup builds the product with the traditional approach – deploying technical resources and hoping for an early product-market fit. This might not be ideal as it would cost the company a crucial runway which could inevitably be put to better use, to build traction or to scale the offering too many more users.
Enter Automated Development.
What is Automated Software Development?
Traditional development approaches to building software from scratch are long-drawn and risky. Automated software development platforms seek to change all of this through visual software development powered by automation. Gone are the days when startups used to rely on time-consuming, expensive, and risky approaches to building their offerings. Automated software development platform helps start-ups build fully functional, market-ready, and high-quality software in weeks.
Automated software development platforms help you create the basic structure of your software instantaneously, so you can focus on customization and fine-tuning. Automated software development platforms are NOT low-code platforms, it’s a visual development platform powered by automation.
So how can Automated development increase your runway?
Automated software development produces a software product that is designed, supplied, built, or installed fully complete and ready to operate – at a fraction of the cost. Typically, it is a pre-built solution that can be easily deployed for launch. With a well-documented, fully functional codebase and complete ownership of the IP, it would put you significantly ahead in the race with some of the other startups competing for the same resources. Automated software development can reduce project lead times and substantially increase the productivity of your technical team. In addition, a ready-made solution is much cheaper and easier to implement, so it is great for companies with a limited budget.
Some of the key benefits of Automated Software Development for start-ups include the following:
Lower development costs
Hiring a team of technology experts can be an expensive proposition, especially for early-stage companies looking to prolong their runway. Organizations also must spend some time investing in the right infrastructure, building processes and delivery methodologies, and in training. By deploying automated software development, an organization can almost reduce its development cost by half since they do not need to incur any of these expenses. This not just reduces development timelines, but also ensures that the startup can launch a product without burning a hole in the pocket.
Access to technology experts
With an acute skills shortage of technical talent, it is getting increasingly difficult to hire experts for the unique requirements of the products the startups are working on. Perhaps among of the greatest advantages of automated software development is the kind of access they can gain to an array of technology experts. While a robust platform like Xamun would ensure that your software is ready, access to skilled technical resources for enhancements or customizations is something that should be taken into consideration.
This could be critical for a startup – traction of their product would depend on how well the software has been made. A reliable customer-centric offering can only be made by a skilled team of technical professionals. It’s by no means certain that a startup will be able to find, hire, and retain such top talent – the founders apart, of course. This is equally important for established companies looking to advance their digital transformation requirements and lack access to quality technical experts to hamper their goals, which could be avoided by opting for automated software development.
Reduced technical debt and improved business agility
As the demand for product enhancements and newer features and modules mounts, most startups that are already strapped for time don’t really have an effective way to handle it. What ends up happening is that the requests are placed on a backlog tracker and are attended to as and when they could be. For startups, a reality that the software product development environment is in a constant state of flux. The ‘it’ technology of yesterday could be no longer viable for the product that the startup is trying to create.
Platform demands keep changing, customer expectations are evolving with time, and development methodologies transform. Start-ups doing product development in-house may get dragged into the many operational aspects of the development and the other aspects of building the business such as identifying markets, business opportunities, or revenue sources can get lost.
Less risk and chaos
Companies looking to go-to-market faster or looking to progress with a good product-market fit significantly can avoid all the chaos and risks software application development brings with itself by deploying automated software application development. This approach vastly reduces the risks and stressful dynamics involved in any type of development project. Many responsibilities that would normally be on you (such as keeping track of the progress, distributing tasks, and ensuring that all deadlines are met) are taken on by the partner responsible for the product. That way, instead of constantly worrying about possible obstacles and complications that might arise, you can focus on more interesting or important tasks.
Xamun: Helping You Take Off from Your Startup Runway
Our team at Xamun ensures that we deliver the best business case for outsourcing turnkey development services by taking a modern approach to software building. Companies can have fully functional, high-quality Web, iOS, and/or Android apps at record speeds with Xamun with well-documented and human-readable source code output with the company taking complete ownership of the resulting IP.
The value proposition which Xamun looks to provide include:
70% faster app build- Launching as soon as possible is critical for any business. Get faster time to market compared to building everything from scratch.
30% cheaper than outsourcing- Not all software projects need hiring an outsourced team. Have your app built at a lower cost but with the same quality.
Technical expertise- The clients leverage 20+ years of experience in software product engineering, building global, financial, and B2B apps.
Reach out to one of our Go-Digital Evangelists HERE to understand how automated software development services to a reliable partner like Xamun might just be the differentiating factor that would catapult your organization to a faster go-to-market and superior growth trajectory.