When your business needs an app, there are a few ways you can go. You can set up an in-house team that will handle app development start to finish. However, unless you’re a heavily staffed tech company that already has technically skilled people experienced in app development that you can easily set aside for a few months, this might not be a viable option for you. That leaves you with two options. You could either hire a freelance app developer, or hire an app development agency. Which of the two should you go for? When running on a tight budget, a freelancer might seem like an appealing choice as they are relatively more affordable than an agency. That alone however, shouldn’t be your decisive consideration.
Why hire a standalone freelancer when you can hire a full fledged app development team? Even if a company costs a little more upfront, it only ensures better ROI in the long term. And if you’re in business, you know how crucial it is to think long term. So here we present 6 compelling reasons why you should rather invest in an app development company than spend money on a freelancer, when developing a mobile app for your business.
1. More Accountability – Legal and Ethical
Reputed app development companies are state registered, licensed business with a solid legal accountability. They are bound by law to fulfill the terms of your contract, failing which they can be legally sued in court. Even without the legal implications, app development companies have a reputation to live up to. A bad client review can send the reputation (and probably stocks) tumbling, which they wouldn’t risk. As a result of this, you can be sure of receiving quality and reliable service.
Standalone freelancers on the other hand are private individuals working under civil laws, but may not have additional taxes or state liabilities. While this allows them to offer you lower costs, it does risk the possibility of low accountability. Your freelancer could disappear without a trace and you could do little about it. Not only would you have your project on a standstill, but also end up spending more time and money finding a new team and getting them to pick up where the first one left. To avoid such a scenario, you need to perform extensive background checks, talking to previous clients of the freelancers and go through a tedious vetting process.
2. A Company is a One-Stop Shop
Well-rounded app development needs more than just an app developer. When you hire an app development company, you can have one or more than one developer depending on the scale of your app. Additionally, you have a UX/UI designer, backend developer, dev ops specialist, quality analysts, testers, app marketers if you wish, and a project manager to tie it all together and act as your point of contact for all purposes. The advantage of having designers and developers working together in the same company go far in ensuring great collaboration which expedites your app’s time to market and overall holistic quality. Not having to chase different people for different deliverables ensures you save time and keep your cool. When you have a project manager to coordinate between you and the team, too many communication gaps are bridged and you end up with a well-finished app without any micromanagement.
Having a standalone freelancer to develop your app leaves a glaring hole in the ship – the designer. Designing an engaging user experience is no mean feat. Going the freelance route would mean finding a designer along with the developer, and making the two work together, which can be a real challenge. Even after that, a great deal of the work tumbles over to your shoulders. From registering on app stores, completing legalities, launching the app, creating pre- and post-launch marketing, app store optimization, app marketing and promotion and handling customer feedback, the list goes on. Hiring a company can free you up of all these added responsibilities as well as ensure that these are all handled to professional perfection.
3. Tighter Deadlines
Yes, there are freelancers who are professional and prompt about the deadlines. But like we said, finding such a freelancer is no less than performing a sophisticated card magic trick. When you hire an app development company, deadlines are met with precision. Since there is a team of developers and designers who need to complete each stage of the work and pass on the deliverables, the project adheres to deadline, thanks to multiple checkpoints. Anytime you need to check the progress or ensure the team is working on schedule, all you have to do is ping the project manager.
4. Instant Emergency Solutions
There’s little you can do if your standalone freelancer falls sick, or is unable to complete the project. Also if the project runs into a roadblock, say a specific feature in your app requires a special permission or a unique skill, you could be stranded for days or weeks finding someone to step in and help you out.
An app company on the other hand, is well staffed with many skilled people. So if you ever have an emergency, need some special expertise, need some really unique features added, or anything that may arise, an app development company can get it done for you.
5. More Organized
How organized your development team is directly affects the quality of your app. With a project manager to coordinate the project, having an app development company puts you in a position to keep track of the progress of the project at every stage. An organized roadmap with diversified development phases is presented to you, containing multiple checkpoints with estimated deadlines for each individual phase. This way, you don’t have to wait for a month to look at everything that’s been done in those 30 days. Instead, you can check out, review and give your feedback on the design within a week, monitor the development in another two weeks, take a look at the wireframes, the prototype and then the app itself. At multiple stages during the development, you can seek a progress report and even give feedback, so that it can be easily implemented.
Of course, pricing would have to feature in this list. A freelancer could definitely charge you lesser than an app development company. But a cost that seems low upfront may not always prove to be a good bargain in the long term. You may end up spending much more on having a professional design made, because you sure know that developers who also design are still very much unicorns – very very difficult to find. Moreover, you will have to spend money on all the other pre-launch and post-launch activities such as optimization, marketing, promotion and maintenance. In totality, you might just end up spending much more then you wanted to.
A good app development company provides a complete break-up of the costs involved and let you know exactly how much you are spending on what. You could set it up to include the range of services you would like to receive and then you can be sure of just what’s coming your way. Also, even though you may be spending more, the overall quality of a professionally made app will bring in significantly higher revenues and greater ROI, making it a more profitable decision in the long run.
Unless you are on a shoestring budget and really just dabbling in the world of app with little to no business goals, you’d be better of investing your money in a professional app development company. The result would be a high quality app that rivals the biggest app store giants and ensures the success of your business. It achieves higher standard of branding and positions you as a thought leader on the mobile front. Choose the right app development company and your app will soon be paying for itself.