Mobile apps have become a cornerstone of our daily lives, haven’t they? Whether you’re looking to order some late-night food or trying to find your way through an unfamiliar city, there’s likely an app for it. The popularity of mobile apps also makes them an attractive business venture. But it’s not all smooth sailing, and that’s why I’m writing this article. I’ll be your guide, taking you through the crucial things you need to know before diving into the complex world of outsourcing your mobile app development. Ready? Let’s get started.
Why Outsource Mobile App Development?
So, you’ve got an idea for an app that could either simplify a task, entertain users, or maybe even revolutionize an industry. That’s great! But unless you’ve got the skills and the manpower to bring that app to life, you’re going to need some help.
Outsourcing isn’t a sign of weakness; it’s a strategic move. With the right mobile app development company by your side, you can save a lot of time. Developing an app in-house could take months or even years, depending on how complicated your vision is. I remember when I faced the same decision a few years ago. We were juggling several big projects, and my team simply couldn’t handle another one. Outsourcing was our lifesaver. It not only freed us to focus on what we do best but also gave us access to specialized skills that we lacked.
What To Look for in a Mobile Application Development Company
Now, this is the part where you need to be ultra-careful. Selecting the right mobile application development company is like choosing a long-term business partner. It’s a decision that can make or break your project. And believe me, I’ve seen both outcomes.
First off, always, and I mean always, check the experience. How many years has the company been in the mobile app development business? What kind of apps have they developed? And don’t just take their word for it—ask for a portfolio.
The technology stack is another critical factor. Are they familiar with both Android and iOS platforms? Do they have experience with the latest frameworks? This may seem like a lot of technical jargon, but it’s vital. You’d want your app to be as up-to-date as possible, and for that, you need a mobile application development company that’s keeping pace with the latest tools and technologies.
I remember a time when we were outsourcing a project, and the mobile application development company we chose had expertise in outdated technologies. They promised they could get the job done, but the resulting product was riddled with issues that took months to resolve. So, be sure to pay attention to the tech stack.
Risks of Choosing the Wrong Mobile App Development Company
We’ve all heard the horror stories. Companies losing money, time, and even credibility because they chose the wrong mobile app development company. The risks are real, and they’re daunting.
So, what could go wrong? For starters, you might end up with an app that’s glitchy and unstable, just like a friend of mine did. They were so excited about launching their app that they overlooked the vetting process and chose a mobile app development company solely based on cost. The app was delivered on time but was virtually unusable due to numerous bugs and poor design. It took them another six months and additional investment to fix the issues.
Understanding the Cost Structure
When it comes to outsourcing, cost is often a significant consideration, but it shouldn’t be the only one. Understanding the cost structure when working with a mobile app development company is imperative. You might get tempted by lower upfront costs, but trust me, hidden fees can quickly add up.
The first thing you need to understand is the setup fees. These are the initial costs of getting your project off the ground. Then come the development charges, which could either be a fixed price or an hourly rate. Some companies also have maintenance fees to keep your app up and running after it’s launched. And let’s not forget potential overage charges for any additional work that goes beyond the initial agreement.
It’s important to have a clear budget and to stick to it as much as possible. One tip I can share from my experience: always allocate a contingency budget. During one of my first outsourcing experiences, we overlooked this aspect and ended up exceeding our budget by 20%. It wasn’t a disaster, but it was a financial strain that could have been avoided.
The Importance of a Good Contract
Now, onto something many of us would rather ignore—legalities. Contracts may not be the most exciting part of the process, but they’re crucial for a successful outsourcing relationship. A contract will outline the responsibilities of both parties, payment terms, deadlines, and what happens if things go south.
One piece of advice I wish someone had given me earlier is to involve a legal expert in contract negotiations. During one of my previous projects, we ended up in a sticky situation because the contract wasn’t clear on deliverables. We thought we were getting a fully-functioning app, but the mobile app development company considered their job done after the initial version, which was far from complete. Having a lawyer on your side to clarify these terms can save you a lot of headaches down the line.
Key Stages of Mobile App Development
Let’s switch gears and talk about the actual development process. A mobile app goes through multiple stages—concept, design, development, testing, and finally, launch. Each stage is crucial and presents its own set of challenges.
In the concept stage, you should have a clear idea of what your app will do, who it’s for, and how it will make their lives better. Once that’s settled, you move onto the design phase, which is not just about how the app looks but also how it feels to the user.
The development stage is where your mobile app development company will do the bulk of the work. This is the coding phase, where all the functionalities are implemented. Once that’s done, you’ll move on to testing. This phase can’t be rushed. I’ve seen projects delayed because proper testing wasn’t done, resulting in a flawed product.
After all the bugs are ironed out and you’re satisfied with the product, you’re ready for the launch. But remember, the work doesn’t stop here. Post-launch, you’ll need to work on updates, customer feedback, and possibly even scaling the app to handle more users.
How To Maintain Quality Control?
We’re nearing the end, but this is an important one. Maintaining quality control is not something you can afford to overlook when outsourcing your mobile app development.
You need to be involved every step of the way. Ask the mobile app development company for regular updates. Personally, I like to request a demo or a prototype at various stages of development. This allows me to gauge the progress and ensure the app is shaping up as envisioned.
Post-Launch Strategies and Ongoing Support
The big day has arrived. Your app is ready for the world to see. It’s tempting to think that the hardest part is behind you, but in reality, the work is far from over. Your post-launch strategy is equally important, and here’s where your choice of a mobile app development company plays a significant role.
Many people make the mistake of thinking that their involvement with the mobile app development company ends with the launch. I learned the hard way that this isn’t the case. A few years back, I launched an app, and we immediately encountered server issues due to high user traffic. I was relieved to find out that the mobile application development company I had partnered with offered ongoing support. Within hours, they had fixed the issue, saving us from what could have been a public relations disaster.
So, ensure that your contract includes ongoing support. This could be anything from fixing bugs to rolling out updates or even expanding the app’s functionalities as your business grows.
Monitoring and Analytics
Once your app is out in the public domain, the next step is to track its performance. To put it simply, you need to know what’s working and what isn’t. Most mobile application development companies offer analytics as part of their package. If they don’t, make sure you have other means of tracking performance metrics.
I’m a big fan of actionable insights. Numbers alone don’t mean much unless you can interpret them. During the first few months after one of my app launches, we noticed that the user retention rate was lower than expected. Thanks to robust analytics, we quickly identified the issue—a specific feature was not performing well. We tweaked it, and voila, our retention rates improved. So, never underestimate the power of good analytics.
So, there you have it, a comprehensive guide on what you need to know before outsourcing your mobile app development. We’ve covered why outsourcing could be beneficial, what to look for in a mobile application development company, the risks involved, understanding cost structures, the importance of a good contract, key development stages, maintaining quality control, and post-launch strategies.
Outsourcing mobile app development is not a decision to be taken lightly. It can be a rewarding experience that saves you time and resources, but it can also turn into a nightmare if you’re not careful. I’ve been through both scenarios and I can tell you that the key to a successful outsourcing experience lies in your preparation and choice of a mobile app development company.
So, take your time, do your homework, and don’t rush into any decisions. Your app is a reflection of your business and you, so make sure you’re putting your best foot forward. You can refer to this list of top mobile app development companies in India that we have prepared after thorough research.