These days the Google searches are all flooded with the paid ads from design and development companies who are aggressively bidding on search queries to convince you to choose them.
It means you now need to be more cautious while hiring one for your dream product. In this post, you will learn what you need to see in a good development agency before hiring them.
Here are 12 points you need to check prior to choosing an agency:
1. New Isn't Always The Best
See if they have worked on some similar projects before or in the same field. Look out for professionals who have already delivered something comparable to what you need.
Are they actively participating in the discussion and are offering valuable inputs? Or are they just passive listeners who always answer "Yes, of course, we'll do this"...
2. Don't Hunt For The Cheapest
Never make your decision considering the price alone. Cheaper is rarely the best choice out there; let the product and the quality of their previous work decide the price for the job.
Don't forget to also keep an eye on your own budget constraints: more expensive does not always means better quality!
3. Location Matters
The location of the development agency plays a major role when it comes to communication. Shortcomings can be detrimental to the process and affect overall growth of your business.
4. Don't Rush, Be Calm
"When you hire a development company for your bootstrap/startup, you are hiring a technology partner." - Jonathan Clark, Diginovas
Don't rush to hire an agency just because you want the product live as soon as possible.
Getting the project done early is good, but it also needs to be fully functional. And to have the best product in hand, you need to examine its developers first.
Schedule a meeting, make some phone calls, and meet them in person!
That is where local developers have an edge over global agencies and freelancers. You can schedule a meeting at a local coworking space or at their office; because you both can afford to meet in person.
5. Busiest Ones Aren't The Best Ones Too
I know some talented developers and agencies are super busy all the time. But don't get fantasized by their tight meeting schedules and jam packed offices; not to mention their 'hefty prices'.
Ask them about their availability, as most of them work on multiple projects at a time. They may not be equipped to deal with that, which will in the end slow down the delivery.
6. Research Research Research
Hiring developers from freelancing sites are risky: you usually can't predict the authenticity of their so-called shiny 'Star Ratings'.
Maybe they were good for someone's 'Tic Tac Toe' game and deserved a 5-star rating, but what about your Web-based 'Customer Relationship Management' application?
7. Communication Is The Key
How are they communicating during the hiring process? How frequently are they replying to your messages and phone calls?
Are they giving inputs? If they are not active during the hiring process, how can you expect them to be during development?
Notice how they are counter discussing things with you on the project. See if they have any inner spark or interest in your business or idea. Or, is it "just another project" for them?
8. Start Simple, Improve On The Way
It is human tendency to want and try to achieve the best of the best result on day one. But this shouldn't be the case with your Web/app development process. It is always better to start simple and progressively improve towards the end product.
Developing an app isn't a one-time activity. It needs continuous iteration and improvements based on the feedbacks of end users.
9. Build Mockups Prior To The Meeting
Don't go to meet them with just the idea in your head, prepare a proper documentation.
You can even prepare some mockups of the desired product in your mind. A lot of free and paid tools are available online that allows you to create designs and workflows for your app, so your idea is clearer.
After all, a picture is worth a thousand words!
10. Ask For Prototypes
Ask the developers if they are willing to do a prototype first if the app is too complex. This also gives you the opportunity to assess their work before launching the main project.
11. Make Your Agreement Water Tight
You need a trustworthy team of developers before disclosing or explaining your app idea or business model. And to rescue you out from this dilemma, a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) comes in.
Get the NDA signed first for the sake of peace of mind. You can ask the development team to provide their NDA template or you can download our development NDA template for free.
Some of the terms you should include in your NDA may be to make sure the agency and it's employees:
- Can't work on similar domain or idea for the next 2 years
- Can't work with your competitors (name them!)
- Can't share or reuse your code or its parts
- Can't start another company using your idea
12. Monitor The Team Post Hiring
Your job isn't done yet!
Schedule in-person weekly meetings, see how they are managing the SCRUM, ask for regular reports, never hesitate to point out on nitpicks.
I knew most of us are so lazy that start scrolling without getting the meat out of the post above. So to make the whole most more skimmable, here's the included infographic for you to download and keep it handy.
Hope you like the article. Please do share your views with us, what you liked the most out of these 12 points. Or anything else you want to add!