5 Things To Pay Attention To When Hiring A Development Shop
Hiring a development shop to build your website or mobile app is a big decision. Not only is it a significant financial investment, but it’s an investment of your time as well. You’re going to spend a lot of time communicating with your development shop about your project, so you want to ensure you hire the shop that’s the perfect fit for you and your project.
There are 5 important things to pay attention to when hiring a development shop to build your website or mobile app. Not all development shops are the same and there will definitely be some that are a much better fit for your project than others.
Take a look at the development shop’s portfolio of previous work. Do you like their previous work? Does it look good? Does it showcase the kind of style you like?
If you think a development shop’s portfolio looks absolutely horrible and that none of their previous work fits the styles you like, then they’re probably not a good fit for you. On the other hand, if you enjoy what you see in their portfolio and feel like it’s totally your style, then they have a better chance of being a great fit for you.
Price is really a topic all by itself that warrants another post by itself, but I’ll touch on the important parts here. Is the development shop’s estimate within the ballpark of what you’re able to spend? How far off are they in their numbers?
If their estimate is ten times what you’re able to spend, that development shop is most likely not going to be a good fit because you and the shop are on totally different pages when it comes to what things cost. On the other hand, if their estimate is fairly close to what you had in mind or what you feel is reasonable, they might be a good fit.
Bottom line is, you both want to be in the same ballpark with price. If you’re not, that’s not a good foot to start off on.
You can tell a lot about a company from their demeanor when they are communicating with you. How do they treat you? Do they act as if you’re a nuisance that they’d prefer not to have to deal with? Or are they excited to chat with you and make you feel like you’re always welcome, and never a problem?
A development shop that acts professional and is excited to work with you will always be a better fit than a development shop who seems sloppy in their communication and acts like you’re a nuisance that they’re stuck dealing with.
What sorts of resources does the development shop have on hand? Part of the advantage of hiring a development shop over an individual developer is that a development shop will have a larger team and more resources available to you.
Does this development shop have designers, developers, and project managers? How many? Have they talked about how the various team members will be contributing to your project?
The development shop with the most team members isn’t necessarily the best, but you want a shop that has the right size team to support your specific project. If you’re building an iPhone app, that means you want your development shop to have designers who have designed interfaces for the iPhone before, instead of designers who have only worked on magazine layouts previously.
What kinds of clients have they worked with in the past? What types of projects have they worked on with those clients? If you’re building an iPhone app, you want to hire a development shop who has built several iPhone apps previously and worked with clients who want to build iPhone apps.
This kind of experience means they understand what goes into designing and building an iPhone app, and they understand the environment of the iPhone in terms of its limitations and capabilities. It’s the equivalent of hiring a plumber that has never fixed a toilet in his life to fix your toilet. You’d much rather hire a plumber who has fixed 1,000 toilets.