How to Find the Right Custom Software Development Company
When it comes to growing your business or organization, sometimes you just need the right custom software development company behind you.
The question is, which company is the right fit?
Depending on the city, there can be a LOT to choose from. So many, in fact, that after a while, they all start to sound the same.
There are a few tell-tale characteristics you should look for when identifying, evaluating, and ultimately choosing the custom software development company you want to work with.
Want to know what you should really be looking for?
Take a seat and let’s dive in…
They Have Experience Working in Your Industry
We’re leading with this one because it’s an absolute essential:
Before you choose a custom software development company MAKE SURE they have experience working in your field.
Why is that important?
Because when it comes to the service sector, specialized experience trumps the generalist every time—and that extends to digital services.
For example, let’s say you’re working with a company that specializes in one thing, let’s call it mobile app development. Great! They are probably skilled enough to make you one hell of an app, however, they’ve only worked with quick-service restaurants in their experience.
If your business is the next Chiptole, that’s good news. But if you’re a growing nonprofit business, the benefit of that specificity doesn’t apply to you. In fact, it may even harm you.
Let’s take this from the other angle, as well. Let’s say that you are the client in need of a mobile app for your quick-service restaurant. However, the company you’ve decided to partner with is talented but new. As a result, they’ve taken any and every job they’ve been offered so while their experience is wide, it’s completely unrelated.
And bonus, they’ve never worked for a client in your industry.
Sure, they may have experience making mobile apps, but if they don’t know the details of your industry or the consumers that live within it, there’s a higher chance of creating a product that misses the mark.
The remedy for this, of course, is to find a company that has experience doing the type of work you need and a history of working with clients just like you.
So, when seeking out a prospective custom software development company, always use this standard in order to ensure the best work.
They’re Fluent in Many (Coding) Languages
If a coding language was akin to having an extra tool in your toolbox, would you want to have it just in case?
Of course, you would.
Everyone would, and that’s one of the biggest attributes you should look for when vetting your custom software development company. Although many companies will have this kind of information on their websites, if you check and they don’t, call and ask.
The truth is that there are a ton of coding languages. Some operate very closely with others, and some are variations of each other that are specific to the same type of software. With that said, they are each unique in their own right with very specific use cases.
Although we won’t place a magic number on how many languages a company should be able to code in, with respect to our earlier metaphor, a little more never hurts.
Again, depending on your project, a good custom software development company should be versatile, being able to tap into the unique benefits of each language to bring you the best product.
So, when you’re on your discovery call with a potential company (heck, even us), always ask about their coding languages and proficiency in each.
If they give a confident answer, you know you’ve found a reliable company.
They Operate Locally
Okay, so this is a big one.
Today you’ll find many custom software development companies working on a virtual basis. They’ll schedule calls with you, show you work progress online, and for any other correspondence will shoot information over to your email.
In some cases, a client and company may never meet in person at all.
And this isn’t a knock, either. We here at Goji Labs take clients from all over the world. However, if your prospective agency is local, always give them a look first.
Because you just can’t beat the strength of communication and shared vision that comes from in-person interaction.
It should come as no surprise that custom software development is a lengthy endeavor. Depending on the project’s size and scope, something like the production of a mobile app can take several months to even years.
As a result, there’s going to be a lot of communication and back and forth packed into that timeframe. In those cases, things go invariably smoother with a clear channel of communication where a shared understanding of the desired outcome can be achieved.
And that happens through rapport built in person.
So, if the custom software development companies in your area are severely lacking in meeting your needs, by all means, give us a call. However, keep in mind that a local relationship is a strong one, and that sense of intimacy toward the quality of your final product shouldn’t be underestimated.
We don’t mean this in the “I hate [insert politician], they just aren’t likable” kind of way.
We mean it in the “do you like talking to them” or “are they enjoyable humans” kind of deal.
The reason why this is such an important attribute is that—and we’ll reiterate here—you will be stuck talking to this company for a very long time. That means if you aren’t getting good vibes from early on when stress is at its lowest point, it’s only going to go downhill from there.
Now, with that said, your custom software development company doesn’t need to be your new best friend. They just have to be professional, friendly, and good communicators.
If you’re not the technical type, a good software development company should have the language to express what needs to be said simply and succinctly.
Many times, coders and computer engineers forget that their clients haven’t spent their careers looking at computer code. It’s understandable, but unfortunately very alienating to clients and prospects alike.
So, when looking for a good custom software development company, make sure they follow the KISS rule:
Always keep it simple stupid!
Moving Forward with Custom Software
We could sit here all day telling you about the virtues of custom software and why you need it to grow your business.
But we won’t.
If you’re considering custom software for your business, you already know it’s time for a change, you’re just trying to figure out what that change is and who’s the best partner to help you pull it off.
*Ahem* Steps forward.
When you need a partner you can trust with decades of experience—specifically in your industry—try giving us a call and ask us everything we’ve outlined above.
We’ll be waiting.
Ready to chat about building your own custom software?
Click here to schedule a free 15-minute consultation.
David is the Co-founder and CEO of Goji Labs. David loves working closely with passionate founders to understand their vision and help them build beautiful applications while focusing on risk-mitigation. As an author, he focuses on informative and educational blogs that enable our clients to make the most of their businesses.