The Profitable Software Business

One of the most profitable businesses and competed throughout the world is still today software development in its various presentations.

However, as in any business to be successful and prosperous it is necessary to know and master everything related to it.

If you are a computer scientist, an expert in programming or have knowledge of software development, today I share with you how you can turn this skill into a lucrative business.

The software industry

Software development is a multi-billion dollar industry that many visionaries have exploited all too well. Just listen to the extraordinary stories of Microsoft, Macromedia, Linux, and hundreds of other great developers to imagine the scope that a good marketing strategy can represent for a software manufacturer.

Until a few years ago, venture capitalists would give any amount of money for a company that offered great programming ideas, and although this offer has declined today, there are still potential niches for creative developers who dream of getting rich.

The product

The success of software business consists of the versatility of its product that allows it to offer computer programs for the solution of infinite needs. From productivity programs, engineering, entertainment to sophisticated scientific applications, software developers have in their hands a product that can represent extraordinary profits, even in a residual way.

Marketing strategy

The software business Fundamentally, it consists of the manufacture of a program to solve a specific need that works well and sell the licenses (copies of it) to as many consumers as possible, thus obtaining a return on the hours of investment in programming.

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And for the strategy to be successful, it must be viewed from different points of view and find the alternative that is most viable both in terms of promotion and price.

  • Develop a program that competes with existing ones. This option is highly discouraged, not for lack of ingenuity, but because competitors in the commercial software arena are usually very powerful and have plenty of well-finished options at prices many times less than $ 100.
  • Develop a tailored program for a particular niche. For small developers, this is usually a more viable option due to the fact that it allows them to compete in better conditions since their solutions are much more focused.

Of course, the true return on profits occurs when we are able to sell as many licenses as possible for our software, and for this the Internet is an extraordinary ally.

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Price, key to the Software business

Of course, the price of software programs is decisive for success and it is a proven fact that expensive software does not interest anyone. Why? Very simple, there are hundreds of free options for the solution that we are offering or looking for.

Hence the concept of Shareware was born, a marketing genius that consists in offering a preliminary (limited) version of the software that the potential buyer can use for 30 days and if it meets their requirements then they can purchase the full version.

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How much your software should be worth is very difficult to determine. In some niches, if the solution is novel, ingenious and practical, it can still charge very well, but for standard programs or those that we want to introduce to the market a price higher than US $ 150 will be unattractive.

Studying and carefully analyzing where we want to go is crucial when putting a price on our product that will be multiplied by the number of licenses we can sell.

Some complements to the marketing strategy include:

  • Sell ​​copies of our software in other languages
  • Sell ​​license packages with discounts by number of units purchased
  • Offer maintenance services, consulting, training and / or specific adaptations
  • Offer each year an improvement (update) that allows our customers to have an “improved” version that they can purchase for a payment equivalent to a fraction of the original license. Examples: Windows 95, 98, 2000, XP, Vista and now Windows 7. (The same product, improved and sold several times …)

The million dollar question: Start from scratch?

Talking about marketing and profits is nice when you have a product, but if we are just starting with the idea, starting from scratch can be too high a cost.

A software project is a fairly complex technical project that can take months of development, months of testing, troubleshooting and if the project is not properly planned, after a long time of work we could find ourselves with the chilling experience of not having a product that meets the objectives.

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Some common developer mistakes

  • Spending too much time creating a product
  • Pricing too high from the start
  • Focusing too much on the latest technology and not on selling the product


The story goes that Bill Gates, Microsoft’s famed and admirable founding businessman, never developed DOS.I just bought it for $ 20,000 from an anonymous programmer and then sold millions of copies of this software.

His genius more than being a technician has been to be a commercial expert to convert software in a profitable business. And so similar stories happened with Windows and with other products that you and I surely use on our computers.

Every developer has to balance the development strategy with the marketing and sales strategy in order to build a truly lucrative software business that provides the expected satisfaction.

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