Mobile applications are the trendiest source of revenue – especially if you are an appreneur who wants to earn through ad sponsorships or premium memberships. But the success of your new app business significantly depends on the performance of your business app, which, let’s admit, depends on who developed your app!
Building onto this, we can say that an app development company can make or break your app business. This holds 100% value if you are in New York city, a hub of national and international technical talent.
If you also have a unique app business idea and want to turn your vision into reality, here is a 10-step guide on hiring the right app development company for your project.
Without further ado, let’s jump to the steps successful appreneurs take while hiring app developers for their business projects:
1. Create a mobile app business plan.
Yes, a business plan is of primary importance if you want to find the right resources for app development. This document will have the mission and vision of your business, short-term and long-term goals, budgeted cost and revenue, development timeline, growth metrics, your planned monetization model and strategy, marketing techniques etc.
But how does this plan help you choose the right app development company?
On your first interaction with a shortlisted developer, you can simply use this document as an input or research and ask if they can actually understand your vision. This way, you can test their skillset from technical standpoint too.
2. Check technical expertise and experience.
As an appreneur, you will have a list of goals you want to achieve with the app. But only a developer can tell whether your goals are attainable in terms of legal, financial and technical feasibility. Ask them their core competence, their USP and anything else, their programming skillset and so on.
One ideal way to test their technical skills is to see if they have tech partnerships, certifications and affiliations with reputable companies like Microsoft, Google, Amazon, IBM and so on. For reference, you can check if the app developer has Adobe partnership and Google Developer Certification.
3. Assess development portfolio.
Checking previous projects is one proven trick to check how experienced a development team is and how versatile it is to adjust to the needs of different clients.
For reference, here are 5 questions to test a company’s portfolio:
- Which type of apps has the company developed?
- Has the company developed complex applications?
- Who are the common clients of the company?
- How well-designed are its previous apps in terms of colors, branding and user interface?
- Are these apps user-centric and customer-focused?
- Which industries do their clients belong to?
- Are these apps performing successfully on the app stores?
Now you might not get answers to all of these questions from their provided copy of portfolio. Going to the app store and downloading their previous tech solutions is one solid way to measure the quality of their services.
4. Hire for innovation and advancement.
While it is easier to find programmers for basic to even feature-packed apps, you should hire one who knows how to integrate emerging technologies like blockchain, VR and IoT into the mobile apps.
You need these advanced features in your app now as global demand (and acceptance) for these technologies is growing – the modern audience wants to receive and send in cryptocurrency tokens; it wants to view products and services in virtual reality and it wants to integrate gadgets and wearables in their smart homes. So, an app developer who is experienced and well-versed in these technologies can actually help you with gaining competitive advantage.
5. Discuss app ownership.
Though it’s a generally accepted rule that the app idea and app’s source code belong to the app owner and not the developer, it is ideal to discuss such clauses before getting into the contract. You should have the legal copyright of your app, its branding, its graphics and everything else associated with it.
6. Exchange insights about monetization strategy.
While you may have an ideal revenue model for your app in mind, your prospective app developer can actually mature your monetization strategy – specially if they have already worked with similar businesses.
7. Virtually meet the dedicated project manager and developer.
Most app development companies assign projects to specific project managers and developers. If you choose to go ahead with the company, communicate with your developer and project manager beforehand to understand their workflow, and development approaches. Also, decide a time for monthly or weekly meetings.
8. Decide on monthly app development milestones.
App development is a lengthy, comprehensive process with design, protype, coding, testing and debugging. Ask your development team how it will manage these milestones, how it will measure the completion and success at each step and most importantly, when they will complete each step.
9. Check social proof.
Social proof from websites, third party review sites, community forums and social media handles actually helps understand the authenticity and credibility of a company – and for a service like development, social proof can really help you with an effective decision.
Here is a list of 5 platforms where you can find social proof about developer:
- Testimonials on company’s official website
- Review sites like Clutch, Good Firms, Business of Apps and App Futura
- Social media: Facebook pages, groups and Instagram handles
- LinkedIn endorsements and LinkedIn groups
- Community forums like Quora and Reddit
Check if they have received any shoutouts or mentions on these platforms and especially, how they interact and engage with their audience on social media and Quora.
10. Break down app development costs.
While cost isn’t the only factor to base your hiring decision, it is one of the most critical ones, especially if you have or will apply for third-party funding and investments. Compare the price quotes for 2-3 shortlisted companies, check their payment terms (down payments, installments etc.), upfront costs and everything else that they provide as part of their quotation.
Though all of these 10 steps are important ones, you’ll have to balance between the development costs, timelines, quality, innovation and creativity at some point. All in all, go for an app development company that provides you the value for your money, understands your vision as an appreneur and ready to take the plunge with you!