Did you know that, according to Grand View Research, the global market size of the business software and service industry was over $300 billion in 2020? Additionally, its compounded annual growth rate is expected to be 11.3% between 2021 and 2028.
Considering how many businesses would benefit from working with a software development company, these statistics should come as no surprise.
If you’re considering hiring one for your business, however, you might not be sure where to get started. This can be stressful.
Fortunately, there are strategies you can use to choose the right company for you. In this article, we’ll review them all.
Finally, you can find a software development company that’s perfect for your business, so you can grow your business faster than ever. Read on to learn more.
When searching for the right perfect software development company, it helps to get referrals. Speak with other entrepreneurs in your industry, asking them what companies they’ve worked with in the past. When putting together your list of potential companies, ask:
- “What were the benefits of working with this company?”
- “What were the challenges that came with working with this company?”
- “Would you hire this company again?”
- “Did you think the costs were fair? Did you negotiate?”
By asking these questions, you’ll get a better idea as to whether the company is the right fit for you. In addition to speeding up your selection process, you’ll get honest answers from past clients. This will help you start putting together a list of companies.
If you aren’t able to get referrals or want some additional reviews, you should look at reviews of the company. Look on their website at what past customers have had to say. Additionally, look at more objective review websites where you might find some negative reviews.
The software development company should also be happy to put you in touch with past clients.
In this case, ask them the same questions you asked when getting together your referrals. If the company doesn’t want to provide you with past clients, this might be a red flag, unless they’re a new company just starting.
Talk About Coding
Once you have a list of potential software development companies, it’s time to start asking the right questions. In your first round of calls, talk about coding. The quality of code the company offers will have an impact on the quality of the application you’re building.
Ask them about the level they’ll maintain while coding for you. Additionally, be clear about your guidelines.
For example, you might request that the codes not be resource-hungry or have bugs.
A software development company with high-quality coding work should be showing it off in its portfolio. When reviewing the portfolios, see if the company has already created applications similar to the one you envision—and many of them. Why is this so important?
If the company has already worked on many applications, they’ll have a methodology that’s tried and tested for completing projects.
On the other hand, a software company that doesn’t have this experience won’t have the processes set in place to get the work done well and fast.
They are not as familiar with the challenges they might come across while working on the applications.
If the company specifically has experience working on applications like yours, they’ll be the best choice for the project and will deliver it to you fastest. Keep all this in mind while reviewing the portfolios.
Be Aware of Software System Options
While thinking about the application you want to develop, you might have noticed that there are different software system options available. For example, some companies will work on technology and testing on UNIX, while others will use Windows.
Research these software systems to understand which one would be best for the application you plan to create.
Then, when interviewing different software development companies, ask them which software system they are most experienced with.
If they usually use a software system that isn’t the one your application will be built on, you should take that software development company off your list.
Consider Development Time
When interviewing software development companies, ask them how long they think it would take them to develop your application. You want a company that can complete it in a reasonable amount of time. Those with this track record are the best to go with.
Choosing a company that provides shorter development times, will be beneficial for your team.
For one thing, you and your team will have the time you need to test out the application, identifying any bugs with plenty of time to fix them.
Additionally, your employees will have more time to get used to the software, so that when it’s completed, they can immediately start using it.
A tip: During the initial negotiation phase, come up with a deadline for when you want the application to be completed. When coming up with this date, consider the time you’ll need for training and debugging.
Think About Communication Skills
You should also choose a software development company that has employees who have strong communication skills. This is incredibly important, considering how many coders are good at coders but are more used to working alone in the dark instead of speaking.
While technical skills matter, a coder with good communication skills will be able to more easily understand what you’re looking for when you’re describing your vision for the application.
Additionally, a company with employees who communicate well will constantly be reaching back out to you about updates and challenges with the software.
You’ll also have the opportunity to review the software, explaining without coding jargon what you want to be different as they continue with development.
To judge the communication skills of the company, you can start when you first start contacting them. How do they answer your questions on the phone? How detailed are their emails? How often do they get back to you?
The better they communicate when you’re considering them for the project, the more likely they are to have good communication while they complete it.
Review Application Ownership
Imagine this scenario: you’ve spent months, maybe even years, coming up with the idea for your application. You’ve done market research, come up with a brilliant solution, and you’ve hired a software development company to create it for you.
You start using the application, when suddenly you realize that one of your competitors is using it, too.
To avoid this nightmare scenario, make sure you review application ownership with the companies you’re interviewing.
Even though it’s usually the case that the company paying for the application has rights to it, application ownership issues do sometimes arise.
To avoid this problem, find out who the ownership goes to when you’re working with the software development company. Additionally, look on the legal side of things, seeing what protections are available through your local and state laws.
It may be worth speaking with a lawyer so they can look at the contracts the companies offer.
Consider User Experience
An application that simply gets the job done isn’t enough. You need an application that’s easy for your customers to use, with an easy-to-understand interface, intuitive use, and an aesthetic that’s easy on the eyes.
You also want your application design to match your business’s brand, such as colors and fonts.
When speaking with software development companies, ask them how much they consider user experience when creating their applications.
This is where it helps to ask for examples from their portfolio, where they explain what UX has gone into the design.
Think About Data and Technology Security
When your customers use your application, they might be inputting personal into it. You should ask yourself, “Will there be sensitive data stored in the application, such as business information or classified information?”
Additionally, ask yourself, “If the software doesn’t work correctly, will this data be at risk?”
If the answer to these questions is yes, you need to hire a software development company that has the right data and technology security methods they incorporate into their software.
These include high-safety and high-security systems. If a company doesn’t offer this with its development, you should take this company off your list.
Consider Support After Development
Even after your application has been created for you, you might find that you need support after its development. When interviewing potential companies, ask whether they offer software backup services, software maintenance, and software customization.
Additionally, ask about software orientation and software configuration.
This way, they’ll still be available for support after you’ve received the completed application.
In addition to making sure the company you choose has this support available, you should get it in writing that they commit to providing these services.
That way, you’ll have a guarantee that you’ll still have access to them after the application is completed.
Consider Offshore vs. Onshore Partnerships
Another choice you’ll have to make is whether you want to work with an offshore or onshore company. On the one hand, offshore companies might cost less and offer a larger range of services at a cheaper price. You’ll also have more options to choose from.
At the same time, you may prefer to work with someone in your time zone. Legalities of ownership might also be simpler if you work with a US-based company.
However, remote work is becoming more and more common these days. You can always put together a list of both offshore and onshore companies, after which you’ll go through many of the steps we’ve covered in this article.
Simply add an extra step to pay attention to the legal situation with foreign companies. Additionally, make sure that they can communicate with you properly.
Once you have a list of companies you’re happy with, you can meet with them to discuss your application idea and how you envision it. You’ll also discuss things such as turnaround time and additional services they might provide during and after development.
After this, they’ll provide you with offers. Compare the offers, finding the one that suits your budget and has most of the services you need.
Keep in mind that it’s best to avoid the cheapest offers. There are many problems you’ll get if you go with the cheapest option.
First of all, you’ll experience technological debt. There will be a lack of documentation, the application will be difficult to maintain or work on, there will be a lack of tests, and, worst of all, the code will be poorly written.
Second, you won’t own the source code. Instead, you’ll only receive a license for the product or bundled code. This is even though you’ve paid for the application’s development.
Finally, communication simply won’t be good. There will be a lack of transparency and the English level of the coders might even be poor.
Need Help Finding the Right Software Development Company?
Now that you know how to choose the perfect software development company for your business, you still might want some additional help finding the best one for you. Maybe you’re looking for a company in your area that specifically works with businesses like yours.
If this is the case, you can stop your search now. Nizek is a software development company that can make you the software you need.
We specialize in creating elegantly written code that serves your needs. To learn more about our services, find out more now.