NTC - App Agency

What Every Startup Should Know Before Hiring an App Agency

With over 3.8 billion smartphone users across the world, the mobile app industry is growing at an astonishing pace. 

Experts predict that the number of mobile app downloads will exceed 250 billion in 2022.

Therefore, building a mobile app for your business is not optional anymore. It is a necessity for any startup wanting to gain a competitive advantage.

Mobile apps improve shopping experiences, maximize customer conversations, and facilitate brand promotions.

However, finding an experienced dev team to build an app for your startup can be a challenge.

Here is how to hire the right app development agency.

Do not Let Price Drive You

For startups operating with limited budgets, the cost of app development services is often the primary motivator.

However, rushing in after the cheapest app development solution may turn out to be more expensive in the long-run. If the agency does not deliver the desired results, you will need to hire another developer to fix the mistakes.

Sure, that does not mean you should not shop around or compare prices. When discussing the project with an app agency, be honest and ask them about their quotes. Discuss the flexibility of the payment process and ask how clients are billed for services? Do they charge hourly, per-project, or require payment at regular monthly intervals? Make sure you are aware of any additional costs you may come across during the development process.

Analyze their Portfolio

When hiring an iOS app development agency, familiarize yourself with their previous clients and results. That is one of the safest ways to determine whether the company is right for your project.

Focus on those app development professionals that have already collaborated with the companies in your industry. For example, if you plan to create an app for a female model agency in London, look for developers who have already worked with brands in the fashion industry.

Start by analyzing the agency’s website. Serious app development companies have an extensive project portfolio on their website, where they enlist their clients and accomplishments. Be wary of companies that do not have a detailed portfolio.

Additionally, professionals also create detailed case studies, where they explain clients’ specific needs, explain how they approached the project, and what results they achieved. They should also emphasize how long they took to deliver the project, what challenges they faced, and how they solved them.

Learn More about their Clients

Talk to the android app development agency about their collaboration with clients. What level of communication and involvement do they expect from you? Their expectations and communication strategy dictate the success of the project.

Most importantly, ask the app development company about their most prominent clients. Can you get a list of references?. 

Talk to the agency’s past clients and ask for testimonials. Client recommendations are the safest way to determine the quality of the agency’s development services.

Read more : How to Respond When a Client Says: “You’re too expensive!”

Taking a look at their app store is also a great idea. Pay attention to user reviews and ratings. Are there any apps you can download and use? Look for both positive and negative reviews. Reliable development agencies do not delete negative comments. Instead, they provide feedback and try to help dissatisfied clients. The lack of transparency may indicate that the company is not trustworthy enough.

Ask Questions about Agreements

Inquire about agreements. Any responsible app development agency will sign the non-disclosure (NDA) agreement with its clients. 

That way, a company legally agrees that your startup’s sensitive information will stay confidential. For you, an NDA agreement is a reassurance that an app company will not steal your ideas. 

Ask whether you can sign the contract before you proceed with the project details. Above all, always check the draft of the contract and analyze its details before signing it.

You should also ask the app agency about the ownership of project materials, such as code or design.

Know Everything about their Team

App development is a team sport. So, one of the first things to check is who will work on your project.

Ask company representatives about the number of their employees. Check whether they have enough iOS or Android developers to meet the needs of your project. Most importantly, do their developers have the experience, training, and certification needed to build your app?

Talk to them about other members of their team. Apart from app developers, do they hire web designers, project managers, and analysts? Are there any segments of the project they outsource to third-party agencies? 

Inquire about their Communication

Communication between your startup and an app agency is crucial for achieving the desired results.

First, consider things such as time zones, language proficiency, and cultural aspects. Is the team fluent in English so they can understand project requirements? What about the agencies from different time zones? How convenient would it be to communicate with them?

Second, ask the company about the communication tools they use. Do not rely on back-and-forth emails solely. Trustworthy agencies should use real-time and video conferencing tools, such as Skype, Slack, or Zoom, to communicate with clients and provide timely updates.  

 They should also create regular client reports to keep you informed about project performance.

App Agency
App Agency

Image source

Talk about SDLC

The software development life cycle is a crucial factor to consider when hiring app agencies. 

Simply put, SDLC is the application of standard software development techniques. It consists of a few steps:

  • Planning
  • Requirements
  • Design
  • App building
  • Documentation
  • Testing
  • Deployment
  • Maintenance

Sure, the SDLC tactics vary depending on your project’s specific needs and requirements. That is why you need to talk to the agency about their SDLC and ensure they are competent enough to meet your needs. 

Talk to them honestly about your goals, problems, and demands. Ask whether they can build the features and functionalities you want your app to have.

Additionally, talk to them about the project development process:

  • What methodologies, frameworks, and approaches do they use? 
  • How effective is their communication and feedback during all app development stages?
  • What additional features would they include to improve your software?
  • Have they already built complex app functionalities? 
  • Do they conduct regular app testing? How do they test apps?
  • Can they help you roll out the app in the app store?
  • How do they handle project security?
  • How can they help you monetize your app?

Consider App Maintenance Services

The development company should also provide maintenance once you roll out the app. You will need to release updates, fix bugs, or add new features to your digital product. 

Start by analyzing their maintenance and support policy. For example, consider the post-launch maintenance pricing. 

Does the agency charge maintenance service at an hourly or monthly rate? What kind of customer support do they offer? How fast can they resolve bugs?

Ready to Hire an App Agency?

Hiring an app development agency can be a challenge, especially for startups with limited budgets. Apart from pricing, there is a wide range of factors to consider. Some of them are the agency’s portfolio, testimonials, project management, and industry experience.

I hope these insights will help you make the right choice and drive a high ROI.

Have you ever hired an app agency before? Please, share your experiences with us!

Himanshu Patel

Himanshu Patel is the founder & CEO of NectarBits, a fast-growing Best Mobile App Development Company & On-Demand eCommerce Development Company. The current innovation and updates in the field lure him to express his views and thoughts on certain topics.