Comparing Mobile Software Development Firms
A s a business operator, project leader, or entrepreneur, finding a mobile software development firm to work on your next project can oftentimes be a difficult task, especially when you’re excited and want to find a team as soon as possible. Where do you start? What type of firm best fits your needs? How much is this going to cost? In the following article, we hope you’ll find some helpful tips in your search for a mobile software developer.
The Power of Patience
Upon an initial search, you will typically run into large agencies who won’t talk to anyone with a budget under $250,000, mainly due to their extensive work portfolios and ability to take on larger corporate clients. These large agencies might give you a screening phone call, some templated documents, and maybe even a promo video on all their past clients’ satisfaction. You’ll soon find that within 10–15 minutes of your initial conversation, you’ll receive a quote for $450,000 and a timeline ready to begin. If you feel like they’ve reached a number too fast, it’s because they have.
If you receive a quote within 15 minutes of an initial conversation, the firm has clearly not taken the time to thoroughly plan and review your project. Accurately planning projects and estimating fees take both time and careful consideration. Quick estimates, like the example above, are rarely precise, and at Red Shepard, we’ve never been able to give even a ballpark estimate on time or cost until we’ve spoken with our prospective client, reviewed designs or mockups, and come to an understanding of the business and vision for the project. Remaining patient during the initial search can be the difference between a successful, enjoyable development experience and a highly-expensive, frustrating process.
Patience during the search process provides you with additional opportunities to learn more about the firms you’ll be potentially working with. While you’re vetting these firms, one important aspect to keep in mind is transparency, especially if you want some clarity around your estimate and if you want a hands-on approach to the process. Transparent firms will walk you through how they estimated the project cost and provide details on the length of each development phase. This process will help you understand exactly what you’re paying for and the time requirements necessary to complete the project.
If you’re looking to be heavily involved in the development process, you will definitely want to work with a flexible and transparent team. While most of the development process is dictated by the initial designs, some firms will work with you on a daily or weekly basis to ensure quality control and client satisfaction, implementing your changes along the way. Some of these changes, if significant enough, may add additional development time and subsequently more money to your project; however, if you’re working with a transparent team, they’ll be sure to let you know exactly how much additional time your changes will take to implement and the additional costs it may add to your initial estimate.
On the other hand, you can take a hands-off approach and wait for final delivery of your project. Either way, finding and working with a transparent team will ensure that any surprises during the development process are kept to a minimum.
Software Development Can Be Expensive
Though it is important to remember that patience and transparency are key to finding the right team for you, it is also important to understand that software development can be expensive depending on the scale of your project. People who are new to this industry sometimes experience “sticker shock” after receiving an initial estimate for their project. In this industry, we’ve generally found that:
- Apps built by smaller firms, like Red Shepard, usually cost between $30,000 to $120,000.
- Apps built by mid-sized companies can cost anywhere between $150,000 to $450,000.
- Apps built by the largest app companies usually cost anywhere between $500,000 to $1,000,000.
In addition to these fee ranges, the total spend for each project may vary depending on services required after the initial development process. Services such as maintenance updates, new design iterations, added features, and even data analytics can also add to the cost of mobile software.
If you’re shocked, it’s ok — don’t be discouraged or dissuaded from taking on your project. We experienced the same feelings when we were trying to outsource the development process for our first app (we were hardly halfway through college at that point, so you can imagine how expensive it was to us at the time). Though it can be expensive, the benefits of optimizing your business for mobile can be supplemental to your top and bottom line. Check out our article, “Why Mobile?”, for more details on how mobile software can help your business.
However, if you’re working with a tight budget and looking to take a hands on approach to your project, a small or mid-size firm may be the right fit for you. On the other hand, if you have the budget and your project requires a massive amount of resources, a software development firm with scale might be the right choice for you.
Why Red Shepard
At Red Shepard, we’re committed to making the development process as seamless and straightforward as possible. We promote patience in the initial process because we want to get to know you, and we encourage transparency because we believe it to be a core piece to our development process. We also know how expensive development can be, so we made the service affordable to any small business or startup. We’re a small mobile software development firm, but because we believe in these concepts, we’re able to execute projects faster and leaner than firms of more scale. We’re ready to help with your project, so contact us. today Let’s start building something together.