So, you have an amazing idea for a digital product.
Your idea will totally transform your industry and generate massive revenue. You can’t actually believe someone else hasn’t thought of it before.
With such a killer idea, you’re keen to get started. But, your founding team lacks the technical skills. So, your only option is to outsource your web or mobile app development. You fire up your computer and head to Google to start searching for companies that offer software development services.
You plan to focus on your company’s sales and marketing strategy, while your new digital service provider takes care of the actual software development.
What could possibly go wrong?
Problems with Outsourcing Software Development Projects
It always takes longer than expected.
Software development should be quick and easy, right?!
Certain features might sound easy, heck you might even think you could do it if you had enough time and a little more skill.
But, a simple feature can actually take hours for software engineers to develop and third-party integrations might not work as expected.
Low quotes might seem tempting. After all, who doesn’t like saving a few pennies? But, you’d be surprised how a low quote quickly spirals out of control. Many agencies give low quotes to get your attention and then add surcharges.
So, you might spend WAY more than expected.
Hiring the wrong software development service provider or going for the lowest quote, might actually end up costing you WAY more.
You start the project and it all seems to be going okay. That is until you realise you’re only halfway through the software development process and the minimum viable product isn’t even 50% complete.
The software development company now wants more money and your pocket’s empty.
Much of the work can be binned.
If you’re someone who hates throwing away work than the software development process isn’t for you.
Harsh, but true.
When you finally have a CTO and in-house team, the first thing they’ll do is audit the software code. And, often they’ll conclude that your code isn’t fit for purpose.
Because your digital service provider built the code using their internal rules, tech stack and a little glue to hold it all together.
Creating a minimum viable product (MVP) is only the beginning.
People tend to think that once they’ve built an MVP, the project will be ready to go live.
However, the truth is MVPs rarely satisfy the client’s needs. It’s only a starting point along your route to live and a way to test your idea and get user feedback.
Once you’ve gathered valuable feedback and conducted user testing, you’ll need to go through several stages of iteration before it’s perfect. Many founders don’t realise how this process works, so mistake the MVP as the end goal.
So, why bother outsourcing software development services?
You’re probably now feeling a bit discouraged about outsourcing your software development project. And, it’s probably starting to feel like a bad idea.
But, what if we told you that with the right support, we can help you develop your digital product and reach a final result you’ll love?
Best Practices for a Software Development Project
When you partner with a digital service provider, you’ll need to play by certain rules.
These rules, or best practices, will give you the best chances of success and make sure you don’t end up on your software developer’s bad list.
Know what you want from your software development project.
Learning how to communicate your ideas is the first step towards pulling off your project. Tell your parents, or better yet your grandma, about your idea and see if they understand.
If their eyes glaze over and they look befuddled, work on your idea and simplify it. Even non-technical people should be able to understand your project, the target audience and how you’ll achieve it.
Almost every agency produces so many meaningless products that working with a client who knows what they want and has a vision is a holy blessing. Your software developer will love you and commit to your project 120%.
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.
Being prepared is half the battle and a Request For Proposal (RFP) document helps you get there. The RFP outlines your project vision, goals, features and functionalities.
We think it’s the best way to start a conversation with a software development company and make sure you’re both on the same page.
Define your project budget.
Before you even approach a software development company, make sure you secure enough funds to cover the product development and marketing. Founders often spend most of their resources on developing the project and don’t leave enough to effectively market it.
We recommend at least a 50/50 split as otherwise, you might develop an amazing product, but no one will know it exists.
A marketing campaign is the only way to increase product awareness and make sure people actually buy it.
Our clients normally tell us that they started by gathering quotes from software development companies and then look for funds. Reversing this order, money first, then a provider and you’ll achieve much better results.
So, get your hands on as much moola as you can, divide it in half and presto, you now have a budget for development and marketing.
Address the elephant in the room.
With new clients, there’s always a giant elephant in the corner. It’s rude to talk about money, right?!
No, not in this case.
Being open about your financial expectations is essential for finding the right digital service provider. Address the elephant in the room as soon as possible and put your budget on the table during your first email with potential software development companies.
You’ll save yourself a lot of time and heartache.
PS: Yeah, we know it’s a dog, elephant went for a walk.
Get your CTO on board.
Your CTO will be responsible for managing your relationship with the software development company. They’ll make sure your product tech stack is up-to-date and isn’t too complicated or basic. They’ll also make sure it’s easy to maintain and that your in-house team can continue its development.
If you don’t have a technical person on your team, be aware that this increases your risk and inform your software development company about the situation. We’ll try our best to help.
Get an in-house team.
Every tech company needs an in-house team, eventually.
Here at 7ninjas, the final product always belongs to the client. We’ll make sure to teach your team about the product, so the migration process is as smooth as possible.
If you follow these recommendations, you’ll be able to build a happy, beneficial relationship with your software development company and greatly increase your chances of success.
Take Your Software Development Project to the Next Level with 7ninjas
7ninjas are experts at custom software development for React.js, React Native and Node.js. We’re a weird mix of entrepreneurs, techies and designers.
We love bringing new products to the market and watching them grow. So, we’ll work with you to understand your goals and how we can help you create a digital product you’ll love.