You’ve validated your business idea. You know what problem you want to solve. Now you’re exploring who can help you bring it to life. Sounds easy, right? Alas, it’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Our guide is meant to help you, the startup founder, navigate the often convoluted path of partnering with an agency. As a startup founder, you also wear the hats of a product owner and manager. You don’t need to have a technical background, but it will be useful for you to pin down the basics of technologies, software development approaches like Agile and SCRUM, and user experience/user interface (UX/UI) design.
Frame your project
You need a clear idea of what you’re building. Are you developing a consumer product? What solution does it offer? Does your product help improve customer experience (sales) or employee experience (productivity)? You need to consider your budget, timeline, and project scope.
Pool your potential partners
Choosing the right development agency for you is not about choosing the “best” but the most suitable for the job and your working style. The new normal sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic means that communication, work quality, and pricing carry a hefty weight. The types of agencies you can work with depends on the type of product you are developing. Though many agencies are versatile, they will also have specializations.
Get quotes and estimates
Well-known agencies are often in-demand and will have projects scheduled at least three months in advance. Do your research and schedule meetings early to avoid finding a suitable company, only to discover that their timeline does not match yours. Understanding an agency’s culture is more important than getting a quote. Your first meeting is an opportunity for both sides to get to know each other.
Maximize meetings and get comparable answers
Prepare a list of background questions. Agencies differentiate themselves in how they answer questions — where they invest their resources or if they’d be able to deliver on their promises. Note their attention to codebase quality and transparency with their processes.
Evaluate and choose your agency
Consider which trade-offs you’re willing to make for both the project’s immediate and future needs. Any agency claiming they can do everything is a huge red flag. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Learn how an agency makes recommendations because it tells how they will communicate to you moving forward.
The keys to success are knowing your role as a product owner, providing relevant information, and facilitating good communication with a team that fits your working style and timeline needs.
Download our guide to know what you need to consider when approaching digital studios or agencies — how to ask for quotes, and how to narrow down your options. Our guide covers:
- Budget, timelines, and the software development life cycle
- Types of agencies you can work with and their pros and cons
- Setting up meetings and getting quotes
- Questions you need to ask to reveal the agency’s culture, workflow, technical competency, and transparency
At the heart of Oursky is the art of software engineering: translating ideas into opportunities. We work with startups in bringing their ideas to life with the right blend of people, process, and technology — from MVP development to scalable digital products powered by the latest technologies. Get in touch with us!