If you are interested in developing a mobile app, you might want to give consideration to outsourcing app development. There are myriad advantages you gain, from time-saving to adding additional time to pre-launch and marketing efforts, outsource app development just makes sense.
You’ll also find that when outsourcing mobile app development, you can act as the project manager, overseeing all aspects of the project while remaining at a distance so you can attend to other matters of significant business (also read about dedicated team model). Meanwhile, when outsourcing, you’ll be making a monetary commitment that will, in turn, have you making a serious effort to ensure the app makes it from conception to launch.
By making a monetary commitment with a freelance mobile app developer you will retain a greater level of motivation to ensure project completion. Here are some tips and things to think about when outsourcing your app development project.
Step 1. Know What You Want from the App
Before you hire outsourcing mobile app developers, you have to have a precise definition of what you want from your mobile application. If you don’t have a clear definition of what your app is and what you want it to do, you won’t be able to communicate with the freelance developer you choose for outsourcing.
You should spend time researching similar applications, and write down precisely what you want your app to do:
- Do you want your app to have social media integration?
- What are the login features?
- Are there in-app purchases?
- Do you want a free or lite version and a premium version of the app?
- Do you want the app to be compatible with Google or Android or both?
- Do you want it to be native or cross-platform (mind cost of mobile app development is different)?
Once you have the answers to all of the latter questions, and you are clear on what you want your app to do, you can start looking for a developer to complete your project.
Step 2. Find an App Developer
Apparently, knowing the type of app you want will define what you exactly get from a developer. Now you can look for a developer who is skilled in creating the kind of apps you desire. For instance, if you want an app compatible with an iOS system, then you’ll need a developer with a background in creating iOS compatible mobile applications, or if you want to develop a game, you will look for top mobile game developers.
There are different ways on how to find app developers, but the simplest way is to place an advertisement on a freelancer board like Freelancer.com or Upwork.com (formerly oDesk.com) where qualified freelancers will bid on your job.
You can set a price for the project and put up a description of the project and the qualifications you are looking for in a developer. If you go with UpWork, you can look at developer profiles and invite specific bidders to bid on your project.
Whatever you do, make sure you are explicit about your demands and exactly what you want from the developer who is offering. Tell them everything about the platform, features, and what you expect regarding their experience.
Even better, to make sure you aren’t getting a generic copy and paste responses to your bid and to ensure the bidder has read your entire post and is clear on what you need, somewhere toward the end of the post put a line asking the bidder to do something when they respond.
For example, you can ask for a particular action in the post like “put the words ‘AWESOME APP’ in the first line of your post to show you’ve read the job requirements, and you understand what the job entails.” You’d be surprised how quickly something this simple can weed out not-so-prospective candidates.
Whatever board you use, make sure you read up on the history of the developers that begin bidding on your project. If the profile is insufficient or you need more information, by all means contact the prospective developer and ask questions.
When working through UpWork and Freelancer.org, you’ll be getting bids within a few hours of posting. Don’t jump the gun and hire the first developer that applies. Give your posting a few days to a week to accumulate prospective bidders to broaden your search for a qualified app developer.
Step 3. Talk with the Bidder before Hiring
To outsource Android development or the iOS one, it’s imperative you get to know the developer before you hire. Use an instant messaging program to discuss the task with a candidate in real time instead of through email. Skype is one of the most popular ways to communicate with mobile app developers interested in working your job. However, you can also use message projects like Google Hangouts, Viber, Facebook, Snapchat, and other popular messaging platforms to conduct developer interviews and for project updates and instructions.
The real benefit you get from using messaging platforms is that you aren’t waiting around for return emails to your every question. Messaging platforms are real-time options for having a conversation and getting your questions addressed with immediacy.
Video conferencing is another option you can use as well, and this feature is available through a number messaging platforms. Through video conferences, you can get to know the developer and pick up on little nuances you won’t be able to do via text.
Step 4. Interview the Bidder
There are certain things you should look for in a developer, but one of the most valuable skills is clear communication. You need a developer who is easy to understand and someone who is going to understand you easily too.
It’s a good idea to ask the experts about their experience in outsource iPhone app development (Android or hybrid as well), and if they have testimonials from prior clients or a portfolio, you can examine. You also want a developer who behaves in a responsive manner: If you set up an interview via Skype and the person doesn’t hook up with you at the time you both agreed on, it may be a warning sign that the developer has trouble maintaining commitments.
Step 5. Negotiate the Bid
When you set your price for a developer who then bids on your job, the bidder may bid higher than what you’ve put for an initial submission. Don’t dismiss a higher bid just because it wasn’t what you put up for the initial task. The developer may actually have a good reason for the higher bid. Bear in mind that boards like UpWork let you post your work opportunities for free, but the developer picks up the tab on the other end of that to bid on work.
Once the bidder accepts the job offer (after you choose him or her), the bidder is responsible for the fees based on a percentage defined by the board where the bid is taking place.
Mainly, you need to be open to negotiations, and if a higher price is still within reason and the developer has all the qualifications you’re looking for, you might want to up the ante a little bit and take the higher bid. Be willing to pay the other party what they are worth and you’ll both have a comfortable time working together.
Step 6. Establish Important Milestones
Once you choose the bidder for your outsourcing developing needs, it’s a good idea to discuss project milestones. Milestones will be points in the project where specific tasks need to be completed. The milestones can serve as goal posts, so you know where the project stands and so you don’t get nervous if your developer goes quiet for a few days while working your project.
At a minimum, if you do not set milestones, establish a connect calendar, so the developer guarantees to get in touch with you on specific dates throughout the project to give you a full update on the project’s status. If you use UpWork, the site lets you set milestones, and release payments in increments as each of the milestones are completed.
By creating a pay as you go system, the money remains motivation for the app developer, and the check-ins and project approval points will give you peace of mind.
An experienced developer might take the time to ask you for a project timeline breakdown, or they may not. It’s really up to you to push the idea of milestones and maintaining project schedule requirements. Just remember if you set your expectations, in the beginning, the developer will exactly know what you want and when you want it.
The milestones or timelines allow you to assess the development builds over the course of time. It also allows you to approve every step of the process. After all, this app is being created for you, so your approval is necessary, moreover vital, for the developer as a form of project feedback. It gives you a chance to test the modules, features, and following the beta stage of development; you should be able to expect builds with considerable frequency.
It is possible to find a reputable developer to work with if you’re willing to be diligent with your search. Don’t rush into anything just because you are eager to get your project completed. Take the time to evaluate ideal candidates until you find the perfect developer to complete your job to your satisfaction.