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So, you are looking for someone who will turn your amazing app idea into reality. Should I hire a software house or maybe a freelancer? That is probably the most common question that every rising product owner asks themselves.

 

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Before you begin the development process, you need to choose the right partner, which will support, advice and help you go smoothly through the process of app production. You want to invest money, and the final product has to refund creation costs. There is no place for mistakes, your business partner needs to take his/her job seriously. The market is full of tempting propositions from software houses, agencies, and independent freelancers. The number of options could be overwhelming nowadays. It is a tough decision.

Each project is different, but to avoid failure, all of them need a well-organized development background. Awareness of project needs is the key to success. You need to identify the requirements for your future partner. When it comes to finding a freelancer, there are plenty of online platforms where you can search for a partner or post your offer. Freelancer.com is definitely the most popular. Right now, in the mobile development job section, there are over 1000 project proposals. To find a software development company, I recommend checking the online rankings. One of the most famous for dev companies is Clutch.co. Despite that, both software development companies and freelancers have their pros and cons, it is possible to select the right partner for your project. This article will help you make a proper decision.

 

7 factors you demand to take into consideration while choosing between Freelancer and Software Company

During over 10 years of cooperation with clients from all over the world, we noticed which aspects are most important for them while they are searching for a partnership. In fact, there are a few crucial factors that you need to take into consideration while choosing the best partner possible.

 

#1 Portfolio

 

How many successful projects the company/freelancer already finished? I strongly recommend you to do some research about your future partner. It is worth checking opinions, social media, blogs and of course, portfolio. I even encourage you to download some app already produced by a potential partner and test if it works as it should.

It is a good idea to pay attention to finished projects that are quite similar to yours. Choosing a partner who has experience with a similar project can have a positive impact on the speed of project implementation. Keep in mind that app development is rather a long time process. It is worth getting to know the freelancer or the software development company better. Asking about the experience, level of skills, tools used during cooperation is a smart way to verify the partner. It is your job to examine the level of knowledge.

 

freelancer vs software house 1

 

Picking an experienced professional can save you a lot of time and issues. I tried to find some examples of famous successful applications produced by freelancers, and I need to say I didn't find anything. Even under the Quora question, no one can answer. It seems that advanced projects end up in the hands of software companies.

 

#2 Size of the project

 

What are your assumptions regarding the size of the project? You need to know the product scope because it has a significant impact on the project budget and duration. The accurate estimation of the project size could be tricky even for a technical person. Are you sure that you are able to estimate the complexity of the project?

I recommend you consult with a specialist to establish the requirements and features of your future application. The main danger with freelancers on this stage of service is an underestimation because usually, they tend to estimate less. Experienced software houses have precious know-how when it comes to predictions of project. Even if, during the implementation, the need for increasing workload will appear, the software development company hiring a group of developers can handle it. It is not so obvious when it comes to freelancers. Their workload is limited.

 

#3 Budget

 

How much money are you ready to spend on the project? Of course, the budget is strongly related to the size of the project. So another meaningful question is how many work hours it will take to accomplish the project? Both the software development company and freelancer can present an estimation for you. No doubt hiring a freelancer will provide lower costs. Usually, freelancers are also more flexible when it comes to negotiations.

The difference in price between freelancers and software companies is about 20-30%. The reason why software house cost more is that more people are working on your app success. That is the point. Professional software development companies can offer you a team of talented people.

Front-end, Back-end, Mobile Developers, UX/UI designers, Project Managers, Quality Assurances, Marketers will take care of your project. Software house can ensure more business solutions like the validation of your app idea, UX research, quality testing, marketing support. That means hiring a software development company will be more expensive but also will give you more complex service. 

 

#4 Project development & support

 

Will the business environment of a software house/freelancer, allow you to develop your app? Delivering the project is just the beginning of your product life-cycle. It is very likely that in the future, you will be in need of change, improvement or expansion. The environment of your partner should allow you to develop your product in any direction you will need.

The second important fact is that your product has to be reliable always, not only on the day of launching. Support and maintenance are necessary for the proper functioning of the application. In that case, hiring a software development team specialising in your industry (like for example - ecommerce) is much safer. Even if a dedicated developer decided to quit the software house, your product would be delegated to another person. Unfortunately, hiring a freelancer does not give the same guarantee. Here comes the main problem with hiring a freelancer, what to do in case disappearing without finishing a project?

 

 

Delay because of sickness could be another worrisome issue. There are many reasons why freelancers give up their self-employment business idea. The pressure of gaining new projects is one of them. Dev companies are more stable and focused on long-term relationships. Hiring a software development company is a smart choice if you are looking for a partner who still will be available for you even in a few years

Read article: How to become an App Owner with No Technical Knowledge at All

 

#5 Communication

 

Are you able to talk with the developer using the tech language? Misunderstanding is one of the main slowdowns of project implementation. Picking the software house will free you from this problem because you will be talking with a dedicated person. Project Managers have strong communication skills, they understand their client's expectations and know how to discuss with developers. Their job focuses on converting your needs into a product and finding the consensus if it's needed. Freelancers have to do this on their own. Many of them have gained communication skills through years of experience.  If you are convinced that you exactly know what your product needs, working with the freelancer should not be bothering.

 

LaunchMatic-03-article-minFragment of Railwaymen's review on Clutch.co posted by Tim Jones, Founder & CEO, LaunchMatic.

 

If you feel that you need a hand during the development of the product, working with a dedicated Product Manager is something you need to consider. It is important to test the communication before signing up for the contract. Good vibes are highly desirable. The key is to choose a co-worker, which will be willing for success as much as you do.

How to manage a remote IT team and stay productive? Watch the video!

 

 

#6 Security

 

Are you aware that you have to provide a safe product? In RODO times, we must be especially careful when it comes to the storage of personal data. Some industries e.g., Healthcare or Finance, collects sensitive and confidential data. Multiple mobile applications allow purchasing service and payment by plugging credit card. If you are planning to do this too, you have to ensure the safety on the highest level possible. It is no secret that the stealing of data is one of the most common crimes in our online world.

You need to be 100% sure that the developer will contribute high-value protection to your product. There is a reason why well-known banks and online shops decide to hire an external company or build a software team in-house. Security is fundamental. Know-how is necessary here. Experienced software houses have their well-tested practices. Before you decide to cooperate with freelance, you need to check his knowledge in this area precisely.


#7 Quality

 

Do you want to be an owner of the high-value product? Quality is everything and yes, it costs money. As a Marketer working in a software house, I follow the application business and trust me, if you deliver the defective commercial product on our modern market, it will not handle the competitions. According to the Business of Apps statistics, 19% of apps fail because of weak product core, and this is the second most crucial cause why applications do not succeed. The first one (over 42%) is that the app does not respond to market needs. Can you afford a disaster? I don't think so.

Knowledge of software development is changing quite fast. No doubt, the IT industry is dynamic. Developers need to stay up to date with all tech news to deliver high-value digital products. That's why so many software companies invest in their employees by offering a training budget, organizing TechTalks and providing motivation systems. Usually, freelancers can't afford that. Quality is not only about the code but also about UX/UI design. It's important because the design has a massive impact on your digital product success. Your future partner needs to understand how to meet your product business goals with a user-friendly app interface.

As I mentioned before, it was hard to find some success stories about an application delivered by the freelancer. Meanwhile, there are plenty of case studies contributed by software houses.

 

Conclusion

 

Comparing the freelancer and software house is much like comparing the work of one person vs. a team of people. Choosing the software development company will deliver you extensive know-how and service, but you will have to pay more. Hiring a freelancer is a cheaper option, but there is a high chance that the product wouldn't meet your expectations. Support and maintenance is another questionable area when it comes to hiring a freelancer. 

To find the answer to the question "Who should I hire?" you need to think about your product needs and what do you expect. 

For most clients, the key factors are the budget and size of the project. It's obvious that when it comes to building an advanced IT project with many high-level features, a group of co-workers will deliver it much faster. I strongly recommend you to also take into account communication. Remember that software production is a long-term task. If you do not have any experience with IT product development, you probably will discover that this process is more complicated than you thought it would be. 

Currently, there are plenty of freelancers and software development companies in the market. The estimation of cost is free. Before making a final decision, contact a few potential IT partners. Keep in mind that usually, a lower price of service provides lower quality. Pay attention to the way of communication, openness to ideas, and willingness to support you. Work on IT projects should be based on a solid partnership.

 

Wondering how to develop a successful IT product? Download our ebook about our methodology called Discovery Phase by filling the form below and find out how to prepare for your software development journey!

 

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