Developing the best app for mobile devices or web could be a challenging task, especially when you don’t have the background and experience.

That’s why you have to find a software development team which can develop a high-quality app.

The hardest part of the process is locating the right partner. But if you’re willing to invest the money, then you’ll have a more successful product in the end. No set formula exists for finding the best software partner. All you can do is follow some important tips to answer the most common questions that you’ll have.

Let’s look at some common questions to ask yourself:

  • How can I know for sure if a company is trustworthy or not?
  • Is there one location where I can locate all the best companies and make a comparison between what they offer? Does this place have client testimonials or reviews published about these companies? can I trust these testimonials?
  • How will I know that I’m getting a fair price estimation from a company?
  • Prior to signing an Independent Contractor Agreement, which provisions should I pay attention to first? 

When you’re trying to put together an internal team of your own, you need to be able to estimate how much time, money and effort should be invested in the process. Putting internal team together usually is bigger challenge.

Try to answer these questions before going with such decision:

  • Do you have the experience hiring software developers?
  • If not, are you able to find experienced developer whom you can trust?
  • Do you know in which technologies you are going to develop your product?
  • Do you know how many developers you will need?
  • What are you going to do with the team after your MVP is delivered?
  • What is the budget that you are allocating for the software team?

Answering all the questions above is nearly impossible if you don’t have any kind of experience or background in software development. It doesn’t mean it’s the end of the road, it’s just the beginning of the challenge.

Is there one location where I can locate all the best companies and make a comparison between what they offer?

Yes, there are several ways in which this can be done. First, talk with your family members, friends, and co-workers to see if they know of any good software companies to partner with. If that doesn’t work out, you can go on a platform like Clutch to find a suitable partner. 

There are additional 7 popular platforms, which collect details, reviews about software development companies. You may find them helpful when making up a decision:  ClutchAppFuturaGoodFirmsContractiqSortlistExtractBusinessofappsTopdevelopers.

How can I know for sure if a company is trustworthy or not?

Look at their portfolio and get a sense of their work. 

  • Does the company create the kinds of products that you want to create?
  • Does the company have multiple partners from various industries and countries?
  • Does the company partner with big corporations, small to medium-sized businesses, or both types of businesses? 
  • Does the company utilize the latest technology and software solutions?

If you can, contact a few of their past clients to get a better idea of what their experiences were, even though you might find reviews online, sometimes it is better to have a straightforward conversation with them. That way, you can ask additional questions which might not have been answered in these reviews. If they have any warnings for you, then you’ll get to learn about them firsthand. 

Always compare the price estimates between all the companies you investigate. Their coding practices should involve the use of the English language. Code repositories hosts, such as GitHub and Bitbucket, must be used to host the coding. These hosts will provide you with secure storage and easy code access.

Find out whether the company has an office and a team which works out of one location. This could indicate how efficient they are. 

Make sure you visit the prospective team at their office and talk to them in person before making any commitments. You’ll want to browse their work environment and see everyone up close to get a sense of who they are and how they interact with each other. This will help you determine whether they’re trustworthy enough to develop your app.

How will I know that I’m getting a fair price estimation from a company?

You should ask yourself the following 7 questions: 

  • Did you give each company the same documents and information?
  • Did each company ask you questions about your requirements for the project? Were these questions similar?
  • Did you ask each company if they made any assumptions to come up with their estimations? Are all the important factors of your project considered in the lowest estimation versus the highest estimation? 
  • Was additional time included in the estimation for team meetings?
  • Was additional time included in the estimation for quality assurance, such as for writing tests?
  • Were unforeseen events considered by these companies? If yes, what was the % and how was it calculated? 

Prior to signing an Independent Contractor Agreement, which provisions should I pay attention to first?  

The Independent Contractor Agreement must have several crucial provisions in it. Here is what you need to look for:

  • The services that are covered, such as project management, app design, app development, project maintenance, and quality assurance.
  • The terms regarding confidential information must be in the contract. 
  • The legal jurisdiction over potential disputes must be established in the contract. In many cases, you and your partner will be from two different cities or possibly even two different countries. It is better to have the laws of your location be the ones which govern your agreement. This will make it easier for you in case a dispute does arise at some point.
  • If you’re making an advanced payment to the team, don’t let the amount be more than what you’d pay them in a month. The only exception is if the contractor needs extra funds to pay for something important for the project, such as licenses, hardware, equipment, etc.
  • Indicate in the contract when the payment deadline will be. If there are late payments, list the consequences of having late payments. You can include the rate of interest charged on late payments and the duration of the charged interest. How many days of missed payments will it take for the development team to be allowed to stop working? This provision is for your benefit and your partner’s benefit. For instance, if you’re two days late with your payment and you don’t have the rules of the payment deadline included in the agreement, then your partner has the right to stop working on your project right away. Either that or they could charge you a lot of interest for being late. That is why you must specify all the rules regarding payments in the agreement.
  • Contract termination conditions should be written out. It is normal for the time period of a contract termination notice to be between 15 and up to 30 days.
  • You don’t need to include a specific deadline for the work to be completed since app development is so unpredictable. It is better for the app to be ready when it’s ready. But you should have milestones for the work where you get to check it out and leave feedback on the progress of the team.
  • What is the fixed price for each milestone of the project that is completed? You can set a deadline for when you give feedback to your team about a particular milestone after it is completed. 

There are two kinds of agreements you can make with a partner, a Fixed Price agreement or a Time & Material agreement. Let’s go over the specific elements that you need to have in each agreement.

Time & Material Agreement

  • What are the hourly rates for the role of each project?
  • How will information about the status of the project will be sent to you by the company? This must include the amount of time they spent on the work too.
  • How will the invoices be sent and when?
  • Will the associates of the company be traveling to your offices? If so, how much money will that cost in travel expenses? Who is going to pay for that?
  • Have a provision which states that you must approve all costs of the project.

Fixed Price Agreement

  • Delivery schedule split into milestones
  • Total Price, the total budget allocated for developing the product
  • The price of each project milestone that will be delivered

If you follow the advice that was given above, then you will have a great chance of choosing a suitable partner to work on your venture.

Summary of What to Do

  • Ask people you know if they can recommend a software company.
  • Find a platform, such as Clutch, which can help you research software companies and find a collection of information about them.
  • Read the client reviews and opinions, look at the portfolio of these companies, contact some of their clients and ask them questions about the company they worked with.
  • Compare the price estimations given to you by these companies. Ask questions about which factors and assumptions went into these estimations, keep in mind, some companies will also charge you for the estimation process and that’s totally fine.
  • Create a contract or agreement which has all the necessary provisions in it. Have an attorney advise you if necessary.