Choose the right tech agency to work with, and you’ll enjoy a fruitful business relationship for years to come, plus an excellent boost for your business. Get it wrong, and you’ll end up wasting precious time, money and resources. Plus, you’ll face the complex and challenging process of disentangling them from your project.
Here are a handful of helpful questions you can ask to help you choose the right tech agency for your project.
How long will it take?
Of course, the answer to this varies from project to project. But after going through the discovery phase, you and your agency should have agreed upon a timeframe. Knowing what will happen and when helps you with planning your marketing and other business activities around the launch, and keeps your budget in check.
There should, of course, be some scope for flexibility from both sides and – while it doesn’t happen often – it’s essential to know what would happen should the build run over the estimated time frame. Your agency should make you aware of any factors that may push the schedule, and the plan of action if this happens. Are there any features that you could drop to stick to the original date? Who foots the bill for developers working over-schedule?
Will you be outsourcing any work?
Some agencies specialise in UX/UI and outsource back-end development. Other agencies do things the other way round, and some do it all in-house. Some are happy to collaborate with other agencies you’ve chosen to work on your project.
It’s important to clarify who will be carrying out the work on the combination of these elements, as outsourcing can bring further complexities and challenges to a project which may affect costs and push the schedule.
Additionally, if you’re on the lookout for other agencies to work with – be it design, PR, marketing or recruitment – ask your technical partner if they have any recommendations! They may already have superstar connections and will be able to recommend appropriately based on your project and sector.
What are your sector specialities?
Certain tech agencies may specialise in particular products or industries like fintech, edtech, accessibility-centred software and so on. There are benefits to finding a development agency that has worked with multiple clients in your sector. They will already have an understanding of the market, audience and product standards which will bring a lot of value to the table.
Take a look at your agency’s portfolio, ask them about their client mix and their knowledge of your industry. You can also ask if you’re able to chat with any of their existing clients to further get a feel of what it’s like to work with them.
How will the security of my app be handled?
Concerns over digital privacy and security are at the forefront of tech discussions today. A breach can devastate customers and end a business. You’ll want to make sure that your agency takes the security of your customer’s information as seriously as you do, and factor it in at every stage of the build.
This may also lead nicely into discussions about maintenance and upgrades. Will your agency handle this on an ongoing basis? Outdated apps pose more of a security risk, so you must have this covered.
What happens once we launch?
Naturally, those early conversations focus on the conceivability of your product, the tech, timescales and costs involved in bringing it into fruition. Launch day feels like the end goal here, and your relationship with the agency beyond that may not be at the forefront of your mind.
However, the hard work doesn’t stop on launch day! We’ve dedicated a whole separate article to questions you should ask your tech partner before launching an app, but it would set you in good stead to get an idea of who will be fixing bugs and any ongoing costs before choosing who to work with.
Bonus question to ask yourself…
How do you feel about them?
An agency may tick all of your boxes when it comes to costs, schedule, location, technology and expertise, but if something just doesn’t feel right, you probably won’t want to give up your search just yet. That isn’t to say there’s anything wrong with that agency, of course, they’re just not the right fit for you. While you’re hiring the agency to provide a service, you’re really entering into a long-term business relationship. It’s paramount that this relationship has the foundation it needs to flourish.
There’s no set process for figuring this out, but you can get a good idea of what the people you’re looking to work with are like by checking out their company values, social media, or going for a good old fashioned coffee!
If you’re on the lookout for a trusted technical partner to take you to the next level, why not get in touch and ask us these questions yourself?