So, you’ve decided you need someone external to build a piece of software for you. Maybe it’s something you will use internally to streamline your logistics, or an app or programme you plan on monetising. You have the idea, but now it’s time to find the right company to build it for you.
It’s difficult to make the right decision, especially if you are not very technical and would rely on the company’s expertise to build your product in the best way.
That is why we have put together the top things you should consider when looking for a software developer, and how to identify the company that will be best for your project.
They have good reviews
This is probably an obvious one, but very important when it comes to software development. As it’s a larger service and more complex than most, it’s very important that you find some credible reviews to read. This means not just what the company has on their website!
A very good review website for this industry is Clutch, where all reviews are verified. The good thing about Clutch is, they encourage the reviewer to answer specific questions and give very thorough feedback on the services they received. So take your time and check the company’s Clutch profile.
They have done this before
Have a look at the projects that the company has done before, and look for one that resembles yours. There are so many software and technology solutions out there, it’s important to find a company that has experience in exactly what you need.
Go through the reviews again and find one that’s about a product similar to your own (Clutch has a question about the type of project, so this should be fairly easy). See if you can click through and see the actual software product that was built, or at least some screenshots.
You should choose a company that has a promising portfolio. Look for quality over quantity. Have a read through the projects they are showcasing - does it look like they did a good job? Does the type of work they generally do match your expectations?
How they approach the problem
Pay attention to what happens after your first contact with the company. Do they straight away start talking about how they can solve your problem and how much it will cost? Or do they take the time to understand what you really need?
You don’t want a company that just wants to quickly built a solution and get paid. They should be the tech experts, so they should take some time to really understand what problem you are trying to solve with the software you need. That way they can give you recommendations on how to improve the solution that you are imagining. At The Beaverhead, we don’t even start looking at pricing until we have made sure that we can offer you the best, most efficient and effective software solution.
The company shouldn’t just take the time to understand your problem - they should also be making sure that you understand exactly what they are suggesting to you. Sure, they can think of all the tech and stacks and coding they need to use, but they should make an effort to explain to you any such choices and what it all means to the end result.
They should also be easy to communicate with - find out what they offer in terms of updating you throughout the project. You want a company that will send you regular updates, so that you know what’s going on and when to expect results.
Commitment to the customer
Have a look around, through their website and reviews, to see if they have a customer support system. Do they offer maintenance after they deliver the product? How do they work with you once the main project is completed?
At The Beaverhead, for example, we have a Customer Success Programme, which ensures you have follow up meetings and various opportunities to ask questions and continue improving your product.
Finally - and this is something often overlooked - you do need to have good chemistry with the team building your software. It may not feel essential to the product, but it is. You need to feel comfortable to ask questions, to share ideas, and to really understand what can be achieved.
We had a client, for example, who was quite restrained at first, but after talking to us felt comfortable to share ideas which he thought would be impossible or too expensive, but were actually very achievable. This type of open communication is a must when you are building something as complicated and robust as a software solution.
When looking for a software development company, make sure you go through all the above points before making a final decision. You may notice that we haven’t included price in there - that’s because that should only even be looked at if the other things are in place. The one tip here is that you probably don’t need to go with the cheapest or most expensive solution, but one that fits your budgets and delivers all the other requirements discussed above.
If you are looking for a developer, The Beaverhead is available to be your software partner. We commit ourselves to build to the best, most efficient solution to your problem, while working with you to ensure your success. Reach out to us today to discuss your ideas, and let us shine a light on what is possible!