Many decision-makers and business owners feel uncertain when they have to select a development agency for their app or website project.
- …just started a new business and need a digital platform to promote your new venture online;
- …want to revamp or rebuild your current setup but you don’t have a team of developers currently working on it;
- …need someone to maintain your website and keep it up to date with the technology changes, or
- …require new features to be added to your platform in order to increase your customer base…
You want the best website or app money can buy. In this blog post, you can read about a robust six-step process to select the agency that meets these needs so you can achieve your business goals without the frustration of going over your deadline and budget.
6 steps to find the right development partner for you
So, when choosing your development partner you have to keep a few things in mind:
- Am I clear of my business goals and my users’ expectations?
- Do I want an agency next door or are other criteria more important?
- What do their website and portfolio say about them?
- What are others saying about this web development agency?
- What should I consider when meeting the web agency?
- What does the price say about this web development agency?
It might seem like quite a lot of planning, but don’t worry, we will discuss each point below and make the process much simpler.
1. Am I clear of my business goals and my users’ expectations?
Before starting to look for a mobile or web agency, consider making two lists:
- What are the business goals your digital platform will help achieve
- What are your users’ expectations?
Start with the reasons why you need a digital partner, which can be anything from growing your business and increase your revenue, to building brand awareness or expanding into a different market.
Then, make a list of what are the most important things for your users. What problems do they expect you to solve, and how?
2. Do I want an agency next door or are other criteria more important?
In today’s world proximity doesn’t mean the same thing it meant ten years ago. The world relies more and more on international and remote teams, especially since the lockdown, and all of us are getting more comfortable with – and better at – digital communication.
So when looking for a web development agency, keep an open mind. The agencies closest to you are a good option, but that doesn’t mean they are the better option. It’s best if you expand your search nationwide at least, if not even internationally. You might be surprised by how much more potential you find.
3. What do their website and portfolio say about them?
The next step is to narrow down your options based on company culture and experience. Their website as a whole, their about page, and their cases can say a lot about a company and its corporate culture. Also, a quick glance at their LinkedIn page might also provide some useful insights.
So, who are they?
- Who is their team?
- What is their market focus?
- What projects and companies they work with?
If they have worked on projects similar to yours, that is a bonus. But the more diverse projects in their portfolio, the higher the chances they can tackle whatever requirements you have.
Chances are, an agency with a diverse portfolio probably has the experience to help you build your dream website or app, even if they did not work in a case exactly like yours.
And the closer their company culture to yours, the easier will be for them to really understand your needs.
The same goes for the teams. Diverse and international teams – as shown by Jeffrey T Polzer in the Harvard Business Review – have better interpersonal skills and adapt easier to change, which boosts teamwork, creativity, problem-solving, and productivity.
4. What are others saying about this web development agency?
Another aspect you need to keep in mind is also what others are saying about the agencies that you are interested in. Simply going through their website and portfolio is not quite enough. Think of it as a recommendation letter next to a resume.
So, once you narrow down your agency’s list even further, do a search for reviews and testimonials. This can be both on the agency’s website as well as other platforms, such as Google, goodfirms.co, and others.
Just make sure the reviews are real and the companies featured in those lists did not have to pay to be there. Also, if you have a good feeling about an agency but they are too small or too young to have hundreds of reviews, give them a chance. The most you can lose is 30 minutes of your time sitting down with them for a quick chat.
This brings us to the next step – the meet and greet.
5. What should I consider when meeting the web agency?
Your list is getting smaller and smaller by now, and it’s time to sit down and meet these agencies. This meeting will most likely be with their Managing Director, Projects Director, or a Sales Representative and is only for you to get to know them and vice-versa. Discuss your ideas, your project, and your aspirations.
Avoid discussing a solution in the first meeting, treat this more like an interview, and try to learn as much about them as possible. Your main goal is to figure out if you can work with them and they can work with you.
Chances are neither of you have all the information from just one meeting, and most importantly, they didn’t have a chance to discuss it with their developers. In fact, if an agency gives you a certain estimation within the first meeting, that might be a red flag, and it could mean that:
- The estimated time is wrong and your project will go over the deadline;
- The estimated workload is wrong and you will end up paying more than you expected, or
- They won’t provide the best technical recommendations for you.
Ideally, you should also meet with a maximum of two, maybe three people from their team. More people than that might cause confusion. And, if they seem to talk more than you, it means they are not really listening and might not fully understand your needs. Make sure you ask for a follow-up email so both parties have a written list of the things you discussed.
6. What does the price say about this web development agency?
Last but not least, the best agencies to work with are the “Goldilocks” agencies, which provide just the right balance between price and quality results.
When you see the price, consider this:
- Do they fully understand my needs?
- Is the proposal thorough enough to cover my pains?
- Based on my requirements, can I really trust the price?
If they are too cheap, it’s like someone offers you a Ferrari at the price of a bicycle. You know there is something fishy about the offer, and eventually, you will end up paying more just to get your project done by your standards.
Similarly, if they seem way too expensive, you risk paying for a Ferrari and end up with just the hood ornament. Also, you might end up investing all of your budgets into a subpar, over-priced platform that just won’t cut it.
How do you find the best web development agency for your business?
There is a lot of thought going into choosing the right development partners for your business, but in the end, you are looking for a company to build a relationship with, not a one-time collaboration. So keep an open mind and remember:
- Understand your goals before you can explain them to others;
- Expand your search beyond your local area and find agencies that meet your needs;
- What value do you get for your money?
Need more assistance?
If you are still looking for the right agency or simply want a second opinion, reach out to us. You can set up a free consultation with our experienced team of Project Managers and Developers during which we can help you identify the challenges you are facing and what is the most optimal – and has the best value for money – solution for you.