When you’re starting a new business, there are many things you need to take care of. In this modern era, one of those things is likely creating an app to provide improved services for your customers. However, software development might not be in your wheelhouse, and you don't either have the resources or interest in creating an app in-house.
If this is the case, you're going to need to partner up with someone to help you move your project forward. That’s where app agencies come in - they can help you develop a custom app that meets your specific needs.
This guide is focused on app development for startups, but it applies to businesses of all sizes. Before you hire an app agency, you should know a few things. Here are some valuable tips to help you make the most of your relationship with an app development partner:
Don't Let Price Drive You
It’s essential to have a realistic budget in mind before you start on your software development project. Part of creating that budget is getting quotes from different suppliers.
However, that’s easier said than done as app agencies can be very competitive regarding their rates.
You might think that the best app agency is the one that charges you the least - but that isn’t necessarily true. You may find that an app agency with higher prices offers better quality services and more expertise overall.
But, simply going with the most expensive option is also not a guaranteed recipe for success. There are other criteria that you also must keep in mind.
Get the right amount of expertise
The first thing you need to do is have a clear vision for your app.
- What features do you want it to have?
- What purpose will it serve?
- How will it improve your business?
Be sure to communicate this vision to your startup software development partner, so they understand your goals and what you’re trying to achieve. A good software partner will work with you on this, as while they'll understand how the software should look and feel, you’re the specialist in your industry. It’s a two-way street and needs to be a true collaboration to be successful.
Once you have this understanding, it's time to start interviewing appropriate agencies. Some focus on small, simple apps, while others build more complex software. You'll want to make sure the agency you choose has experience building the type of app you want.
The agency should also have a good history - they should be able to show you examples of apps they've built that are in use today.
Analyze their Portfolio
Before you hire anyone, be sure to do your research. Read reviews, compare prices, and ask around for recommendations. You want to make sure you’re choosing a reputable agency that will create the app you want.
Ask the agency about their portfolio. What apps have they built in the past? Are they still in use today? How complex were those apps? Understanding this will help you understand the agency's experience.
This can be a complex and involved process, but it's essential as sometimes the most experienced firm might not be the best fit. Do your due diligence, and you're sure to find the best app development partner for your startup.
Inquire about their Communication
There's nothing worse than working with a software development company for startups and having them go quiet. Without regular project updates and feedback, it's easy to assume the worst and that no progress is being made.
You should be able to inquire into what is going on and give feedback at any stage. Communication is key to any successful project. However, it's essential to realize that communication is a two-way street. Your development partner might also need answers from you at different project stages, so be responsive.
Product roadmapping should be part of the package
Your app agency should have a process for product roadmapping, and they should involve you in that process. This way, you can make sure that the added features align with your overall vision for the app.
Understand that software development is an iterative process. Nothing ever gets fully completed overnight, and changes are to be expected.
Be prepared to make changes. As your app and business grows, you'll likely want to add new features or change some of the existing ones. Your development partner should be here for you today, and into the future, whether to add new features or make fixes and changes to existing functionality.
This is where product road mapping comes in - having a plan for the future helps you and your development partner stay on track and avoid any nasty surprises down the line.
Ask Questions about Agreements
It's important to understand how your app development partner works and how the process will look. This will help avoid any surprises down the road. Typically, there will be an initial consultation where both parties will discuss the project in detail, including requirements, budget, and timeline.
The development team will then create a proposal that outlines their plan of action and includes a rough estimate of the cost and time it'll take to complete the project. If you're happy with the proposal, you can move forward with signing a contract and kick off the project.
Suppose there's a problem with the app development for startups company you’ve chosen, such as changing requirements or underestimating costs and time. In that case, it can be difficult to end your relationship with them.
That's why it's important to know what an agreement entails before signing on the dotted line.
Your development partner should include the following details in their contract:
- Requirements: The app should have clear guidelines so both parties know what needs to be built.
- Security: If you're working on a mobile app, who has access to it, and how's their data secured?
- Fees: Ensure all additional costs for tasks such as bug fixes or updates are included in the contract price.
- Support: Even if you don't need it at first, app development companies should offer support.
- Ownership: It's important to know what happens after your app is finished and who owns the source code.
- Licensing: Make sure you have the proper licensing for any third-party software or code used in your app.
- Changes: What kind of change requests are there? Can there be unlimited changes or is there a set number? Who can authorize changes?
Transparency is key, especially regarding app developers, as there can be many moving parts involved in app development. Your app developer's contract should give a breakdown of every step along the way with clarity on how long each step will take, but it should also address any changes that may have to be made after the app is finished.
Without knowing how much each step will cost and who's receiving payment for it, you could find yourself footing the bill even though the app isn't what you were looking for. Hiring an app agency is a big step in your app’s development, so make sure you understand your contract before putting your app into their hands.
This is where Konverge comes in
With over 28 years of experience in software development, Konverge is a solid development partner who understands both the technology, as well as the long-term support that your startup needs to be successful.
Fill out the form below to get a free Consultation today!