We have all tried to look for a software developer or software development company to handle development tasks for our website, webshop, mobile app, or custom software. Often, the search for the developer becomes challenging and gets postponed to the last minute, as the risk of making a mistake and choosing the wrong company is high. You enter the state of knowing what you want, but not what you will get.
Here are helpful tips on how you can get the right software development company for your needs.
1. Make a list of your needs and wants
How you want your website, webshop, or mobile app should be very clear to you. You should know the fundamental functions, main pages, and critical features that will fulfill your goals. Your software development company can suggest technical approaches, but you must know the characteristics of your end-product prior to contacting a software company. This is the primary list that you must have.
Find out who you need: is it a software developer? Or a digital marketing expert who understands SEO, Google Adwords, Facebook advertising? Or a technical project manager who will run the project to its full completion?
Then think about the phases of your project:
- Which concerns should be solved immediately?
- Which tasks should be done today?
- Which tasks can be solved in the course of time?
- How much should be done per day, week and month?
2. Identify success criteria
Identify specific success criteria that should be met by a software development company before you start searching. These may include:
- Response time. The company should be able to respond to your inquiry within 24 hours. Observe your first few exchanges of communication. It’s a very good sign if a company is prompt in replying to your messages. On the other hand, delayed, slow response at the beginning is a red flag; it’ll most likely be the same response pace for your future collaboration, something you won’t want to have as a paying client.
- Skills set. Are their developers proficient on specific frameworks that you’ll need? Do they have certifications? Do they have a range of services that may be crucial to your project from end-to-end? Are their specialists full-time employees or freelancers? You wouldn’t want to have your project subcontracted to freelancers while you’re paying for company rates.
- Number of employees. Do they have enough team members so that when one is not available, your project is not compromised? Do they have a project manager to look after every phase and detail of the work?
- Client testimonials. Search for client reviews, references, and testimonials, including those posted on social media. Social proof is a reliable barometer to vouch for a software company’s credibility. Take note of what current and previous clients say about the company people and service level. Look at the number of positive customer reviews: more is definitely better. This will be expounded further below.
- Other company information. Look for other signs of reliability, such as a company’s number of years in operation. A professional website is another thing to consider. A web development company that will make your website or webshop should itself diplay a gorgeous company website that loads fast, is in responsive format, user-firendly, intuitive, and displays up-to-date functionalities. How can you expect a software company to build an excellent product for you if they cannot even make a good one for themselves?
Should I look for a local software development company?
It’s not a necessity to work with local suppliers. You can collaborate with offshore suppliers if you find them fit to do your tasks, using the success criteria you have set. Software projects that don’t require you to speak your native language or utilize your cultural knowledge are often best outsourced since it becomes cheaper when done abroad.
These are the tasks that should be made by a local specialist in your country:
- Google AdWords
- Product write-ups, articles, blogs
- Local advertisements
- SEO (However, the technical aspects of SEO can easily be done even offshore)
And these are the tasks you can send offshore to save money:
- Programming tasks
- Maintenance of websites and webshops
- Web design
- Graphic-related tasks, such as setting up brochures and catalogs
3. Make a list of companies
- Search Google. For example, try searching for web development companies, IT companies, software development companies, digital agencies, etc.
- Check IT portals and forum that can lead you to a list of companies.
- Re-establish contact with previous suppliers you’ve had good collaboration with.
- Ask friends and colleagues if they know a company they can recommend.
4. Check client testimonials, ratings, reviews, and accounts
This screening process is important and you should not skip. As mentioned above, client reviews and ratings are a dependable performance indicator of a software development company’s credibility. You search for these through Google, or directly ask your potential suppliers for client testimonials or for references whom you can ask.
Many companies display their customers’ feedback and samples of work they have done on their website. Use these to find three to four companies you can contact. At 1902 Software, we show both our clients’ statements and samples of projects we have completed.
There are many online rating platforms out there such as Google, Facebook, Yelp, and the like, which you can check.
- Google. Google allows individuals and companies to rate businesses using their Google account. See below to see 1902 Software's Google rating: 4.9 out of 5 stars.
- Facebook. Facebook allows you to rate companies' through the latter’s Facebook business page. Below is 1902 Software’s Facebook page rating: 4.9 out of 5 stars.
Corporate accounts and profiles
Check the companies you’ve listed through online business directories or professional platforms to get important information. This will give you an idea on how the company is doing. Be careful not to do business with a company that’s on the edge of bankruptcy.
5. Multiple suppliers
When doing software development, be cautious not to work with multiple suppliers for doing the same system because, if something goes wrong, both parties can play it safe and easily accuse the other as the cause of the problem. This scenario ends up in useless back-and-forth arguments, where your project ultimately suffers.
If you want different developers as a form of strategy, make sure that each work assignment is separate from the other. For example, engage the services of one software development company for Magento development, another for WordPress development, and another one for Google AdWords, since these systems don’t normally overlap.
6. Additional strategy
If you’re a medium-sized company without an IT department, you can hire a full-time employee who has extensive knowledge of digital /online marketing and a good understanding of technical things. This talent will definitely save you a lot of complications because he can be the key linkage between you and the right software development company for your complex projects. He will be able to communicate well with you on your tasks, and evaluate your actions better than a person with limited experience.
In addition, you gain a sparring partner who can help assess the solutions and cost estimates that you receive from your software company, and help you decide within the context of your business directions.
Lastly, hiring a full-time talent can help lower the risk of choosing the wrong company. If you lose this talent, you can revert to the company for help and vice versa.
Good luck with your search for the right IT partner!
If you’d like to know more about the end-to-end solution that 1902 Software can provide for your next software project, contact us.