Many founders just starting a software company considers the option of outsourcing to an agency. However, before a software startup would outsource software development to a third party, it’s important to find a reliable and trustworthy partner. After all, its livelihood depends on the quality of the product created.
In this article, you can see a list of signs that indicate a software development company is a good one and can be trusted with developing software for startups.
Picking the right partner for you is not that hard, but it is tricky. However, with our guidance, you can find the best agency for your needs.
Why work with a software development company?
Outsourcing development has become a massive trend among startups in recent years.
One of the main reasons for that is simple – startup resources are often limited, and so is its time. Partnering with an outsourcing agency allows founders to instantly access a pool of top professionals who have a work process figured out and can start building an MVP or a complete solution immediately.
Finding, hiring, onboarding, and retaining talent is challenging in the tech world. It can take months before the startup assembles a development team. And by that time, it can be too late. A competitor might have already launched a similar product and made themselves known as the innovators.
Also, maintaining and managing a team is difficult and takes immense resources and energy that not even every established business has, let alone a startup. So instead, founders are much better off focusing on tasks only they know how to do, such as creating a strategy for the future company, brainstorming marketing campaigns, and negotiating with potential investors.
4 signs that the software development company is good
Now that we’ve discussed why startups are better off outsourcing software development to a third party let’s see what criteria they should consider when picking the outsourcing agency.
1 Open and honest communication
Transparency is, perhaps, one of the most critical aspects of any relationship, including the business partnership.
Software development is not a quick process. Therefore, you will work with the outsourcing company over a long period – from ideation to delivery and, possibly, on later updates and upgrades.
It is paramount that the startup and their partner speak the same language and can discuss everything openly. If communication is poor, it will be reflected in the form of an inadequate product feature set, missing functionality, and mediocre performance.
To identify what kind of communicators your potential partners are, watch them and read between the lines as you discuss the work process, the deal conditions, and other cases they’ve worked on. They should be eager to jump on a conference call or meet personally before starting the work. On the other hand, be wary if they only use email or messengers.
2 Portfolio of previous work
Not every client is willing to broadcast their project details publicly on their partner’s website. So don’t expect an extensive list of cases from your potential outsourcing company.
However, they should still be able to show you previous projects or business cases. It can come from unanimous case descriptions and how they’ve been helping their clients. Also, as you go to private meetings with the company’s representatives, ask for more information about other clients and projects. Again, the agency might not be able to publish information on the website, but they should be able to tell you more in a one-on-one meeting.
Tip: If you are considering partnering up with a company that is newly established and doesn’t have an impressive portfolio, ask about their previous work experiences – what kind of teams were they a part of, what clients did they manage and create solutions for. If they share their previous employers’ names, find their website and browse there.
3 Wide range of expertise
Some outsourcing agencies are more boutique and focus on a smaller number of services. Others pride themselves on being able to do everything.
Ideally, look for a software development company that is somewhere in the middle because:
They will be able to do most mainstream projects that your startup might require in the future. Finding a reliable partner and working with them is more efficient than going through a recruitment process every time your startup needs something done.
They don’t spread themselves too thin and can guarantee high-quality services across their entire offering. However, bringing top service for anything you can imagine is not accessible. And unless you deal with the most prominent providers out there, it’s almost guaranteed they will be better at some services but then average with the rest.
Your potential partner needs to have a reputation. They should be talked about online or offline. It is suspicious if you can’t find any feedback, but the company claims to have worked in the market for years.
Don’t be shy about asking around if anyone has heard of or worked with a given company. You might even go as far as reaching out to their clients and asking about their experience.
And as you browse the world of the internet, remember that people tend to post more negative feedback than positive. So don’t be put off immediately if you see someone unhappy about their work together. Instead, it would be helpful to bring this up in one of your meetings to see what the outsourcing agency has to say about it.
Hiring an in-house team to develop a product is not always the best solution.
If you need to start development soon, looking for the right talent and onboarding them will result in stress and anxiety. As an alternative to this lengthy and tiresome process, outsourcing development with a company specializing in that is an attractive option.
At the same time, it is essential to do due diligence and pick a company capable of developing excellent solutions on your behalf. Keep out tips in mind as you evaluate your options, and you will be able to avoid many mistakes that first-time outsources make.