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Updated by MalcomRidgers on Sep 11, 2020
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4 essential steps to choose a mobile app development company

Learn how to select the best mobile app development partner for your business.


First steps

You finally did it. You got the idea for a mobile app that everyone will want to install and enough money to get it done. What do you do next? If you’re working for a big enough company, you can always ask for the development team to help you turn your idea into a reality. However, there’s also the likely chance that the development team has other priorities - or that you don’t have access to a team at all.

What should you do then? You can always hire a bunch of freelance developers and get to work. Yet, if you don’t have experience developing mobile apps or want things to get done quickly and efficiently, a mobile app development company is your best bet. There are thousands of businesses dedicated to this kind of work, from US-based teams to South American software development companies.

Is there a way to know which one of all those alternatives is the best fit for you? Well, it’ll take some research and some time, but following the steps below is your best course of action.


Start researching companies based on your specific needs

In this day and age, it’s easy just to Google “mobile app developers” or “South American software development services” to get a list of candidates to work on your app. But beginning at that point would put you in a difficult position - you’d have to talk to a multitude of potential partners to find out who’s your best fit.

Reducing the number of candidates is in your best interests. Fortunately, you can do so by defining your specific needs beforehand. Basically, you can outline your whole project to identify the kind of company and team you’ll need for the job. From explaining your app’s basic idea to creating a feature list and even provide some technical details, this initial outline will greatly help you in your quest for the perfect mobile app development company.

Even if you’re still in the dark about most of the details, there’s a crucial piece of information that will help you in limiting your options right from the get-go: knowing what type of work you need. With this, we’re referring to the kind of work you’re expecting your potential partner to do for you. Will you need the provider to cover the entire app creation, from design to post-launch? Or you’ll only need a team dedicated to a specific part of development, such as design, development, or testing?

Answering those questions will leave out several candidates, as not everyone is suited to tackle a whole project or wants to commit to only a part of it.


Refine the search and be as thorough as possible

Now that you have a candidate list of sorts, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and analyze them in more detail. This will have you refining your selection criteria a lot more when compared with the previous step. Here, you’ll have to look into experience, expertise, and reputation to find out which company among your candidates makes the cut.

To do this, you can use reputable sites like Clutch and Glassdoor to find the information provided by employees and customers that can help you understand how is it to work with the potential partners. In both of those sites, you can find relevant data for your search, including:

  • list text herePast client reviews: the feedback from real clients is one of the best assets you can find online. It doesn’t matter if you’re considering a company located in the same block or a South American outsourcing company - if they are reputable, they’ll have several positive reviews. Be sure to check what kind of projects did the candidates work on, since you’ll need to take a look at what clients that hired them for mobile development think of them.

  • list text hereCompare prices: though fees you can find online are estimative, you can use them to vet candidates and see if they can fit in your budget. Remember one of the most important things in development - going with the cheapest option might save you some money now, but it can bring a lot of costly mistakes down the road. Don’t try to skimp on your mobile app development.

After analyzing those things in specialized sites, social media, and their official websites, you’ve surely crossed off some candidates and you’re now left with a shortlist. So, now it’s time to start talking to them individually to see which one is the best match.


Take the time to discuss your project with the candidates

Since you’ll be pitching your mobile app idea to a couple of companies, there are two things you should know before it happens. First, be sure you protect your idea by asking to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) before getting into the details. In this way, you can talk freely about your project while making sure the candidate understands the scope without compromising your intellectual property.

Second, when contacting the individual candidates, you can also conduct research on how they communicate with you. Communication channels and their efficiency have paramount importance in the development of a mobile app. So, if your candidates fail in these early stages, you can remove them from your list, as they will surely fail during development.

After taking those things into consideration, you’ll have to discuss your project with the different companies. If you protect yourself with an NDA, then be sure to explain your mobile app idea in full. This will allow your potential partners to better understand what you need and propose a more realistic timeline for its development.

If it’s possible, try to meet with some of your candidates. This will provide you with a clearer picture of how their companies work and check the level of interest they show in your project. It’s true that meeting face-to-face can be difficult if you, say, outsource your software to South America, but if you have the possibility, always go for it.


Thoughtfully consider your research and make a choice

You’ve arrived at the last step towards your ideal mobile app development company: the final selection. Now that you’ve talked to the potential candidates, verified their experience and expertise, seen their communication processes, and learn their fees, it’ll be up to you to examine all that information to make a commitment to one of those companies.

There isn’t a proper formula for all companies looking for mobile app development teams, as the perfect fit depends on project type, budget, location, cultural expectations, and other criteria. However, there are some common suggestions to help you make this final decision:

  • list text hereDon’t make a choice based solely on price: it bears repeating since a reduced cost can become a major headache down the line. It isn’t necessarily a rule, but most of the time, the cheapest of options cut corners and the app’s final quality ends suffering.

  • list text hereConsider the timeline: maybe a candidate is offering the same services as another company but is charging more. Try to understand the difference - perhaps their timeline is shorter, which can get your app to market in a shorter time.

  • list text hereGo for the best fit: your list might end up having some big reputable companies that can give you the sense of being the best. Yet, you shouldn’t hire a company out of reputation alone. Maybe a software development team in South America is a better fit for you when compared to the company down the block, even when having cultural differences. This has to do with the team capabilities but mostly with how closely they understand and share your vision.


Some conclusions

As you can see, the process of finding the right mobile app development company needs you to invest some time and effort to be successful. It’s understandable if you feel this to be challenging, but it’s something you have to tackle if you want your app idea to bear the best results.

Researching the options you have available, getting to know them through the eyes and words of past clients, considering their strengths and weaknesses, and comparing their bids is a harder job than it seems. However, the investment you’re making in this process will lay strong foundations for your app development to go smoothly.