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11 Questions to ask before hiring an App Development Company

Ultimate checklist for hiring a mobile app development company

Are you ready to launch your own app to seek your consumers’ attention?
The increased propensity towards mobile usage and reliance on applications are encouraging businesses to introduce their own apps to keep up with the changing trends and competitiveness in the market. Studies reveal how users these days prefer accessing information and shopping through their mobile devices.

Why do you need an app development company

You may, however, not possess the necessary knowledge and skills required to develop an enterprise app all by yourself. If you do not have an app development department, you can still have your own app launched. The best way is to hire an app development company and outsource this task.
If app development is not your field of expertise, you may have nothing but a general idea of what your app should be like. You probably are totally clueless about the design, development and writing code that could bring your ideas to life in the form of an app. This is where professionals will help you.
As eager as you may be to already have your app launched into the market, it is critical not to rush the hiring process of an app development company. This could be a significant shift for your business, and you must deal with a company you can rely on.
There are indeed a number of options you have available today. This makes the task of hiring even more daunting. However, you should take your time, do your research, and compare your options before you are ready to go ahead with one.

Questions to ask

The answers to the following eleven questions can give you a detailed insight into how reliable an app development company is. So after you have shortlisted your options, go ahead and ask these questions to make an informed decision.

1. Can you show me the apps you have already created?

Do not settle for technical expertise only. Actual experience is equally valuable as far as deriving real results is concerned. Be direct about this question and ask them to show you the different apps they have already built. A professional agency will be more than willing to flaunt their work through their portfolio.
If a prospective company fails to show you a list of successful apps – no winning apps or prominent clients – beware! The portfolio is vital if you want to ensure a good return on investment.
Additionally, you can always check their online portfolio, ratings for apps, and web apps reviews to have a better idea of how satisfied their clientele is.

2. What’s your signature process for app development?

You should be well aware of the codes and ethics of a company with regards to your app development process. It gives you a sense of what to expect in the critical times ahead. Learn about the average timeframe for an app that the company requires.
Ask them about the unexpected problems that could arise and the backup plan to deal with them during the process – for instance, issues like development cost, etc.
Learning about how a company works, will help you prepare yourself to accommodate their requirements. You will be relieved knowing that you are working with a professional agency that can respond to challenges when the time comes and end up giving you a successful app. Also, ask the company if they do agile development.
This is an important aspect, and realistically, it is crucial that you only work with an agency that does agile development. The app developers tend to be more efficient and have a positive approach towards the minimum viable product (MVP).

3. Can you give us a detailed explanation for the type of development services you offer?

The key is to find out if the agency offers beta testing services. Their answer will tell you if they are only responsible for app development, or will they be offering quality assurance service to back up and maintain their work.
The following is the list of app development services that any reputable company will provide you:
  • Actual app development
  • Business analysis
  • Quality testing
  • Successful launch
  • Post-launch maintenance
Make sure you compare these with the actual services they are offering to save yourself from getting ripped off by app agencies.

4. What about the dedicated manpower?

There are multiple moving parts involved in the volatile process of app development. If you think any aspect of your app needs improvement, you may want to alter your app’s key features. While that’s considered positive and healthy for the development process, not all of the agencies will accommodate those changes.
If the agency fails to provide you a dedicated resource that could make changes as per request, it could become a hassle in the long run. To make sure you are not trapped in a situation like this, find out the number of projects the agency is currently working with.
This is important to analyze if the agency will provide you with your very own dedicated manpower to be readily available to cater to those requests and work on your app dedicatedly.

5. How would you rate the skills of your developers who will be working for our app?

To judge a company’s reliability and professionalism, you must know the skill set of the developers that will be working on your app. Can they follow the instructions? Make changes as per request? Input their own creativity and expertise? And are they willing to offer you both features and functionality for your app?
These are fundamental questions that will help you learn about your developers’ skills. Keeping in mind your own requirements from the app, judge the skill level accordingly.

6. How significant is our involvement and feedback in the development of our app?

Your input, ideas, and feedback are crucial to your app’s development. Without your involvement, you can never achieve what you have envisioned. Thus, you need to know the level of input the app development company will require from you to get started.
No matter how amazing they are, do not give them total control over the app. After all, it is your vision and for your business. This means there could be no prototypes, wireframes, or finished apps without your involvement.
Make sure the company you are working with is willing to incorporate those ideas and inputs. Discuss this beforehand and steer clear if they disagree to follow your guidelines.

7. What’s the mode of communication we need to keep up with?

The process for creating an app for iOS or Android is an iterative process. There will be plenty of occasions where it will be essential for you and the agency to communicate, stay in touch, and exchange feedback.
A reliable agency will only proceed after receiving a green signal from your end. This means you will be getting constant updates related to the development process. For professionals, it is important to know that the progress on the app is meeting your expectations.
In addition to the regular communication, a decent agency will provide you with some sort of access to the project through collaboration tools to help you see the progress. Also, they should always be available on email and phone.

8. Can you provide us an estimated project timeline?

A project’s estimated timeline will also keep you on track. Find out if they are willing to start the project right away or if they would commit to commence on a later date. It is important to remember that a professional might always be engaged with multiple projects at a time. Their instant availability may not always be possible.
Make sure you are aware of the number of projects they are working on so you can also get an idea about how much time it will require for them to get started with your project. Proceed with a company that promises you dedicated developers and resources until your project is complete.

9. Do you offer post-launch services? What services will be a part of my package?

No app is a success in the first go. After an app is launched, it requires bugs fixing, releasing updates, adding new functionality and features, etc. To keep up with post-launch updates, it is crucial that you are aware of the company’s policies with regards to maintenance and support.
Find out the rates and policies for:
  • Bug fixing
  • Post-launch support
  • Cost per each new release

10. Do I own the code?

This should be absolutely clear between both the parties that you will be the owner of the code once it is complete. You may not be a part of the development process directly, but you will be paying for the services and thus, should own the code.
Make sure you clarify through documentation to avoid problems in the future.

11. What do your payment and fee terms look like?


While it is essential to get the best product when it comes to your mobile app, you should also keep in mind your budget constraints. Do not compromise on the quality of the app if the price is the only driving factor.
Be practical as you set the budget and make sure you discuss each and every aspect related to fee and pricing before entering the deal. Discuss the features and functionality in detail to come up with fair pricing. Also, don’t forget to ask about their payment terms and methods.

Conclusion

Mobile apps are revolutionizing the way business operates and engage their customers. If you haven’t leveraged on this opportunity yet, you might be losing out on a big chunk of the market and a lot of money.
The decision you make should incorporate influencing factors like experience, technical expertise, accountability, communication skills, work history, and understanding of the customer. The agency you pick must have a transparent mode of work and should be willing to work hand-in-hand with you to develop a successful app which translates your vision perfectly.
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