Startups have long been the engine of progress in many industries. Bold ideas combined with the latest technology change our world. Why then statistically do most of the startups fail? According to the CBInsights study, the first places in startup failures are taken by such reasons as no market needs, insufficient funding, and the wrong team. If the first two points fall on the shoulders of a startup owner, then when choosing a development team, you entrust the implementation of your idea to third parties. How not to be mistaken in choosing the right development provider? Here are our tips.
Where to look for a software development team
According to Evans Data Corporation, there were 26.4 million software developers in the world in 2019, so you definitely have a lot to choose from. The development market is full of companies with different expertise and specialization that can potentially become your partners. Of course, you can just google and get an impressive list of options, but if you want to save your time, use trust resources that provide different company ratings based on customer reviews, delivered projects, and popularity.
Freelance sites provide an opportunity to hire remote developers for your project. Usually, there are cheaper development rates that can be crucial for startup development, but when resorting to this method of searching for a team, you need to know exactly what product you want to develop and understand the technical part to build your team with different specialists. Of course, you can often meet profiles of outsourcing companies on similar sites, but you can find more information about them in directories.
Directories offer companies to register a profile with case studies, company information, customer reviews, service rates, and much more. You can easily select the locations you are interested in and the best prices, using filters. Also, such sites compile their own ratings of top companies in different fields, which can help you in choosing the best one.
Q&A sites are a great way to get advice from experienced professionals. There are many Q&A sites related to business and software development. By leaving a request on one of these resources, you can very likely get good options, but carefully check whether a company’s expertise meets your requirements.
Criteria for choosing a software development company
- Company expertise
Not all software companies are the same. Some specialize in specific areas, for example, the development of blockchain-based products, others use a wider technology stack but work with specific industries. Study the services provided by the company you are going to work with, the experience of the team, and the availability of certificates to find out if this company has the exact expertise you need. Maybe the best solution for your startup is to partner with a small studio that works with start-up businesses. Or you have sufficient funding and are ready to cooperate with a large company that will cover all your needs.
- Type of cooperationOutsourcing companies provide different types of cooperation, which have their own characteristics both in terms of cost and development process. There are three main models of cooperation.
The fixed-price model is the least flexible model of cooperation. It assumes a predefined list of work and costs. A software development company estimates your project based on your requirements. In such a model, you cannot change your requirements, and a provider cannot change costs because you make an agreement on everything in advance. This means that you need to clearly know what kind of product you want to create, and what features you need to develop to do everything right.
The time-and-materials model is the most common outsourcing model due to its flexibility. With such cooperation, you pay for the work done, you can add new requirements that often appear after the start of a project. This model is convenient because you can quickly add new features, which happens almost always if you have a medium or large-size project.
A dedicated software development team is a great option for you if you need to expand your in-house development team. With this model, you buy the services of specialists you need and personally manage the development process. If you have never dealt with software development before and you do not have a trusted person who could do this, I recommend you to choose one of the above models.
- Company services
As I mentioned before, some companies don’t provide full-cycle development services. This means that a provider can help you with the technical part, but you have to deal with design issues or draft a requirement yourself. It may be more profitable for start-up projects just starting their business path to complete all tasks with the help of one company that provides complex services. Remember that poor implementation can kill even the most brilliant idea, so don’t try to save money by taking on tasks that you haven’t worked with before. Better to entrust them to people who have enough experience.
- Delivered projects
You don’t need to be well-versed in technology to rate the experience of the company you intend to work with. It is enough to study the delivered projects. The secret is to look for projects that are similar in technology or functionality to yours. Test delivered products, if possible, evaluate how a team coped with the tasks to find out how well your product will be developed. To do this, study the websites of companies, and search for projects on Google to see how successful they are now. Remember that you test functionality, user-friendliness, and not someone else’s idea.
- Intellectual property rights
Before starting a project, ask about the legal part of the cooperation. Be sure to check the correctness of a contract and make sure that all rights to a software product will belong to you. Start your business the right way, setting a solid foundation for further development and scaling. Also, pay attention to data security, especially if your startup belongs to industries working with sensitive data, like finance or medicine. Make sure that a company values security.
It’s up to you what factors to make decisions when choosing a development team. The main thing is to make sure of the reliability and professionalism of an outsourcing company. A startup is always a risk, but poor startup product development is a clear path to failure. Make sure you have done everything to succeed. Don’t try to skimp on quality, your future clients won’t appreciate it.