Startups

7 Things Startups Should Know About Outsourcing Development

Source | Entrepreneur

For a startup to get through the teething stage and gain recognization, it must have its own unique system. It must consider as all-important such activities as hiring, training and the outsourcing of development, plus such elements as brand, structure and values.

Along the way, outsourcing is a common practice many startups use to complete these tasks. In fact, I know startup entrepreneurs who outsource virtually every task.

There’s good reason for that: Outsourcing can lead to high levels of productivity at relatively reduced costs. A study by Intetics revealed that outsourcing can save companies 60 percent on overhead costs.

What you outsource depends on the nature of your business and your goals, of course. But you’ve got to approach outsourcing the right way or risk losing money and even putting your business at risk.

For example, you may want to outsource the development of your mobile app, because you don’t have the technical expertise required. Better yet, you may want professionals to handle things at a lower cost so you can focus on a a higher revenue-generating task, such as marketing.

The truth is, you can outsource every aspect of your business if you choose, but considering how vital one aspect — development — is to every startup, you should look particularly closely at the following seven things to know about outsourcing it.

1. Choose the right third party to work with.

Creating a brand that you’ll be proud of requires deliberate efforts. One of the daring steps involved here is deciding who handles your development (e.g., app development). Should you hire an agency or freelancers? Most of the startup entrepreneurs I’ve interacted and worked with prefer working with agencies.

However, if you’re tight on budget (most startups are), seriously consider going to a place like Meetup.com to find a technical co-founder.

Remember that whether you’re going to hire an agency or individual freelancers, there are both pros and cons to each. Conduct your research first.

2. Consider technology standards.

Technology has redefined web and app development, or any type of development for that matter. For this reason, when outsourcing, consider the technology standards you’re using.

As an example, mobile usage has almost drowned desktop usage, with a 58 percent growth rate year over year. If you’re developing a website for your startup, you can’t possibly hire professionals who don’t understand responsive design.

More so, if you plan to generate traffic, leads and customers from search engines, Google expects you to make your web and mobile applications mobile-friendly.

Chaim Sajnovsky, founder at B7Dev.com, suggests that, “Being able to feature up-to-date technologies in your development is critical. Otherwise, your project will be outdated.”

3. Include personalized communication.

Don’t outsource development if there’s no guarantee of a personalized communication. Why? Because sooner or later you’ll encounter technical issues after the project has been completed.

To ensure a seamless communication, be aware of the time-zone difference to help you make smart decisions about when to outsource your services, and whom to put in charge.

If you’re based in California, for example, and you’re in the process of hiring an agency/freelancer in Johannesburg, South Africa, do well to understand when to send emails, put a call across or submit a support ticket.

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