If you’re looking to boost your company’s online presence or operations, it’s important to know how to find the best US software development companies. There are tons of them out there, and most of them have enough knowledge to get you across the finish line—but are they right for you?
Finding the best developers involves more than just searching online and picking somebody. There’s a lot of work that needs to happen on your end first, such as firming up your branding style, planning out use cases, and building the right marketing campaign for your audience.
Do you have to have these pieces in place before you can search for a good team? No. There are plenty of great ideas fleshed out between developers and their clients, but this can end up costing more as the project changes over time.
Let’s say your project is ready to go. What will you have to do to find the best US software development companies?
Never Sacrifice Style
No matter what, you have to pick a team whose style matches yours. There are plenty of things that can go wrong during software development, but communication breakdown on the look and feel of your project is non-negotiable.
As the saying goes, “buy nice or buy twice.”
Finding a developer with good design sense doesn’t have to cost enterprise firm prices, either. There are plenty of young, eager graduates out there ready to cut their teeth serving your needs. Working with a development firm is always easier than working with individuals like freelancers, but the point is that you have options.
Start by surveying websites you like. If there’s a design style you particularly like, see if you can find out who built it. Not only will this give you valuable contacts to work with later, but it will also give you some ideas to bring with you to your developer.
Whatever you do, don’t settle for a subpar designer because the price is right. There are many decisions to be made during software development, and it’s important that you are able to trust your developer to make them without you. Otherwise, you’ll spend a lot more on last-minute edits.
Experience Is Always Golden
It goes without saying that experience will charge a higher fee than inexperience, but in the long run, it may not cost that much more. Experienced developers have more projects under their belt. They understand the shortcuts that only industry veterans know.
But if there’s one thing that experienced developers understand better than their newbie counterparts, it’s launching software successfully. Architecture, development, and testing are all tough enough as it is, but the launch is where new developers tend to have more trouble.
If you are launching a new app, this is especially important. For apps to be seen and used, they have to be properly marketed. An experienced developer can tell you why Apple’s App Store has a longer admission process but makes more money. They can give you pointers about untouched markets to set your software apart.
So, does it cost more to hire an experienced development company? Upfront, yes, but a successful launch will recoup that investment. With a budget developer, you may pay less to get your product out the door, but there’s a higher chance of no one seeing or using your app.
Don’t Sign a Contract without a Firm Timeline
Unmet expectations plague software projects more than any other problem. An excited developer promises their new client the world, and a check is cut without any firm launch date.
Without any milestones to reach, the developer gradually loses steam, taking longer and longer to get work done. The client, frustrated, start hounding the developer about the status of the project, and boom—everything falls apart.
The developer rushes to finish the project in order to get the client off their back. The results aren’t great, but who cares at this point? Both parties are done working together.
A timeline is crucial if your software is to make it across the finish line. The best US software development companies will give you one before they begin work, but some of the less established companies stick to that practice.
Not only does a timeline give you a good idea of when your software will be ready to launch, but it will also tell you when to expect certain milestones. When will the wireframes be completed? What testing has to happen first, and when should it be finished? Knowing all of this makes your life a lot easier, so don’t make any agreements without first having answers.
Not Just Industry Veterans—Your Industry
There are countless software development companies out there, and most of them have the skills to build functional software that more or less meets your needs. If you’re itching to get started on your project, sticking to the criteria above should get you pretty far. However, the best approach is to work with someone that understands your industry.
This means if you want to build restaurant software, your best choice is a developer with experience building restaurant software. The more your team knows about your industry, the more proactive they will be about building a great product for you.
Earlier in this article, we mentioned browsing for apps that meet your style standards. Start this process by searching for apps that serve the same industry as your company. You’d be surprised at the number of companies that build software for no more than one or two business verticals.
The same rules apply, though. It’s best to track down a software development company that has a few projects under its belt and can provide you with a clear launch timeline.
Trust Your Gut
If you find a team you can’t live without, rope them in and get started. Nothing is more important than feeling optimistic about your project, regardless of a developer’s qualifications.
The guidelines provided in this article are just that—guidelines. If you get a feeling deep down that one development company is just right, it’s probably a good fit. Don’t get conned, obviously. A developer with no résumé, timeline, or work experience is still a gamble, but you don’t have to hire the best team in the world to get great results.
Just pay attention to how you feel (Use the force, Luke!). Some pushy salespeople will nudge you in a direction without regard for anything but your checkbook. They might have flashy sales collateral that causes you to doubt your decision, but this is where it’s important to stick with your gut.
If it doesn’t feel right, hold off on signing the contract until you can sleep on it. Software is an expensive investment—you have to do whatever you can to feel good about the deal you’re getting.
Good luck, you got this!
Ready to speak with one of the best US software development companies?
Click here to get started on your free consultation.