Phone

+48 884 880 380

AddressPL

Gliwice, 44-100

ul. Błogosławionego Czesława 13

AddressUK

Kemp House London, EC1V 2NX

152 - 160 City Road

Phone

+48 884 880 380

AddressPL

Gliwice, 44-100

ul. Błogosławionego Czesława 13

AddressUK

Kemp House London, EC1V 2NX

152 - 160 City Road

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_Where to start?_Set your goal_Where to look for a software house?_Step 1: basic research _Step 2: tech research_Step 3: meeting the team_What to ask about?_2 extra tips_Our way_How to choose?
Ela Nowicka

3 steps to choosing a software development company

Choosing the right software agency is a turning point in whether or not your product is going to succeed. After all, they’re the ones who are going to be accountable for developing it, but you bare the responsibility for hiring them. The right software partner can walk you through the whole path of digital product creation. Making you feel comfortable and happy is precisely one of the things that can be done for you by an appropriate software agency.

How to find a company that fulfils your needs? Where to look for them and what kind of questions should you ask? Also, what exactly can you expect from them? In this article, I’m going to try to answer all these questions and provide you with useful tips to make the outsourcing process easier and more effective. Let’s check how to choose a software vendor that will help you achieve your goals!

Where to start?

Starting cooperation with software agency usually takes place after a thorough comparison of at least several different offers. But before you start looking for them, you should clearly define your needs and requirements. That will make the selection process a lot easier for you and your potential partner. It will also help you clearly present your idea. Moreover, the software house will be able to match the offer to your needs better, and you will receive more accurate time and price quotes.

Set your goal

What’s your business goal, and who’s your target audience? You should know the problem you want to solve, which requirements are the most important for you, what are the deadlines, and budget. Then, based on the information, you can start looking for a company that can help you succeed. 

Where to look for a software house?

In the beginning, you can ask someone from the industry. Maybe someone has worked with a software development company that they can recommend. If that’s not enough, you can check lists such as Clutch or TopDevelopers, where you can find necessary information about selected suppliers, check the portfolio and opinions of their previous clients. If you want to search for more providers, you can always use Google.

However, remember that companies that you can find on Google often occupy the first places in the search engine, because they pay for advertising or are just well-positioned. That’s why we recommend specialized portals and lists such as Clutch, that are packed with verified reviews about the companies and you can personalize your research according to location, number of reviews and many more. 

Step 1: basic research 

Let’s assume that you’ve made your lists of requirements and now, you’re on the lookout for companies. You have some recommendations from your colleagues, and you browse over Clutch or another list. This is the part of so-called basic research. When you find your potential candidates, you should visit their websites, check their testimonials, blogs, case studies and other content they share. Here’s what you should pay attention to:

  • Clients’ reviews – as I mentioned before, there are particular websites on which companies publish their current or previous customers opinions. Thanks to this, you can get an idea of how the collaborations looked like. This includes communication style, tools, technologies and many more. For example, here you can find out what our clients say about us.
  • Case studies – you can check whether the given software agency has experience with similar projects. You have a look at their previous works and technologies they use.
  • Social media platforms – how they present themselves on portals such as Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram is also crucial. If they’re active on social media, it means that they want to build a community and that they care about their company’s appearance.
  • Blogs – it’s a great source to review the firm’s knowledge and get an insight into their workflow. Nowadays, software houses publish articles about their company culture as well as technical and business blogs posts.

Step 2: tech research

Here you go a little deeper in your research. From the sources mentioned above, you can get information such as:

  1. What development methodology do they use?
    For example, at Gorrion, we use Scrum in most cases. It allows us to do step-by-step development and focus on the project. At the end of 2 weeks (this is how usually a sprint lasts) you get feedback on how the process is going.
  2. What’s their tech speciality?
    Are they experienced in required technologies? What can they offer you in terms of web or mobile development?
  3. What project management tools do they use?
    Tools such as Trello or Zoho projects are great for organizing lists by dates or priority.
  4. What’s their experience in UX/UI design?
    Take a close look at their designs. Is it something that you like? You can check it on pages such as dribbble.com.

Step 3: meeting the team

Now the fun part of the process – meeting your future team. You did your research, and you know what you want and who can potentially give it to you. It’s time to reach to them and ask them a couple of questions. During this, you should keep in mind that you’re looking for a partner. After all, you share your idea with these people. You have to trust them and make sure that this cooperation is about transparency. Pick a team who understands your brand values and your goals. Below you can find something that will help you achieve that.

What to ask about?

You can ask for a lot of different things. The point is to know what you can expect from the software agency. To make this process easier, below you can find some useful questions and the right answers:

  1. What does the process of software development look like?
    Let them tell you step-by-step how the process looks and what it involves. For example, are the product tests included? Let them describe the kickoff process. And what about future maintenance and technical support? Ask them if they offer it.
  2. Do you have similar projects in your portfolio?
    If they have experience resolving a problem that’s not so different from yours, it’s enough.
  3. What does communication look like during project development?
    It’s the matter of how much you’re going to be involved in the process – ask them how do they see your role during the project development. Also, how they interact daily? And the truth is, in most cases it’s visible from the very first conversation. Pay attention to things like whether or not they want to understand your needs and your business. Do they listen to your suggestions? You, along with your development team, should adjust the communication style to your needs.
  4. Am I going to own the source code?
    Here it may get tricky as some of the software houses don’t give you a license which results in powerlessness when it comes to your product. Make sure you’re the owner of everything that will be created during the outsourcing process, and that means signing an NDA.
  5. What about security?
    No matter what the project involves, there will always be sensitive data involved. The security is a vital part of the process, during development and after launching the product. At Gorrion, we know how important it is – check out what we say about it here.
  6. Can you provide any references from your previous clients?
    We’ve already discussed this in the previous section. However, if you haven’t found any review, you can ask about contact information and get a first-hand opinion from the customer.
  7. What does the price include?
    Transparency also in terms of the budget is super important. Different companies have different ways of preparing them. Ask for precise cost estimates.

    You can also ask about the technologies in which they specialize if you haven’t received such information before. Find out what will happen if you are not satisfied with the services provided.

2 extra tips

  1. Make sure they’re the right size for you – maybe it’s obvious, but bigger companies tend to have different processes and less personalized approach. This may result in overlooking some of the issues.
  2. Avoid the ’always yes’ people – a team who agrees with everything you say isn’t a good sign. You should pay attention to how they react to your requirements – do they question it and try to find a better way? (Of course up to some point, let’s not exaggerate). Do they offer you different solutions? If so, it’s good. It means you have a team of experts here.

Our way

We have experience in several fields and many projects. We closely analyze the client’s business to fully understand it and refine the digital product to best suit users’ needs.

Thanks to workshops and constant communication, you’ll get clarity as to what the product is going to look like. During the process, we have an open mind for innovative solutions and pick the ones that best suit the given project. Our company culture includes transparency of the process which transfers to the best solution and a long-term relationship. And because we value your time and money, we explain the origin of the costs and make sure that everything is taken care of. Together we’re going to create a product that has the best value.

How to choose?

Once you get quotes and answers to bothering questions, it’ll be easier for you to choose the right supplier. Searching for a software house can take a lot of time. However, if you’ll remember to provide detailed information and ask questions when you feel that you’re not sure about something, you’ll undoubtedly be able to find the right supplier that will help you achieve your goal.

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