It is quite difficult to find the best software company that offers exactly what we need. People spend hundreds of hours trying a find a developer that not only knows its business but also what they need and use the expertise and the requirements brief to offer a solution that works without any problem.
In this article, we look at a simple five-step approach that allows you to find the software developer who will not only get you what you are looking for but also offer you long-term support to take care of any problem you may have after the solution is deployed.
Step 1: Know what you need – what you must have and what would be good to have
Most people who look for the best software development company for themselves skip this step and go straight to step 2. This is the biggest mistake that they can make and the mistake number 1 to avoid.
Knowing what you need is the key to finding the firm that will help you get what you are looking for. Imagine the ideal scenario when you have the perfect solution. How is the software helping you? Are there any tasks that can be done better? Are there any processes where the software is not required or where it is okay to have it work to a limited extent?
These visualisations and questions will help you get some important requirements in place. You will also be able to divide your needs into what is critical to have, what is important to have and what you can do without but will be neat to have. Isolating your wants into three separate silos will help you avoid mistake number 2, viz. looking at your needs as a whole rather than as a series of specific requirements.
Step 2: Search the internet to find a few developers
Once you know what you require and have divided them based on their criticality, the next step is to use your friendly internet search engine. Type in different key phrases and look up the companies you see in the search results. Go beyond the first search result page into pages 2, 3, 4 and 5. Open the websites of all the companies that you see.
You will come across at least 10-15 companies whose websites you like for each search string you use. Put their names in the list and you are likely to end up with at least 30-35 firms you liked. Once you have made the list, divide it into developers that you really liked and that those you think you ought to check.
Step 3: Find more details about the companies you selected and further whittle down the list
Once you have made the shortlist, read up a bit more on the firms that have made the cut. Look at what they offer. Are they only into software development or also offer software testing services and other solutions? Do they offer solutions with mobile access also – i.e., do they offer solutions that are mobile-enabled and can be accessed through a mobile app?
Looking up the answers to these questions will help you fine-tune your list further. You will be able to come up with 5-6 names that you can talk to and another 5-6 second-priority list that you can contact if 1-2 firms in the first shortlist cannot offer you what you require, for whatever reason.
Step 4: Talk to the developers and understand their expertise
It is always a good idea to talk to each web development services provider and get a feel for what they can offer you. The talks should not be squeezed into a single call. After the initial call, where you understand what they offer and take their contact details, follow it up with a few more that go a bit more in-depth into their abilities and how they can give you the solution you need.
Establishing a rapport with the contact person always helps. The best company is the one that is willing to work with you to solve your problems rather than one giving you a standardised solution or a firm that is simply too big to give your needs the focus they deserve.
Step 5: Take a decision
Once you have the basics points in place, i.e. found the companies you liked, talked to them about your needs and understood what they can offer you, seen their cost structure to solve all your problems or only the most critical ones, etc., it is time to take a decision.
This step is not easy, as you are likely to have a number of firms that you will like. A good way to arrive at a decision is to make a list of the plus and minus points and see the best one for your business.
A simple mistake that most businesses do at this point is to look only at the price, rather than on the cost-savings and the long-term benefits the software brings. Do not fall for this trap. The software industry is littered with tales of businesses who looked only at the price of software development and paid dearly for it.
Choose a firm that gives you the best you need at a price that is affordable. You can go with a yearly license or subscription model instead of paying a package price as it will not strain your budget but still give you something that meets your requirements. Most license models come with support services, which is an added bonus.