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What Shall We Pay Attention To When Choosing Software Development Company?

2 December 2020

When your business starts growing you realise that manual information input or running the Excel charts take too long or are insufficient. It is time then to buy a software that is appropriately tailored to your requirements. Such a tool helps to run the business and will help to save precious time at work. However, making a decision on how to search for a software development company rises multiple questions, what the criteria should be, what to pay particular attention to, what to avoid and what type of questions to ask. Remember that you need to make a good choice since you will collaborate with the software company for months or even years. That is the main aim of this article – to help you make the right decision.

What criteria do you need to consider when choosing the developer?

The size of the company and the project

First of all, you need to assess how big your company is. Considering the size you need to select the appropriate software development company. However, the scale of the project is no less important. It is worth to consider the collaboration with most experienced companies for the more sophisticated and complex projects.

Company of four nice attractive qualified professional businesspeople IT experts agents brokers creating web online startup at industrial loft interior style work place station office

Location

The company’s location is in fact the most crucial and important part of decision making process in here. Mainly because the distance has got a huge impact on communication. When choosing the company located in a different time zone, it may be difficult to arrange appointments. It is also worth taking into account the travel time, as the further destinations may sometimes be reached faster by plane, than the shorter ones – by car. The visit in the workplace may result in a better understanding of the place and an easier cooperation. Additionally, we need to consider the region of the chosen country, as it often happens that the specific region performs much more effectively and efficiently than the other. Apparently easy matters such as approach to work or customs may turn out to be a major obstacle in a smooth communication.

Trust

The trust in business is a need. But how to verify whether the software development company that you are considering is trustworthy? How to build the trust? There are few different ways, let’s have a look at examples:

  • Try to request from the software company the statement on a success fee. This fee depends on the company’s final profit.
  • Ask for a trial period- dating period, which may last fourteen days or be free.
  • Try to practice the cooperation on a smaller scale for instance, requesting the analysis of only a part of the whole project. It will help you to establish how the process will look like and what the result it may bring. The company shall aim to be professional at all levels, so the smaller part of the software may be introduced at the later stage and complete the whole project.

Coherence in common values

Everyone has different priorities in life. For some – it would be work, in which they feel the accomplishment and where they are always engaged 100%. For the others – it might be free time, which they spent with their families. Finding the coherence at this point may result in cooperation effectiveness. Work usually gives better results when people are at the similar age. It will lead to a better communication and again that will bring better results.

There are obviously exceptions from the rule. It is significant to which recipients you address your product or services. It is worth matching your team to potential customers, as they will know best the needs of their generation.

The choice of technology

Not everyone has the right knowledge in this matter. It is therefore worth choosing the previously verified technologies, which last long on the market. You would not risk losing the technology from the market. It unfortunately happens with innovations and niche technologies, which seem good at first sight but then rapidly disappear from the markets. Tested technologies are most commonly used, such as: .NET, Java, PHP, JavaScript, Angular, React, Vue.js, Css, Boootrap. If you happen to choose new technologies, you better take the company which doesn’t withdraw them.

How to find valuable companies and how to verify them?

The easiest way to verify if the company meets your expectations is to check its references. There are a few methods to do that:

  • The companies often publish case studies on their websites, with the descriptions of realized projects. They present the possible solutions to problems they managed to resolve, their approach to challenges or introduced functionalities.
  • If the company creates mobile applications you can easily verify them. Download the app on your phone from Google Play or App Store and check how it looks like and how it works, what reviews it receives.
  • Check the National Court Register Number. By checking the company’s figures you can see their profits, whether it makes any progress or not. It is also important how many years the company is on the market.
  • Read the reviews in Google writing its name in the browser.
  • Computerworld TOP2000 is the reliable source of information in Poland. Not all the companies are included there but the choice is rather generous.
  • Consider partnership with popular vendors such as Microsoft or Oracle. The information about the partners in specific voivodships can be found on their websites.
  • There is an organisation called SoDA, which integrates Polish software development companies. You may find all membership companies on their website, you may also request a recommendation from SoDA itself.
  • If you know anyone from that sector you may use their expertise or ask for recommendations.

The price

The financial aspects depend on many factors, such as the size of the company, type of service (premium services have higher charges) or amount of employees engaged in the project. More detailed information can be found in the article: https://www.evertop.pl/how-much-does-it-cost-to-create-an-it-system/

When you run an initial research you should meet the representatives from chosen companies.

Two businessmen join hands for business cooperation

What to consider at the meeting and what type of questions should be asked? There is a few hints below you can use:

  1. Before the meeting takes place ask for a draft of a contact. It will fasten the whole process. If the company is responsive and operates well you shall be able to receive the documents very fast. It is a wrong sign if you obtain them with delays. You may check how they respond by calling at unusual time, like in the evening.
  2. Visit the office and check how they work, what the atmosphere is, and the culture of work.
  3. It is crucial that the person you will work with attends the meeting (team leader or the main developer), he or she will be able to explain the project step by step, what the options are, what functionalities may be introduced.
  4. Ask about the team, whether they have the qualified staff and if they can work independently. Eliminate the risk of unknown subcontractor, who would carry out your project. It is important as the well-coordinated team has the clearly specified responsibilities which will result in well-organised and effective work on your project.
  5. Ask a couple of test questions, such as: “what technologies do you recommend?”, and analyse the answer you will receive (if any!). Whether you will receive a specific response, based on the expertise of a qualified team, or different options/ solutions to choose from, or will be dismissed with an answer to be given at a later stage (after signing the contract) – which is not a good sign. Remember that a good and flexible communication is the key.
  6. Selecting the potential client, ask what tools will be used to communicate – in Evertop we connect through Slack, Gmail or Google Meet.
  7. Check what type of approach the potential contactor has got to cooperation. What type of questions they ask, whether they provide their own solutions or only admit to your ideas. Whether they try to understand the issue and whether they aim to commonly find the best solution.
  8. Select 2-3 companies and compare their offers. You will be able to notice he biggest discrepancies. Make sure that all notes included in the contract reflect the real project and its realization time.

The summary

As we can see there are many criteria to consider. There are also many software companies on the market that offer their services, therefore the right selection is the key to success. Certain aspects of the topic may be obvious (such as location or trust), however, it is not always taken into account. Finding the right company is crucial, as we need to take on each project individually. And a good software development company should not only provide the right software but also the safety of the system with an option of potential expansion in the future. I hope that my guide will help you to make the right choice of the best company for your project.

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Rafał Dunal
Rafał Dunal
Chief Business Development Officer Former software developer, serial entrepreneur, fan of new technologies. During the off-time - ham radio operator.
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