Every business reaches the point where it make the decision of whether to employ in-house software developers or outsource technology partners.
There are many advantages of hiring outside tech talent to manage ongoing product development efforts. The tech partner can be contracted on an as-needed basis, rather than paying a full-time employee salary and benefits.
Read on to discover the full value software development companies can bring product owners at every level.
First Stage: Idea Incubation
Every business starts with an idea. Before Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, or Snapchat became the unicorns they are today, they started in someone’s head. Before the technology can be built, the project must be thought out. Most traditionally, this manifests through a business plan. At this stage, technology companies are useful because they provide expertise. Firstly, developers can tell you if your ideas are technologically viable. Also valuable are developers estimates of project pricing. This allows entrepreneurs to determine if they can build a brand with their own nest egg, or whether they’ll need to approach venture capitalists for funding.
Partnerships between technology firms and business owners tend to grow stronger the longer they exist. Aside from the personal relationships formed, both parties will begin to learn from each other. Nowhere is the potential for ironclad partnership stronger than when a tech company is involved from the start of the project. This way, the visions and business plans are clear to the software developers from the onset. It is a partnership everyone can grow in.
Second Stage: Starting the Startup
Once you have a business plan and funding to start working on bringing your project to life, the next step is to create a minimum viable product (MVP). Many startups make the mistake of waiting until their project (website, app, software, etc) is perfect before taking it live. Don’t fall into this mental trap. Even years after launch, no business is perfect. But a business that is operating and generating revenue, imperfectly, is better than a potentially perfect one that never launches.
At this stage, technical knowledge is necessary, but not sufficient. You’ll face the decision of whether to hire tech experts to bring on your team full-time (“in-house”) or outsource on a project basis. The world is moving towards a gig economy, and with good reason. It makes each job an interview for a continued partnership, as opposed to going through the expensive and time-consuming trouble of hiring and on boarding someone. Plus, contractors typically do not qualify for benefits, further saving your company money. Firms will submit competing bids for your company’s projects, and you will always have the opportunity to proceed with the tech partner you think provides you with the most value. Either way, seek out developers who have the experience and skill to build your firm what it needs to launch.
Third Stage: Established Startup
In the previous stage, your startup has launched the 1.0 version of its product and corresponding technology. Now, that product development cycle begins again. The world and its landscape is constantly changing and evolving. There will be new competitors in the market, for example. Every once in a while, something like the concept of social media will come in and disrupt the industry, the way business is done, or both. On a more micro level, you should be tuned into customer feedback. Solicit opinions of those who like and dislike your product or service. Never stop improving.
At this stage, teamwork and consistency become important from your tech partners. They should collaborate with your team to add valuable insight and suggestions for improving processes. Making systems more efficient is perhaps the most important way companies can improve their service and save money once the first few versions of the product are on the market.
Fourth Stage: Full-Fledged Company
Once your company has been on the scene for awhile, you’ll begin to make a name for yourself. Anytime a brand is adding value in a commendable way, it’s only a matter of time before the world catches on. More stakeholders will approach your company, because everyone wants to be a part of something successful. You will receiving an increasing number of pitches from tech companies coming out of the woodwork, hoping to partner with you. This is where previous relationships become very important. Of course, if your previous developers were disappointing to work with, do not keep them on board with the rationale “the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t.” By the same token, also keep in mind that when something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Don’t dump tenured techies just because you were approached by a supposed development professional offering to do the same work in half the time, for a fraction of the cost.
In this phase and beyond, continue to devote time to improving efficiencies and dedicate training to project managers and employees. Technology should empower various divisions of the company to be autonomous and efficient.
Contact KitelyTech today to discuss the details of how we can add value to you and your online business.