Ask all of these questions, as choosing the right partner is hard work. If you choose the right company, you will have a good partner for years. On the contrary, a terrible company can ruin your business.
Preparation is everything. Investing time in choosing the right custom software company will pay big dividends. The process consists of several steps and our author, Hanna Schneider has written about all you need to get going.
Before you start messaging potential external partners, spend time writing specs, functionality documents, diagrams, and mockups for your future application.
As a customer, you don’t just want a piece of software, but a functional product, right? You’ll save your time, your potential partner’s time, and help both parties. Ideally, be sure to contact a potential outsourcing software development company with ready-made specs and this will dramatically speed up the process.
Define precisely what the objectives of the application are. This will make the product development team better understand your vision and develop your application to meet all your needs. Be as specific as possible.
Define the scope of the project. One of the quickest solutions is to create a product mockup – a visual presentation of the functionality of each application screen. If you are not sure how to design mockups, you can create so-called user stories, which are a description of how the user (person) uses the product.
If you have already done any work on your project, please describe the current status of the project. Describe the existing system components and the technologies used to create them. If you are aware of the technologies used, you can easily select the custom software development agency with the appropriate experience.
After you have finished creating models and specifications, define the scope of work. Do you only need front-end, backend development, or both? Need help with product design and management?
Choose the technology – yes, that’s your job. Of course, you can consult with a potential custom software development firm, but if you choose the technology for yourself, the list of prospecting software companies will be narrowed.
The result of the previous two steps, in short, should look like this:
“I want the front-end to be developed using the React framework, the Ruby on Rails-based backend, the PostgreSQL-based database, and the managed infrastructure. by AWS. Also, I need help with design and user experience ”.
Make a description of the ideal company, something called “Ideal Customer Profile” in sales. The description may include the following sections:
- Price/rate per hour
- Time zone
- Language proficiency
- The personality of the delivery manager.
- Tools / communication
- Development process framework
- Past projects
Once you are done with these steps, you can move on to a more interesting part.
Do your research
There are several ways you can find outsourcing companies:
- Research and review of portals (for example, Clutch.co )
- Only Google companies
- Ask for recommendations from your friends.
Search your inbox, maybe some of the software companies contacted you with a cold email
Then bring your ideal company description and make a list of 20-30 leads that match your ideal company description, technology, and team size.
Visit their websites and see the case study pages, ‘About us’, and the team page. The website should look professional, have good language, and should contain an informative value proposition, the technologies they worked with, and past projects.
You can check their technical skills. See what technologies they use besides Java and ask for some code samples. Do you have any open source projects in your portfolio? Check if it meets your expectations.
Look for similar companies, and ask if they used third-party help, and ask for an introduction and review.
The first touch and impressions.
Email the companies on your list with basic information about your project, goals, and a clear call to action.
After you send the emails, watch how the development companies respond. There are several criteria on what is a good answer:
- The speed of the response.
- Did they ask clarifying questions?
- Has the company tried to arrange a phone call?
There’s no better thing to do than talk to them – make the phone calls with the companies you like and the ones that responded with a clear message.
During the phone call, pay attention to details, their English, technical skills, understanding of your business.
Did they do the first investigation of your company before the call? Have they registered in your application if it has a viable version? Did they request a request from your files? Etc.
Pay attention to things like your commitment, be open to discussions, and willing to get in touch often, honestly about problems and suggestions related to the project. This is not easy to verify before you start working with a software company, but don’t ignore it.
All of these factors should indicate whether they are really interested in becoming your partner or this is another group of developers who want to make money from a random guy with a shitty idea/app.
In short, the process can be similar to hiring. You decide how skillful the person (or company, in your case) is, estimate personal qualities and personal abilities.
Earlier, I mentioned several criteria on how to decide which company would best fit your requirements. But let’s dive into the standards of a good custom software development company.
During the conversation with a custom software firm or mobile app development company, you need to pay attention to every detail.
Does the company that will develop your application really know your industry and did the basic business analysis? It is crucial for your future application because the application is not only the technology but also the business logic.
Do they understand the mission of your project? Are they ready to work with you to achieve success? Your future external partner should not only be a technology partner, but also the business partner who supports you and shares the wins and losses with you.
A successful outsourcing partnership is built on trust. Would you hire the person you are talking to? If not, better move on.
Look at the country, prepare to be like a native.
Read about the country where the potential development company is located.
You should pay attention to such components of work as:
- Internet speed. You will probably have dozens of phone calls, you have to be sure that setting up a call will not be a nightmare, but a productive time
- English proficiency level. Again. It’s about productivity and business. The person with good language will better understand your needs and requirements and will get the information quickly.
- Calendar and national holidays. At first glance, it is a simple thing, but what if the national holidays in this country will take place during its peak season?
- Corporate culture. Will your business partner be able to seamlessly integrate into your existing business processes? Will your outsourcing custom software agency really function as an extension of your business, and will they feel the same sense of ownership in projects as your employees?
Let’s go to the final steps. Carefully review the references of other companies or clients that worked with your potential software firm. Ask for the price and ask what the price includes.
Some companies may also charge you for communication, project management, and not just for development services.
Ask what is the payment procedure? Do you need prepayment and how often will you have to pay for development services?
You need to ensure that the development process fits your processes. For example, ask about project management, communication, leave management software and task tracking tools.
Make sure the company on the other side has a clear idea of your business and future application before the estimation process begins. Before starting work regularly, you can give them a small part of the project to see how the work will go.
And always remember that your partner must work as an extension of your business.
Summary and conclusion
To find and choose an outsourcing custom software company, you need to take some time and effort. Despite the potential cost savings, there are a few things to consider: the business environment and engineering resources of a chosen region, the skills of the programmers, their experience, project management, and communication skills, etc.
At fortyseven, we are capable of offering you the top-level customer experience you desire. Fortyseven software professionals are always ready to take your software projects from scratch and turn it into the gold you least expected.
I really hope this article helps you find and choose the best outsourcing company. Considering the growing number of custom software developers offering software development services, you have a lot to choose from.
Do your research, define your priorities, and you are sure to find a company that meets your needs.