We’ve reviewed the no-code development platforms, their pros and cons. Thus we concluded that they’re not suitable for everything and especially for creating complex apps which are customer-oriented. So, in some cases, the best thing you can do is to hire a software development company to build the software you want for you.
However, choosing a company might be a very unpleasant process, even more unpleasant if you are new to this, there’s a lot of things to consider. This decision has financial implications for your business, and you’re also choosing a company, that is going to be with your business for a very long time.
We’re going to help you with this process bur first let’s review the pros and cons of hiring a software development company. You should be aware of what these companies offer, what are the potential benefits and drawbacks before you make any decisions.
- Quality – They’re professionals, and they have their reputation at stake. In the world of online reviews and referrals everyone is eager to make the best impression;
- Expertise – They likely (or hopefully) have a portfolio of clients who have live apps or projects that you could look at and evaluate their skillset and expertise;
- Distributed talent – You have the benefit of working with multiple people with different skillsets (professional designers, specialised iOS and Android development teams, and so on);
- Partnership – The better companies out there can help you make better decisions for your product, so there will be less trial and error along the way;
- Low cost – Hiring an agency is the most cost effective way if you’re looking for quality and long terms results. That’s compared to building an in-house team;
- Flexible engagement – Depending on the type of project, you will be able to choose from different types of engagement like Fixed cost, Time and Materials, Dedicated teams. More on that in one of our upcoming blog posts.
- +$50k investment – Despite the fact that the overall cost of hiring an agency is lower compared to hiring in-house, the benefits of hiring a development company come at a price. You should be prepared to spend somewhere around $50,000 for a full fledged product. And prices go up for more complex requirements;
- Hard to switch – If you’re not happy with the service, it’s costly to switch to a different company; Many companies will not be willing to pick up where someone else has left off, so you might end up paying double for the same amount of work;
- Hidden costs – Every dev company will expect some sort of monthly/yearly retainer for maintaining the product. Make sure you understand the terms of that maintenance and that you factor that cost into your plan and budget;
- Potentially slow – It’s not the quickest option if the agency has their capacity full. It might a few weeks to start on top of the at least three months to launch your app based on industry standards, and often much longer.
To conclude, these are the indicators that hiring a software development company is the right software development service for you:
- You have a larger budget;
- You would like to work with a firm that has a wide range of expertise in areas such as design, development and marketing, etc.;
- You are not developing software for one platform (iOS, Android or the web), but likely will be interested in deploying your software to two or more of these platforms;
- You care about the quality of your product and the ability to maintain it. Most software development agencies have code review processes and quality assurance testing in place to ensure that it is built to scale;
- You want a dedicated project manager, and don’t want to spend time learning how to manage developers.
And now, the most important question: How do I choose the right software development company for my next project?
There’s a lot of software development companies, maybe even too many. Thankfully, there are online directories that can help narrow down your search. Here are some tips and things to look for when you’re choosing a company:
- If you’re using an online directory, look closely at the reviews and rankings;
- Ask your friends, colleagues, your social media community, and anyone whose opinion you trust, and find out if they know a good agency. That is a great way to get a recommendation based on experience;
- Check out the agency’s website and see what kind of projects and clients they have, looking for any that align with your priorities, desired platforms or necessary functionalities;
- Consider choosing an agency which is close enough to you, so that you can meet the team in person. It’s important to know the people you’re going to work with.
However, doing this research is not enough. The best thing you can do is to meet with the chosen software development agency, or agencies, and to ask them several questions. Before you invest so much money, you should collect the appropriate data you need to ensure you’re making the right decision for your business.
Questions to ask when evaluating a software development company:
- How will we communicate throughout the development of the project?
- What will our timeline look like? At what points should I expect updates?
- What maintenance fees should I expect to pay?
- May I contact 2-3 former clients to discuss their experience?
The last step of choosing the company you’re going to work with is to check the experiences that people have had. Ask for 2-3 references (it’s best to ask for specific clients based on what you’ve seen on their website) and schedule a call to learn more about their experience. Here are some questions to ask on your reference calls:
- What was the general scope of your project?
- What would you consider to be this agency’s greatest strengths?
- What would you improve or change about the experience you had?
- How would you rate your overall experience on a scale of 1-10?
- Are you still working with this agency? Why or why not?