As a business owner or manager, you may often outsource tasks and jobs to external agencies or teams. When it comes to critical jobs, like software development, outsourcing is almost a mandatory choice (unless you already have developers on your payroll).
Outsourcing, however, isn’t always as easy as it seems. Yes, you’re delegating a particular job to experts so that you don’t have to deal with it in the first person, but you also need to make sure those experts can do a good job. Being able to trust the people and companies to delegate your work to is the basis of outsourcing.
For this reason, the process that leads to the selection of a particular software development company is more complex than it may seem. That’s why in this article, we’d like to provide you with a guide on how to choose a custom software development company. Where to begin? What aspects do you need to take into consideration before hiring a software development agency? Let’s find out!
Know what you want
The first step of choosing a software development company is trying to identify your needs and goals.
You can’t find a company that can meet your needs and help your business achieve its goals if those needs and goals aren’t clear to you in the first place. It might seem obvious, but it is fundamental to take some time to reflect on these aspects before hunting for a software company to hire. What kind of software do you need? When do you need it to be ready and functioning? What type of communication do you want with the outsourced team? Are you providing complete autonomy to the external team, or would you prefer a closer collaboration?
What services can each company provide?
Once you have clarity on the software and overall service you need, it’s time to begin browsing through the different software development companies available.
You can get an idea about whether they can meet your needs or not by simply visiting their websites and navigating through the description of the services they can provide. If they are not clear about their services, dismiss the company and move on to the next one.
However, do not limit yourself to reading the list of the company’s services. Contact the company via email (again, if their contacts are not well visible on their website, dismiss the company!), describe your project, and ask how they can help you.
Software development is a discipline that comprises many areas: design, coding, engineering, and even marketing (in particular, online marketing through the optimization of the software itself). You should prefer companies that can provide comprehensive services so that you can interact with one team and make the workflow more efficient.
Learn about the company’s level of expertise
Between two software development companies that can provide the service you need, you should always pick the one with a higher level of expertise. How can you find out about it? There are several ways:
- You can ask how long the company has been active, how long the team members are working together, and if they’ve already worked on projects similar to yours.
- Go to their About Us page to learn when the company was founded, how and if it has grown over time, and other information of the sort.
- Search online for reviews clients have shared about the company. Other than having more information about the quality of their work, you can also get an idea about the number of clients they’ve already worked with and understand their level of expertise.
Research on the company’s reputation
Now it’s time to go deeper. The company you selected can provide the services you need, and it has a significant level of expertise. It’s time to understand the clients that hired the company before you think of it.
There are tons of virtual places where you can find reviews about a specific company. Once more, all respectable companies today are present on the web. If a company isn’t, especially if a software development company isn’t, we recommend looking elsewhere.
First of all, you can check on Google: if they have a Google Business Page, type the company name on the search bar, and you’ll be shown their Google Business Page with all the related clients’ reviews.
Furthermore, you can check websites that are collectors of the company’s reviews. The most popular and reliable are Trustpilot, Capterra, and g2.com.
The company’s communication skills
What should you be looking for when you read clients’ reviews. Of course, you want to know if the company can do what they promise if they are punctual with the deliveries, and more. However, you can also understand how the software development company interacts with its clients by reading the reviews.
Are they available? Do they provide telephone numbers other than emails? Are they willing to make video calls or meet you in person? The type of communication you have with your software development team can make a difference in the quality of the work, especially if you’re searching for a deeper level of collaboration.
Consider your budget
Last but not least, consider your budget. It mustn’t be the final step, but a consideration you built through the picking process. You may not know what a software development service can cost, so you ask the company itself and request a quote.
Of course, we recommend asking for more than one quote from more than one company, and with this information, you start understanding the budget you want to reserve for the project.
Knowing your budget before hiring the company and start working on the software is very important because it allows you to optimize your resources and avoid waste. It also tells you when you’ve spent enough, and it’s time to collect the results.
With this guide, you can optimize the software development process of choosing the most suitable software development company for your needs. You can follow the guide step by step, narrowing down the field as you progress in the process.
However, all the processes described in those steps can also happen simultaneously!
Now you’re ready to choose your software development company.