Choosing the right software development company for your project or business is an important task. Taking a specific of your business into consideration, the success of your company can partly or almost fully depend on this solution. Some companies require custom-made software to improve processes and operations inside the company. Other companies look for solutions to provide the best products and services for their clients and stakeholders. Individuals or teams may have a smart idea, implementation of which needs a development team. Some companies have their development team, but the capacity of it is not enough for a certain project or in case of rapid scaling up of the company.
In all these cases it’s crucial to find a software development company you can trust.
Selecting a Good Software Development Company
In this article, we’ll share advice on what to do and what to pay attention to while choosing a software development company for your project.
Before starting the research and contacting potential candidates, invest some time in writing specifications, functionality documents, and other documents that are necessary to define your project or future application. This will allow you to better understand your criteria for the future partner and economize time during the discussion process.
Describe in detail what are the goals of the project and determine the scope of it. If your project is already ongoing, define the current state of it. Describe the existing system components and the technologies used to create them. If you adhere to certain technologies, search for companies that have specialists in those.
At this stage, you are ready with the idea of what you need for your project or application and what you expect from the company. Expectations can be not only technology-related. It can include parameters like price rate, country, time-zone, language proficiency, etc.
The research phase
There are plenty of resources where you can find software development companies.
The easiest way to find them is the Google Search results. Both paid and organic results can be a good option. Carefully read a preview of the page. Often you can already differentiate potentially interesting companies based on the provided information. From the short description, you can get information as is it a local company or an outsourcing party, on which principles the company works, and sometimes also the estimated price rates.
Another option is to check the online listings. The most popular of them is Clutch and OnlineSuccess. You can range the search results regarding location, minimal project size, average hourly rate, industry focus, and more.
The third option is to ask for references from your clients, partners, colleagues, and friends. In this case, you are getting an immediate review from the people you trust. But keep in mind, that their goals and requirements to the development team can be different from yours.
Trust your people, but check it yourself too.
Emails and messages
Look into your inbox, maybe some of the companies have already contacted you with a cold email or with a message on social media.
What to pay attention to
The design and usability of the website
The website is the face of the company, especially for one, specializing in software development. Look at the website as one of the examples of their work. Keep in mind that their website holds more informative then educative or entertainment functions. So don’t do the snap judgment. Check some more examples of their work in the Cases section.
Cases on the website or portfolio in listings
Cases are examples of the work made for their clients. There you can find a short description of the project and visual evidence of the work process or ready product. You can gain information such as technologies used, companies they are working with, methods of their work, the industry of their specification, and more.
Services the company provides
Before signing a contract, make sure that the software development company understands your business needs. Depending on the scale and specifics of the project you might require, besides the development team, design team, project manager, quality assistants, testers, and other specialists. The software vendor should provide the services that’ll guarantee the best outcome of the project.
Don’t forget the post-development services such as software maintenance and software backup services.
Even though the blog is not the most important thing to look on, the companies who know their business well are happy to share their knowledge with a wider audience. By checking out the blog posts you can understand the depth of their knowledge and gain new information. You can also check the dates of the latest publications in the blog and on social media to see how active the company is.
Activity in a social media
Nowadays social media is a big part of everyday life. Companies are also active on social media. The most popular social network for B2B companies is Linkedin. Check there the description, location, number of specialists in the company and their latest posts.
Reading the reviews is a really important part of the selection process. Those are the real opinions of existing or former clients of your potential partner. You can find reviews on the website of the company, on the Google Business, and in the listings.
What to take into consideration
Years on the market
This criterion shows how experienced the company is in their field, how stable, and therefore, how trustworthy it is.
Number of specialists
There is no right or wrong answer to how big the company should be, all depends on your requests. Check that there are enough specialists for technologies and experience level you are looking for. Ask about the structure and management of the company. If it is a large company, you want to be sure your project is well managed.
Go for the company with Agile principles in software development. It’s a proven fact that the agile approach has many benefits for both the development team and the client. Better product quality, faster delivery to market and a higher return on investment are between them. Read more about the advantages of the Agile approach in our Whitepaper.
We understand that some companies might have a limited budget and that’s why they can’t go for every possible offer on the market. You can often see advice to not to go for the cheapest solution either. Here we would like to clarify some points. Not every cheap solution is a bad one, and, as opposed to, not every expensive one is the best. You need to figure out what arguments the price.
When you take into consideration outsourcing or nearshoring companies, the price may be lower because of the lower labor costs in those countries. And it has nothing to do with a lack of quality. If you are looking for high-quality services with lower costs and the same culture and time-zone, nearshore companies can be a good option for you.
- Remember the importance of communication
Communication process plays a vital role in the custom software development process. Clear communication helps with project planning, estimating budgets, determining priorities, clarifying questions, and making sure that things work according to the plan. Make sure you get a good feeling about the quality and amount of communication with the software development company you’re planning to work with. The success of software development heavily dependable on what and how gets communicated.
The first impressions
When you have chosen a few companies to consider, come to the first contact with them. Send them a short email, fill out the form on a website, or give a call.
By any above-described options give them basic information about your project, goals and clear call to action.
When you have made the first step, look at how the companies will respond. There are several criteria on what is a good answer:
The speed of the reply
Existence of clarifying questions
Willingness to arrange a phone call or a meeting
Pay attention to such things as their engagement, being open to discussions and eagerness to contact, honesty about the problems and suggestions related to the project. All these factors should indicate whether they are interested to become your partner.
To find and choose a software development company for your project, you need to take some time and effort. Taking into account that the number of companies, offering software development services, increases - you have a lot to choose from. Do the research, define the priorities, and form an opinion about which companies will be a good fit. Then contact them, see if your expectations are met and make your choice. Usually, companies offer a few weeks probation period, so you have time to experience working together and decide if it can be your long-term partner or if it’s better to go for another option.
The software development company to consider
Amsterdam Standard is a professional software development company with more than 16 years of experience. With 4 offices in Europe, we help fast-growing start-ups and scale-up to build quality software, staff their teams and create outstanding designs for websites and applications. We are looking forward to partner with you!