How to find a reliable long-term software development partner

Usability and efficiency are crucial app factors that ensure a company's success. The process of high-quality software development is costly. It requires a lot of effort, time, and money and can drag on for months or even years. Project management involves various procedures, from establishing a general concept and determining the primary business goals to carrying out minor yet essential operations. Dealing with many responsibilities alone is tough, so you need someone to delegate part of your tasks to and be sure they are always there to back you up. And here comes the following question: how do you find a partner for software development?

While choosing a software development partner, you expect them to have first-hand experience in the area of expertise, meet the deadlines, and provide you with fresh updates. The paramount criterion, though, is that they need to know your core objectives and genuinely strive to reach success. It implies a long-term partnership which is hard to achieve due to the growing industry standards. Nevertheless, you have a wide choice of different outsourcing companies that can take on particular tasks, allowing you to concentrate on more important ones. This guide contains vital information for you to consider before choosing a partner for software development.

What needs to be done before you go looking for a software development partner

You might want to start storming the search space to find as many options as possible, but don't rush into the matter. Firstly, you should define the landmarks you strive to reach within the given time frame and estimate your financial status. This step is vital to ensure your goals are realistic and compelling enough so that your potential partner can visualize prospects and desirable outputs. Before signing any agreements, ask if your partner grasps the idea of your project and is willing to contribute to its success.

Think of your business goals

So, as it was said, there is no need to take ill-conceived action when searching for a software development partner. Hustle will only result in wrong decisions and disappointment. You should take a step back and put things into perspective. Your main goal at this stage is to make a succinct but all-encompassing introduction about your product, which will deliver the message and evoke your partner's engagement. Think of what you are willing to achieve with this project and your team's core values, and explain their role in the process. You already have the idea of your project in your head and know how it is supposed to work. Now you need to pass this knowledge on to your partner, including your target customers, strategy, and other technical aspects. Feel free to use visualizing tools for making outlines, presentations, and canvas to make your meeting more easy-going and interactive. Remember, how you approach your job, and partner selection speaks volumes about your personality and attitude, so do your best to keep your part succinct but informative.

Set achievable deadlines

Pacing is another vital topic you should think through in advance. Software development is an increasingly competitive industry where the right timing is everything. Some tasks require urgent completion, while others may be delayed until later. If you have a new bright idea, you have to hurry up with its release before your rivals do that for you. That's why meeting deadlines is crucial, so try to complete important tasks early. If you run out of time and the task has to be done soon, JavaScript programming on React Native platform would be your time-saver. You may create apps for iOS and Android using the same codebase. If the deadline isn't pressing, you'd better use native development, which means you should write a separate application for each system. This option enables you to add more complex features to the software, but the price will also go up.

Estimate your budget

Once you have defined your final objectives and set the deadlines, your next move is to determine how much money you are ready to invest in your project. This criterion is often overlooked by business owners who want to get more yet pay less. Refrain from buying into cheap offers. Behind reduced prices stand low quality and insufficient expertise. Small check does not guarantee timely task completions, nor does it produce high-end results.

Consequently, you will end up paying even more for underworked software. Remember that the price for good quality should be reasonable, so give it some doubt whenever you are offered a cheap partnership. To prevent such situations, get familiarized with the average price list and calculate your possible expenses. Make sure your project is worth that money and will bring you profit. Otherwise, all your efforts are in vain.

When do companies need a software development partner?

You might ask: "Do I need a partner?". The answer to the question of whether you need a development partner depends on your needs and career expectations. Partnerships provide numerous benefits in terms of efficiency, riveting projects, and new opportunities, but you might well do without them. Let's look at cases when companies need support with running their business and see if it is worth looking for a software development partner at all.

Budget overruns

Budgeting is essential for effective project management. Most business owners are desperate to save up and foresee unexpected contingencies, but budget overruns are sometimes inevitable. Almost every business owner has faced budget overshooting at least once. If overruns are too frequent, it is a vivid sign that you are failing at the planning stage. Continuous overruns often have negative consequences in the long run, so you should try to eliminate them yourself or ask for expert help until it has devastated your business.

Outdated ideas

We all have times when we lack the inspiration to create bright ideas. It usually occurs because of a hectic daily routine that leaves no room for some rest and creativity. We become preoccupied with financial, organizational, and other concerns and, therefore, cannot produce new concepts and bring them to life. Some people are simply not as good at visualizing as others, so they delegate this task to people whose imagination knows no boundaries. Sharing your views with your business partner helps you look at the same subject from a completely different perspective. It is helpful with targeting segmented app users and learning their behavioral triggers.

Project completion delays

You can gain a competitive advantage by developing software ahead of your competitors and making it available on the market. However, you may lose out on opportunities if you run at recurrent delays in completion or launch. Your company is constantly growing, and so does the number of your tasks and responsibilities. At a certain point, it becomes overwhelming to cope with so much work, and businesses start looking for a partner for software development. If the problem resonates with you, consider searching for one as well.

Lack of expertise

No one can be an expert in all software development areas. Each field has various technicalities, and learning all of them is virtually impossible. For this reason, you may want to turn to an expert team who are more experienced in a particular area and whose expertise allows you to complete tasks faster and better. This solution might cost you money, but it is time-saving, and the result will likely pay off.

Six steps of how to find a software development partner

After determining your long-term business needs, you can promptly immerse into the software development partner exploration. So, how to choose a partner for software development? Finding the right person to share your project with is just as difficult as looking for a reliable vendor. Follow our step-by-step guide and systemize the search process.

Do an in-depth research

It will be easier to spot the most suitable prospects if you know what qualities they must possess. You can kickstart with Google Search results to get a general overview of pricing, candidates' qualifications, and backgrounds. Google provides popular results relevant to your query, though not necessarily applicable to your area of expertise. One platform where you can read people's honest feedback and recommendations on how to find a software development partner is Quora. An alternative way is to go to Clutch. It will narrow down the search results by region, project size, hourly rate, type of project, etc.

Check testimonials

Similar to comments, testimonials may give you a better comprehension of how the business functions and treats its customers. For example, remarks regarding a company, goods, and services are referred to as testimonials. It's just people's opinion about a certain organization, which is barely more transparent than usual customer comments. Companies will only post positive feedback on their landing page, so the rate can be enormously exaggerated. Nonetheless, you can still get insights into the company's operating system and what drives customer satisfaction.

Assess competence

The first thing you should be wary of is their expertise and qualifications. You would be loath to work with someone who has no basic perception of your product and is more interested in getting income rather than helping your company grow. Even if they possess some impressive and top-notch skills, avoid jumping into forming business ties with them. They might be bluffing or overestimating their capabilities but, in fact, do not correspond to any of your requirements.

Study cases

Assessing a prospective partner's previous experiences and domain knowledge will give you the most accurate description of their skills. Their prior cases reveal how they structure their work and what distinguishes them from the other candidates. You will also figure out how well they can cope with tasks with different difficulty levels and deal with stress in challenging situations. In addition to their problem-solving abilities, case studies demonstrate how fast they learn and adapt to the changing working environment and how inventive they are while implementing an actionable software solution.

Define the company's values

Consider values to be the face of your company. In other words, it is an image of your business reflected in how you treat your team, organize your workplace, set goals, and lead your interaction with customers. If you transfer this value to your potential customers and show them real team spirit, they will commit more eagerly to your mutual development. Feel free to ask them to conduct a video call or, even better, come to their office and speak directly to their team members to ensure their culture coincides with yours.

Break ice in communication

Communicating your needs effectively is vital to a fruitful and long-lasting partnership. Any profitable cooperation relies on how you converse, and this especially holds true for software development. If the interlocutor reluctantly shares info about their company, this is a major red flag that can turn your dream project into a nightmare. Of course, everyone tries to keep it formal when they meet the person for the first time because they want to make a good impression. It is ok to feel nervous, but try to lighten things up with a smile and a small ice-breaker. If you feel like you are the only one who keeps the conversation going, it is probably not the person you are looking for.

Challenges in choosing a software development partner

Selecting the right person who would match your expectations takes a lot of work. It takes a lot of time and energy, and most importantly, it involves a certain amount of risk. Here are the possible stumbling blocks that cause obstacles in your way:

Lack of development experience in your project's field

Your potential partner may possess excellent development and management skills, but if they have little experience working in your company's field, it will be hard for them to integrate with your workflow and time-consuming for you to explain important details. It will take a bit more time to gain enough knowledge in this area, but, despite this, they can show impressive results in the future.

Cloudy intellectual property rights owner

If you outsource your development, there is always a risk of losing your intellectual property on the product. These questions should be discussed beforehand and legally documented, so you would be the rightful owner after the partnership is finished.

Communication through a third party

One more obstacle which can prevent you from running a lucrative business is misunderstandings based on third-party involvement. If you can't speak directly to the person, it can take ages to deliver your message, and then you need to wait again for their reply. It is very inconvenient and can drag on task completion for weeks, consequently holding up the whole process.

Dworkz — your UI/UX design and development company for B2B SaaS

Are you struggling to find a top UI/UX design specialist to fulfill your business goals? Meet our skilled Dworkz team! We are a multidisciplinary group of creative designers, marketers, and strategists who share the same mission — help companies promote their digital products, make them more customer-friendly, or create ones from scratch. We have been collaborating with many market leaders, such as Coca-Cola, eBay, Nokia, and other widely recognized names who trust their projects with our professionals.

One of our successful partnerships is Terminal, a software development business launched by a former Google and Facebook employee. Before our paths crossed, they worked internally to carry out the experience design of their web presence. A few months after the website's launch, the owners of Terminal discovered that it wasn't generating the desirable degree of conversion, so they invited Dworkz to come up with new ideas. Using Node.js, SASS, jQuery, Backbone, and HTML5, we managed to develop great features and responsive web layouts. A new graphic design has unprecedentedly raised website traffic and conversion rate. The newly established website Terminal had over 70,000 unique users with more than 65 % purchases. Want to reach such heights and see your product among the best products worldwide? Dworkz is there to give you a hand!

Final thoughts

Now you know how to choose a software development partner and can start your search immediately. Remember that partnership quality is the critical factor that will ultimately determine your business's success. Before signing arrangements, ensure your aims are achievable, budget-wise, and your partner is on the same page with you about your project. If you think they have the right set of qualities and a driving passion for creating something unique, rest assured that your company is in good hands.


Why look for a software partner?

Companies with budget overruns and needing more expertise in a particular field face difficulties getting ahead without outer support. But, more reasons stand behind this decision: lack of new ideas, constant delays, etc.

How do you find a software development partner?

If you don't know how to choose the software development partner, we propose several steps:

  • Conduct in-depth research.

  • Check testimonials and assess competence.

  • Study cases.

  • Define the company's values.

What questions to ask your potential software development partner?

  • What is your company's scope?

  • Do you have successful cases working with similar projects?

  • Who is your ideal client?

  • How do you organize your workflow?

  • How do you guarantee quality task completion?

  • Who is going to work on my project?

  • What criteria do you consider when hiring new developers?

  • How often do you change projects?

  • What are your rates and terms of payment?

  • What are your thoughts on my project? 

Why choose Dworkz as your software partner?

At Dworkz, we have been working on various projects since 2004 and have had numerous successful cases which add to our expertise and customer satisfaction. We help companies find their unique edge over competitors and present it in a simple and comprehensible way. Feel the magic of collaborating with our highly inventive and responsible team!

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