Technology drives the decisions of business every day. Its numerous applications have seen companies innovate and implement software solutions that make them more efficient and save them money. When it comes to custom software development, you have options. You can work with your internal team, hire a development firm, or work with freelancers to complete your project. While there are benefits to all of the options, your internal team may not have the resources or bandwidth to focus on new development. This leaves you hiring an app development team or trying freelance app development. How do you decide between these options to build your next product?
What kind of custom software or app are you trying to build?
The scope of what you’re building will often affect who you hire for your project. Is your product enterprise software or an app that needs updating? Are you working on a new mobile app development project or business software starting from ground zero? Figuring out what you need to build is a significant determinant in what comes next.
Short term software projects
When it comes to normal updating or maintenance issues for a product, a freelance developer is perfect for your needs. You don’t need their assistance all the time, but you can rely on them to have the skillset and deliver the work on time once you build a relationship with them. You could require a simple front end polish to a website or app, or you may want to transfer a database and or clean it up. These one-off tasks require a particular skill set and can be accomplished without a team.
Large scale software projects
Meanwhile, for large scale build projects, you’ll want to find a custom software development firm. They’ll have the experience you need working collaboratively on app development projects. These include mobile app development of customer facing apps or internal app based products such as a mobile app that allows for inventory management. Likewise, their skill set will include building business software which such as creating dashboards to view organization data or automating processes in your business. Their expertise is typically spread out between front and back end development, creating a full stack development experience.
A custom software development firm will already have a set process for how they work with clients. It will be easy to stay on the same page as the firm will have a project manager to communicate progress and track the time being spent on it. Hiring freelancers who don’t already work together could lead to a variety of people on different schedules and tracking progress will be largely dependent on your ability to manage the project yourself.
Custom development cost
The hourly development rate and total cost at which you pay for a project is dependent on who you hire. An app development firm will have a set hourly rate, but a team of freelancers will have variable rates based on what you negotiate and their experience. A software development firm generally has higher hourly rates than freelance developers because they have a more streamlined process thanks to perks like a project manager to keep them organized or an automated testing process.
It’s pretty common to experience issues during development. Any delays or setbacks will interrupt your schedule. For an app development firm, this is to be expected and their existing project management system can accommodate changes and setbacks without huge implications on project timeline and cost. A freelancer generally won’t have a project manager who helps them manage time and tasks, so that means changes to the project or unexpected discoveries are up to you to figure out–and ultimately pay for.
The needs for your new software or product may extend beyond development. An app development firm may have services like consulting or offer to help with marketing. You’ll need to pay them for this additional expertise, but it saves you money as you don’t need to hire someone else and explain your concept or approach all over again. A freelance team of developers may have diverse skill sets, but it will really depend on their time if they can offer complementary services. That being said, they may be able to recommend fellow freelancers to help you fill in gaps on your project, should any exist.
Making a decision
Who you hire to build your app will come down to what works best for you and your needs. You may start off with an app development firm and hire freelancers to help maintain it after it’s completed. Or the opposite: you could hire a freelance developer to solve a problem and realize you need to rebuild your business software entirely and contract an app development firm. No matter what the scenario, keep in mind scope, cost, and the services you need beyond development to build your project.
Ready to build? Let’s schedule a time to go over what you want to build and how we can develop it to help you achieve your business goals.