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Is choosing a dev shop a good idea for a startup?

21 Jul 2020 Developer News
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Startups have their work cut out for them when it comes to hiring talents to build their website, an app, or software. No matter how you look at it, you have to have a development team for your business IT needs. Being a startup, it is understandable to be hesitant about this since it costs a lot of resources and could very well make or break your organization. This is understandable since software development is unpredictable. A complex build (and one you make from scratch) can easily snowball into something that gets out of hand. This is why a lot of startup founders often lean towards working with freelancers, because it is arguably the cheaper option. But should one totally forego working with a dev shop? Here are a few thoughts to keep in mind when thinking about hiring a dev shop over freelancers or building your own team:

A collective mind for decision making

 One of the values of a top-tier development shop is their collective thought process and decision-making. Freelancers would usually rely on the client’s instructions and do as they are told; building a team from scratch will likely need time and resources before they can all synchronize harmoniously. A reliable dev shop would not simply say yes to your needs and demands, and then put a price tag on it. Constructive feedback is crucial, especially for requests that are costly but would not add value to the user experience. Freelance professionals might be hesitant to offer these different perspectives because it might mean losing work, but a dev shop would not hesitate one bit. Top-rated agencies deliver quality results because they make sure to build the app with effective collaboration with clients. They ensure to look at a project or a task from several perspectives to come up with decisions and actions that meet the client and end-user goals. In this case, the more input from professionals of different expertise, the better.

A partnership that can last

The chances of a web development shop disappearing on you overnight is extremely low. This may seem like a trivial matter, but knowing that the shop you hired will not bail on you or vanish without a trail gives a lot of peace of mind. Especially for startups, being able to build long-lasting relationships is crucial. You want a team you know, can trust, and can count on anytime. While that is possible with remote professionals, it can be rare.

An opportunity to focus on something else

Growth for startups is crucial — it should be the driving factor behind any decision to scale your team or services. Of course, hiring people will take some time out of your schedule, but the least distracting of your available choices is hiring a dev shop. With freelancers, you are often forced to regularly check up on them and their progress; with an in-house team, you will need to re-do the hiring process every time a new project comes up and it is out of your team’s scope of expertise. IT consultancy company DevsData always reminds clients that hiring a dev shop means you get all the benefits of a full dev team minus the hassle of hiring and constantly monitoring them. Every time you need to scale up or down, the agency will handle it. That means more time for the clients to focus on growth.

An access to a variety of skills

Most freelance IT professionals tend to hone in on a specific skillset, allowing them to become experts in certain areas of software development, which is mostly a good thing. However, a common roadblock in working with the individual professionals is when you meet a problem outside their expertise. Maybe you find a good developer who is an expert in Objective-C or Swift. Your iOS app is coming along nicely, until you need input about design and UX/UI. You likely will not have enough time and resources to find another freelancer at short notice. But if you are working with just one or two freelancers for the whole project, you do not have much choice. It will be difficult to know how many freelance professionals you might need. A dev shop will be able to take care of this — they often boast of an entire team of varying areas of expertise.

A team that works together

Working with a freelancer means you get, well, one person. If you hire several freelancers, they often do not play nice together. When you hire a dev shop, you get a whole team, one with members already vetted and can be team players. Forcing individual developers to work with others can lead to tensions, delays, and headaches. However, if that developer is part of a team, they will prefer to support and collaborate with their teammates to come up with the best result possible.

Final Thoughts

Startups succeed when there is a strong alignment among all parties. Growing the organization and its systems require constant iteration and commitment to a long-term or to the ‘bigger picture’ vision. A reputable, process-oriented, and goals-driven development shop can almost always provide all you need. The success of your startup (through its website, app, and other digital channels) is too important to leave in the hands of one person working remotely. Find a reputable agency to partner with and as they say, let the pros handle it.

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