For non-technical startup founders the task of building a product that requires web development expertise can be daunting. Even more unnerving is finding the right vendor to develop your web project. At the end of the day, a non-technical founder who has decided to build a web application has two options: Pay someone else, or partner with people (e.g. look for a technical co-founder).
If you decide to pay someone, here are 5 tips to make the process of selecting a web development company hassle and stress free.
1. Choose a vendor who knows your business
This is a no-brainer. A web development company with first-hand experience in building solutions specific to your industry should be a top choice.
If you run a Fintech startup, your needs will differ from that of a marketing technology company. In a highly regulated market, you will face unique security and compliance challenges. Data protection and fraud risks bring even more complexity to the table.
A technical partner with successful Fintech projects in their portfolio can easily address regulatory concerns with confidence and build a robust, highly secure solution to transform customer experience.
Even if you already have an in-house web expert a web development agency with rich domain expertise can strengthen your team, weed out impractical solutions early on, and share solid recommendations to fuel your startup’s growth.
2. Validate your startup idea
Before you dive in vet your idea first. Even if you think it is important and will change people’s lives, your ideal customers may not agree. Vetting is a simple process to helps define the viability of an idea, ensure it meets an existing need, and has mass appeal. If you don’t validate your idea, you could invest startup resources in a project with no potential future.
Even if you are not a first-time entrepreneur, you can still benefit from this process. Validate your idea with potential customers and work with expert vendors who offer validation and assessment services.
3. Prioritize vendors who understand startup mentality
Startups often have to release a minimum viable product (MVP) — and fast. Gathering feedback and adapting the product to customer needs is the next step.
With this in mind, an agile web development is a natural approach and guarantees a shorter time to market, ensures incremental quality improvement and faster response to the changing needs of the market. Agile web development is a series of sprints. It is also more flexible than waterfall product development that is carried out sequentially – subsequently more rigid and arguably less effective.
Ensure your potential partner has well-established agile processes in place to help you meet aggressive deadlines, manage changing priorities, and provide better project visibility.
4. Ensure your partner offers full cycle web development
A software developer who provides end-to-end development services can become a reliable partner and strategic ally throughout the product development journey. From concept prototyping to production and testing, it is easier to coordinate all design and development stages within one company.
A primary goal is to continuously adapt your product to market needs. So you’ll need a web development partner who is willing to keep enhancing your solution with new features and support it after launch. As your client base grows, so does your business, and a vendor should be ready to scale with you.
5. Select a partner with a track record of innovation
Innovation is the lifeblood of success and the core of a startup. An innovative or better solution to an existing problem can help you cut through a cluttered competitive market.
To match your innovation needs, a web development company should be at the cutting edge of technology and invest in employee education. Examine the vendor’s portfolio to see what projects your potential technical partner has implemented. Then decide if they can bring your breakthrough idea to fruition.