Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
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. The search for an IT partner can be challenging and often gets postponed, as the risk of making a mistake and choosing the wrong partner is high. You enter the state of knowing what you want, but not what you will get.
In this blog post, I share some tips that you can keep in mind when finding the right software development partner that can work well with your business.
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 IT partner can suggest technical approaches, but you must know the characteristics of your end-product prior to contacting a software company or a developer. This is the primary list that you must have.
Find out who you need: is it a software developer for specific tasks? Or a development company that 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 before you start searching. These may include:
- Response time. Your IT partner 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. Is your IT partner proficient on the 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? For software development companies, are their developers 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 (if you choose to go for a software development company). 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 related information. Look for other signs of reliability, such as their years of experience; or in the case of software development companies, their number of years in operation.
Should I look for a local software development company?
It’s not a necessity to work with local development companies. 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.
3. Make a list of companies
- Do a Google search. For example, try searching for software developers, 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 developers or companies 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
Social proof is a reliable barometer to vouch for an IT partner’s credibility. Take note of what current and previous clients say about the developer or the development company and their service level. The more positive customer reviews, the better.
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.
Aside from a company's website, 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: 4.8 out of 5 stars.
Corporate accounts and profiles
For companies that 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 Ads, since these systems don’t normally overlap.
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.