Would you dare to step foot into the wilderness without a trusted guide, map, or compass?
Probably not. The same goes when planning app development for your business. You need a trusted agency by your side that can help you reach your goals and stop you from veering off track.
Choosing an agency can sometimes feel overwhelming. To help you find the perfect match, read our guide on selecting the best mobile app development agency.
Establishing Your Business Case: The Growing Demand for Business Apps
In recent years, mobile apps have become one of the most valuable tools for individuals and businesses. It’s a fast, convenient way to buy products, learn new skills, or connect with others.
As a business, use this as your starting point to put together a business case for your app development.
If you can understand – and put a figure on – the benefits, it makes it easier to establish the potential return you’ll get from an app development. That will, in turn, shape your budget.
So start your business case by examining the potential and the market demand. Then, outline tangible results (ideally with financial numbers) you can expect to see once your app launches.
Write Down Your Objectives
Once you understand the benefits of your app development, it’s time to set your objectives.
These will be the top-level goals for your app, and they will help you establish your app requirements. You can think of these objectives as your benchmarks for your app.
Start by talking about what you want to achieve with your app. You might wish to specify revenue numbers, customer signups, app downloads, or another core metric. It will depend on your business model.
Once you have these objectives, write the specific features to help you reach your goals. You should prioritize these app features, too, as that will help any prospective agency understand the order of development.
It also means they can tailor a solution that best fits your needs in terms of your features and high-level business objectives.
This step is a vital part of your app development journey. It will give you clear goals and a solid foundation for your app build.
Start Your Research
Next, it’s time to research potential agencies to help you create a shortlist. Put together a list of core requirements to help you narrow your choice to ones that best align with your needs.
That might include industry expertise or specialism in a specific technology. For example, if you are a financial company, you may want an agency with experience in banking.
You might also want an agency with advanced knowledge of security features.
When researching, start by looking at the top agencies in your field. Next, broaden your search by seeking recommendations from other business owners in your network.
You could also look at independent review sites online. It’s also worth viewing lists of agencies that have won industry awards.
Don’t limit your review research to comparing the star ratings of different agencies. This score can be misleading. Instead, look at the lengthy comments from customers.
If you spot a pattern of negative comments, that’s a good reason to leave them off your shortlist.
Reviews will also help you find the positives, as past customers will often focus on things like the technical strengths of that agency and project delivery speed.
Don’t forget to read client testimonials, too. When you reach the point where you’ve selected a supplier, check their references to ensure everything lines up with what you saw during the sales process.
Comparing Technical Skills
You’ll want to compare technical skills when you have a shortlist of mobile app development agencies. Here are some factors to consider.
The mobile app industry is vast. You may find agencies specializing in iOS, Android, or both (a hybrid development).
Check this before choosing a company. If an agency says it has expertise in a specific technology, check that it follows platform-specific guidelines.
All modern app developments use market-leading tools, frameworks, and languages. Ask any prospective agency what they use for their app build process.
Suppose you have technical people in-house who will work closely with the agency. In that case, you want to ensure no mismatch between languages and frameworks.
Ask your shortlist of agencies about their approach to best practices. Review their answers for signs that they have an efficient and organized coding method and the highest level security protocols.
Membership in industry and professional organizations is also a helpful indicator of a business with high development standards.
Lastly, you want a company that can create something better than apps already on the market. They must have an innovative mindset towards custom apps. They need to embrace creativity and problem-solving.
Avoid companies with a fixed approach to developing apps or a template-style build instead of custom.
Review Past Projects
Before working with a company, you need evidence that their delivery lives up to what they claim on their website. The best way to do that is to review past projects.
Start by looking at the type of apps they’ve developed. Are they a specialist, or is the range diverse?
There is no right answer here. You may prefer one with a more niche skill set, or a broader knowledge base may suit you better.
However, a varied portfolio indicates that the agency can adapt to different scenarios. That could be a good fit if you have unique and unusual requirements.
Next, examine the depth and complexity of the projects. Ask the agency to provide examples of their project challenges and what they did to address them. It will help you understand whether the agency has technical capabilities and excellent problem-solving skills.
You should also look at customer and user feedback. Take time to try the apps out, too. Do they design apps that seem intuitive and user-friendly? Do they look stylish?
Finally, consider the relevance of the projects. If you are reviewing an agency that’s always worked with SMEs and you are a large-scale enterprise, that might not be a perfect fit.
You will need an excellent relationship with your app development agency. This largely comes down to consistent communication between both parties.
Therefore, it’s something to check before signing the dotted line. You want to know how the agency communicates with their customers and when. It also needs to be the best fit for your needs.
If you are a fast-paced business in a demanding industry, perhaps you’ll need a daily phone call or email from the agency. Alternatively, you may be a business that prefers a more formal approach, like weekly or monthly face-to-face meetings.
Always explain your expectations to a prospective agency. Ask if they can work to your communication standards.
Check the Project Timelines
Can the agency work to your timescales? It’s something to check before selecting your supplier. Don’t stop asking the question. Instead, get evidence in the form of a project plan.
Does it look realistic? And does the agency have the resources to meet your deadlines?
You should also think about the consequences of a missed deadline. In some industries, it might not matter.
In others, it could cost money. With more innovative app concepts, you could lose your first-mover advantage with a delayed delivery.
Your app development must be cost-effective. That doesn’t necessarily mean you should choose the cheapest quote, though. You need value for money and a proposal that aligns with your budget.
It’s worth noting that all businesses will have different pricing models. Some will have a fixed price, while others will have an hourly rate.
Weigh up the pros and cons. If your project scope is vague, an hourly rate could be pricey if your app is more complicated than expected.
However, if you go for a fixed price, ensure you know the precise line items included in that cost and what you’ll pay for extra work.
Support and Maintenance
Don’t forget that work on your mobile app development doesn’t stop with the launch. When choosing a mobile app development company, examine how they will support your app once it’s live.
You’ll need regular updates to the app to ensure it works on new devices and any extra security that needs adding or bug fixes. You’ll also want enhancements in the future, whether it might be to respond to user feedback or because you want to expand the scope of your app.
Be sure your potential agency provides transparent support and maintenance packages. Seek a price for this work, and ensure you get details in the contract about target response times.
Finding the Best Mobile App Development Agency
You’ll know when you’ve found the right mobile app development agency. They’ll do more than tick the boxes on your list of requirements. They’ll feel like a partner and one that’s on your side.
From that perspective, the time spent searching is always worth the effort. The right agency can boost your chances of success with your app launch.
If you want to know more about our approach to app development, schedule a free consultation with our team at Synaptech. You can do that by completing this form.