Developing a software application for your business is no longer a fancy idea; it’s a requirement for your operations. A quick search on Google with the query ‘mobile app development agency’ in 2023 gets back with million results.
The numbers prove that app usage and the companies developing them are rising. However, with every development company’s website claiming to deliver the best app and making it the top-ranking download, finding the right app development agency for your startup is a true challenge.
But knowing the right questions to ask can streamline the selection process to a great extent. In this article, we walk you through the ten most important questions that could help you select the right development agency for your startup application.
Continue reading as we list the most critical questions on how to select the right development agency and explore some tips around the same.
Below are list of questions to ask from your development agency
1. What Is Your Experience In Developing Apps For Startups?
Understanding the needs of a startup is essential when designing an app for a company in its early stages. So while you’re scratching your head around how to choose the right app development agency, start by looking at their knowledge, experience, and expertise.
Hiring a reputable development firm can make or break the success of your app. Therefore, hiring a development agency that delves into the latest technologies and isn’t just an expert in revamping old databases and offering products is also important.
Since it can be challenging to understand the depth of an agency’s expertise as a beginner, here are some essential criteria to look for:
Look For A Portfolio Of Past Work
To get started, you should investigate the agency’s previous work by reviewing its portfolio. The agency’s portfolio should demonstrate the breadth and depth of the agency’s experience producing apps for startups.
Search for apps with features and aesthetics comparable to your own. Again, looking at the agency’s previous work is a great way to get a sense of the quality of their services.
Do They Have A Streamlined Development Process?
The agency’s app creation method is also crucial, so ask about it. An established firm will use a tried and true procedure comprising exploration, wireframing, prototyping, testing, and deployment.
Furthermore, they should have a history of finishing projects on time and under budget. This way, you’ll have a better idea of whether or not they’ll be able to meet your expectations.
Their Pool Of Talent:
Experienced agencies also typically employ teams of fluent engineers in multiple languages and platforms. Agile and scrum are two modern development approaches they should be familiar with.
It would also help to check their profiles on professional sites like LinkedIn or Twitter to understand their expertise better and hold in the industry.
How Effectively Do They Communicate?
Good communication between team members is one of the most important aspects of designing an app for a business. A reputable company will keep you apprised of your app’s development and give you open lines of communication.
Besides communication, your team must be receptive to criticism and flexible enough to adapt to realize their vision.
2. What Is Your Development Process?
When looking for a development agency, you cannot miss out on the most important question of them all: ‘what process do you follow?’ The process followed by a firm gives you an insight into their operations. Besides, their approach towards the development will give you a better idea of their authenticity.
For instance, a seasoned development agency will have a listed approach towards application development. Their approach towards software development will give you guaranteed results. Therefore, it’s always important that you choose the right development company and have a clear idea about their approach.
Inquiring about an agency’s approach towards your application is a great start Once you ask them questions about the platforms they use or the approach they follow, you’ll have a clear idea of their experience and whether they can be trusted or not.
Project Management Process:
Next, it’s time you enquired about the company’s method of project management. For instance, how they manage client interactions, their turn around time, and project deadlines, among other project-related queries. Effective project management keeps things moving forward and quickly resolves any problems.
Next, enquire about their level of quality control. For example, to what extent do they test their finished products to guarantee they perform as expected? Is the app tested periodically during development, or is testing done solely at the end of the project? To save time and money, quality must be ensured at every stage of development.
Team Experience And Qualifications:
The expertise and credentials of the team working on the project should be the focus of your fourth inquiry. How long have they been making apps like these, and what are their specializations? A proficient development crew can guarantee smooth project completion and a fully functional, intuitive program.
Post-development Support Process:
Finally, enquire into their process for providing support once the product has been developed. For example, do they provide after-project care and servicing? If so, what is the duration of the support term, and what services are included in that assistance?
The commitment of a trustworthy development company to ensure the continued success of their clients’ apps after they have been made public is essential.
3. What Platforms Do You Develop For?
One of the most important choices developers must make when creating software or websites is which platforms to create for. Simply put, a platform is the software infrastructure to host and execute the program or website. It consists of the software, hardware, and operating system.
Depending on their expertise and your requirements, developers can choose from a variety of platforms to add to your operations.
Here, let’s have a look at some commonly used frameworks for developing websites and applications.
As the name suggests, mobile platforms are the operating systems on our smartphones. Talking of these platforms, today we have two of the widely used options: iOS and Android. Depending on your requirements and targeted customers, you can choose among any of the platforms and ask your developer to initiate the process.
Web platforms are applications that operate over the internet. These applications are designed with the intent of being used on the internet and are mostly developed using platform’s like Java Script, HTML, and Cascading Style Sheets, among others.
One of the main benefits of web development is the wide reach it may have because websites can be visited from any device with a web browser and an internet connection.
Much like mobile platforms, desktop platforms are the ones designed to be used on computers. Now, based on your target market, you can choose between macOS, Windows, and Linux.
Building desktop software calls for familiarity with the underlying operating system and hardware. As a result, desktop development is frequently more robust and feature-rich than mobile or web platforms.
Cloud platforms are the latest addition to the list of different platforms to develop your application. These applications are designed to run over cloud services like Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and Amazon Web Services (AWS), among others.
Being the latest entrant in the list, they carry numerous advantages such as easier application deployment and management, scalability, and lower operating costs, among others. Knowledge of cloud infrastructure and deployment technologies is essential for developers working on cloud platforms.
As more and more gadgets become online, IoT platforms like Raspberry Pi and Arduino are gaining traction. Programmers may use IoT platforms to build programs communicating with and controlling smart homes, wearables, and industrial machines.
Learning about hardware interfaces, communication protocols, and device management is essential for developing IoT platforms.
4. How Do You Ensure App Security?
Mobile apps are the go-to option for users to execute operations of different scales and types. Today, they’re a vital resource for both public and businesses. However, the increasing demand and popularity of applications has also invited new ways for hackers and scammers to loot data. Therefore, it would help to take precautions to prevent cyber attacks on your app.
App security has many moving parts, so taking your time with preparation, rollout, and maintenance is essential. To prevent any unwanted access to your app, follow these guidelines:
Conduct A Risk Assessment:
Conduct a risk assessment and create a list of potential threats to your application. This way, you’ll have a better insight into the possible danger your users might be facing while using the application. This threat can be anything from data breaches to illegal access. The best way to ensure safety in these cases is to develop a robust solution.
Use Secure Coding Practices:
Use secure coding standards to ensure your software has no security flaws. Techniques like secure coding, using minimal third-party libraries, and sticking to coding standards fall under this category.
Encryption is another effective method of avoiding any instances of security vulnerability. It is a unique method of encoding the transmitted data between users and application owners so that no third-party can access the data. With encryption in place, you can ensure that all your sensitive data is safe from potential hacks.
Use Authentication & Authorization:
Authentication and authorization are another layer of security feature that you could include in your application. Authentication’s role is to verify the identity of users. It’s primary responsibility is to allow users who have a permission to access the application.
On the contrary, authentication is a way to ensure strong security on your application. For instance, the 2FA or Two Factor Authentication that sends a manual text message to verify and secure your login.
5. What Is Your Pricing Structure?
Businesses must recognize the pricing structure of their goods and services. The pricing structure development firms use can significantly impact the app’s success and the client’s pleasure. Therefore, learning about their pricing model is crucial when selecting a app development agency for your startup app.
Both fixed-price and time-and-materials pricing models are common among development agencies. A client can expect to pay the same amount throughout a project with a fixed-price structure. Smaller, more uncomplicated projects with a clear scope of work are ideal candidates for this price structure.
In contrast, time and materials pricing bills customers for the actual work done on a project and the time spent on it. This type of pricing is more appropriate for larger, more complicated projects in which the scope of work is subject to change.
Enquiring the pricing structure and aspects that impact development agencies’ rates is crucial. For example, there may be a premium for more seasoned developers or certain services provided by some development agencies. On the contrary, certain businesses may offer price reductions for extended service periods or during slower times.
Here’s an overview of the different types of app development and the average costs to a startup:
Apart from having a basic idea of the pricing, it would also help if you have insights about the payment schedule. It is another critical factor when assessing the pricing structure. For example, you may need to pay a sum upfront to secure funding from some development organizations. In contrast, others may only accept deposits or payments at predetermined points.
6. Do You Have Experience With App Monetization?
App monetization is a crucial aspect for the company behind the software. Since application is another way to expand and grow your business, many entrepreneurs tend to develop an application with chances of monetization. As thenake suggests, app monetization is a way to make money from your application. It could mean anything from showing third-party ads to charging a said premium for your operation.
However, monetizing an app is a ticky process and requires your application to meet specific standards which is a work of professionals. So when looking for an application development agency, ensure that you ask about their prior experience with app monetization.
Expert app developers understand the ins and outs of monetization and have various methods to help you monetize your application. This is because they have a proper experience and are well-versed with different monetization strategies. These professionals can help you plan and execute a plan to add to your revenues.
An expert app developer will know the app market and industry developments and comprehend monetization techniques and user experience. They will know the most well-liked app categories and successful app monetization strategies. Insights like this can be quite helpful in creating a money-making app.
7. How Do You Handle App Store Submissions?
Submitting your application to dedicated app stores is another crucial aspect of the app creation process. Upon submission, your app joins the ranks of those available for download by users.
Therefore, when working with a development company, it’s important to discover their process for submitting apps to app stores.
Experience In Submitting Apps To The App Store:
You need to know if the development company has prior App Store submission experience. A reliable development company will know how to get apps into the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store, among others. The answer to this question will provide insight into their familiarity with submitting apps to app stores.
Agency Should Have A Clear Process For Submitting Apps To The App Store:
Second, consult with the app’s development agency about the app store submission process. A reliable development firm will have a well-defined and simplified procedure for getting apps into the app store.
They should be able to walk you through the procedure, from the necessary paperwork and materials to the average time frame and probable snags.
Inquire About The Development Agency’s Approach To App Store Optimization:
You need to find out how the development company optimizes apps for app stores. You must optimize your app so that people can find it after you’ve uploaded it to the app store.
If you choose a professional development company, they should know about app store optimization (ASO) and be able to give you advice on how to increase your app’s discoverability.
8. What Is Your Post-Launch Support?
If you want your startup app to succeed when it’s released, you must ensure it’s always functioning optimally. So, you must inquire about the development agency’s post-launch support services. The agency’s dedication to your app’s success can be gauged by how they answer this question.
When your app is online, the development company will offer post-launch support through help and upkeep services. This comprehensive package covers everything from regular checks and updates to help users.
You need a development agency that provides comprehensive post-launch support services to realize your app’s potential and long-term goals. When a product has been released, customers often have questions about the service. While some nonprofits provide only the most essential services, others go above and beyond. Therefore, you must carefully choose a company that can provide the degree of service your app requires.
It will also help if you learn as much as possible about the agency’s reaction time and accessibility in an emergency. You should know if the development agency offers emergency support outside regular work hours. Any problems that arise for your app’s users should have an adequate reaction time.
Find out how the agency handles post-launch issues and ensure you’re comfortable with them. If you’re looking for a development firm, be sure they have experience and a reputation for offering solid, efficient assistance after launch. To verify the validity of their statements, you can either request testimonials from satisfied customers or check their ratings online.
9. Can You Provide A Project Timeline And Milestones?
Maintaining a steady pace and reasonable budget is crucial when creating a mobile app for your firm. Defining the project’s start and end dates, as well as major milestones, might help. Inquire if they provide project timelines and milestones while you look for the ideal app development agency for your startup app.
A timeline for a project is a comprehensive plan that specifies when each stage will be finished. It specifies when the project will begin and end and when various milestones must be reached. A project timeline ensures everyone is on the same page regarding what must be accomplished and when. It aids in maintaining responsibility and concentration on the project’s objectives.
Milestones are the cornerstone of success for any given software application. These are like the set benchmark that your development agency and you have set previously. As your work progresses, your agency does the work to reach these milestones. Reaching new milestones with your development agency gives you a sense of satisfaction that your application is being completed in different phases.
Moreover, if the hired agency is able to reach these milestones on time, chances are that they’ll complete the project within the given deadline. This way, you not only save on your budget but also get an assurance that the project will be completed on time.
It demonstrates that they know how to divide a large job into smaller, more manageable chunks. Planning and preparation for the launch of a project are facilitated by having a clear notion of when major milestones will be reached.
10. What Sets Your Agency Apart From Others?
Differentiating between agencies and asking what makes them unique is essential when choosing a development firm for your startup app. This question lets you learn more about the agency’s specialties and what they offer.
The agency’s successful track record of app creation may be a defining factor. Please inquire about the success percentages and samples of previously produced apps. The agency’s level of experience and its capacity to offer high-quality solutions can be gauged from this factor.
The method the agency uses to oversee projects is also crucial. Other aid organizations are more participatory, keeping their clients apprised and soliciting their thoughts at key junctures.
Someone else might be more hands-off, giving you greater freedom to play a role in the design and creation process. Inquiring about the method used by the agency can help you select one that fits your requirements.
Another factor to consider is the agency’s experience working with new businesses. Choosing a app development agency that is aware of the specific issues faced by startups and can respond with specialized services is crucial. Whether or not they have worked with startups before and how well they understand the startup ecosystem are both questions you might ask.
So now that we have an idea of the important questions you must ask your potential development agency, let’s look at some essential factors to consider before hiring them.
Things To Consider When Choosing The Right Development Agency
With over 59 billion options in the market, it’s only evident you might get confused with the numerous development agencies. Not to forget, the screening process can become very challenging.
However, numerous options shouldn’t stop you from signing up with the best agency. So to help you get a better insight, we’ve listed a few things to consider when choosing the right app development agency.
Identify Your Objectives & Requirements First:
Priorities are the core aspect that defines any mobile application. Therefore, it’s crucial to have a solid idea of your end objectives and the project requirements before you start your search.
Companies should have a high level of clarity on their requirements, whether technical or not. For instance, while developing an eCommerce app, they should be clear about all the components an eCommerce website must include. Besides, your application must define your purpose, target audience, and what end-users can expect from the final product.
Don’t Back Out On The Research:
The depth of your research is the initial step in choosing the best software development business. It is the best tip for finding the right app development agency and a great way to know what your business needs.
To get started, you might examine your network and ask for recommendations. For example, if someone has had success working with a software development company in the past, it would simplify their job and save them a ton of time and effort.
However, if that does not work out, conduct more research and look for businesses with the appropriate skill set and competence.
Pick Out Flexible Development Agencies
After further reducing the list of businesses offering application development services, contact them and outline your objectives and requirements. Once done, evaluate their expertise.
Check out the company’s technical due diligence, which will provide information on the architecture, technology, and development process. Then, choose software development firms that use an agile process.
Most startups in the industry today adopt an agile methodology for developing their applications. They do so to leave some space for improvising their application based on customer demand, ultimately creating software that meets customer expectations. Moreover, it gives you more control over the management and execution of the project.
Don’t Miss Out On Post-Development Support
No matter your project’s size, post-development support is the most crucial aspect of the entire app-building process. Being a startup, you don’t want your software to fail or break down when dealing with high traffic.
Therefore ensure that you discuss post-development support with your chosen app development agency. These include backup services, customization, and software maintenance.
This brings us to the end of our blog on the important questions you must ask your development agency. However, even after knowing the different factors involved in the process, it should be noted that developing your first app as a startup business won’t be easy.
Apart from the questions and the different factors, you must be sure of the chosen methods, the expertise of the team, and the budget it costs you. All the best!
The firm should have competence in the technologies required for your app, such as front-end and back-end development, database management, and third-party integrations.
The company should keep scalability in mind when it designs and develops the software to ensure it can handle increased traffic and user growth without compromising performance.
The organization needs to give data security and user privacy a top priority. This includes encrypting data and using best practices for storing and safeguarding user information.
A procedure should be in place for the agency to update and manage the app, including tracking performance, addressing issues, and adding new features.
To ensure efficient collaboration and prompt delivery of the app, the app agency development agency should use project management tools and have open lines of communication.
A user-centered design approach should be used by the agency, with an emphasis on developing an intuitive and interesting user experience that is consistent with your brand and target demographic.
The agency must have a history of successfully launching applications and be able to give examples of your app’s peer apps that have earned positive user reviews.
A thorough testing and quality assurance procedure, including unit testing, should be in place at the agency.