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With the mobile industry on the rise, the demand for mobile app development and the need for custom mobile apps for small businesses is growing at a fast pace. Every small business in this competitive industry, niche, or community would definitely take a step forward and do himself a favor by having a custom mobile app.
Once you have searched for a mobile application development agency to build your product, you are sure to get innumerable options in this industry. But the questions at stake are, “What company do I go with and how do I know they can deliver? Have they built anything like this before? How do I know they’re not going to screw me over?”
Choosing the right partner to bring your vision to life can be a make-or-break decision for the success of your product. All you need to do is- never choose just a “good” agency; rather choose an agency that’s exactly the right fit for your product.
The few most important point in this respect would be:
1. KEEP GOOGLE ASIDE and TAP YOUR NETWORK & SOURCES
A simple search for “app development agency” in Google would turn up more than 71 million results!!! In order save yourself from getting lost while searching the best agency, you should try out the following two methods:
Tap your network
Your friends, past colleagues, college folks and even relatives can be of great help. You must leverage those relationships.
By getting referred from them, you are all set to start your search with agencies that are trusted by people you trust. Well, this is definitely a little more comforting than betting on Google results.
Your contacts might not know an agency, but if they’ve ever worked with talented developers or designers, they could point you in the right direction. And if they haven’t, they may know someone who has. Your network probably runs far deeper than you think it does.
Go to the source
Once you see a great app, try searching through the web and find out its developer. If the answer isn’t readily available after a quick search, the easiest way to find out is- simply send an email to the company. Just tell them you love their app and ask them who had built it. Most often, it would be an in-house team, but at times, it’ll be an agency too. Doing so can really be quite helpful. If the company had a great working relationship with the agency, they’ll be more than happy to refer new business to them.
2. ASK YOURSELF THE RIGHT QUESTIONS
When we buy a product or service, besides logic we often rely on our feelings too, so picking a mobile app developing agency shouldn’t be different. Here are a few questions that we constantly hear from successful clients:
Does the company’s website look trust worthy?
The first thing you can do is to take a look at their website, if it inspires you trust or not. Try to grasp what’s the company’s culture and vision. This would give you a clear picture about the company’s work culture. Do they actually have a vision? or are they just a me-too mobile shop?
Are they experienced?
It’s always recommended to take a look at their past work, test-use other apps they’ve done to see if they meet your level of expectations in terms of UI and build quality. Did they build apps that are successful? Did they have apps that were featured by Apple, or awarded in certain contests? Are they willing to give you references from past customers? Also do checkout if they’ve done work in the same field you would like to enter.
Are they proactive and communicative?
See if they are doing a thorough evaluation of your request, if they are asking questions to get a clear picture of what needs to be built. See how well are you communicating with the developers, how quickly are they getting what needs to be done? Are they proactive, do they offer feedback and suggestions? Does your prospective app developer prefer to chat via phone, Skype, instant message or email — and how often? Are they helping you getting from few ideas in an email to a complete set of requirements?
Do they organize their work well?
Try to find out how well do they organize their work. What about bug tracking tools? How will you be able to test the app? Not having an organized work process, might be a sign that your app won’t be ready on time and at the quality you are expecting.
The following two questions are very important in this context:
Do they have a Quality Assurance department inside the company? How preoccupied are they with the quality of the app? What’s their Quality Assurance-Testing / Development ratio?
Do they provide services for server backend development too? If your app requires a backend, it’s wise to get things done with a company that can cover both the mobile and the server side, thus saving time in managing the relationship with just one service provider.
Is the company supportive enough?
Are they willing to assist or to do for you the publishing process to App Stores? What’s their post-launch approach, do they offer any maintenance as part of the contract?
3. A SECOND OPINION
The above advice would get most of your work done. But if you really want to set yourself up with the best possible chance for success, then there’s one thing left for you to do: get a developer second opinion.
Even if you feel comfortable with the agency you’re talking to, you don’t have to trust everything they say. In fact, for your own protection, you shouldn’t.
People like Chief Product Officer, or a very senior project manager who has worked with enough successful teams know how to evaluate a proposal. You can seek advice from them. In case you don’t know any of these folks, you may search for them on LinkedIn. Ask them what they think about the proposal you’re considering. Most of them will be more than happy to consult with you, especially if it’s for a fee.
4. READY STEADY GO
Once your research is done, the right questions are asked and the right steps are taken to evaluate the proposals you’ve received, you should have a very good idea of which agency will be the right fit to turn your vision into a product, and help that product win.