How To Choose A Mobile App Development Company That’s Right For You

According to the Pew Research Center in a report from June of 2019, 96% of Americans now own a cellphone, and 81% have a smartphone. For an entrepreneur, that’s a huge potential audience for a mobile app.

If you’ve got an idea for a mobile app – whether it’s to promote your brand, provide mobile access to an e-commerce experience, or offer a charitable solution to a community challenge – you’ll likely find yourself needing help bringing your vision to life. Finding the right mobile app development company is as important as coming up with a great idea.

How do you choose the right development company? Here are a few tips on making your search as productive as possible.

First, get your ducks in a row

One of the most important steps needed in finding the right mobile application development company for your idea is to flesh out the idea first. Knowing what you want to create, and what you need help with to do that will narrow your search.

If all you have is the initial concept and the goals you’re hoping to achieve with the mobile application, that’s ok. Your search should include full-service companies that can help you carve out your requirements and define the features, as well as design and develop the product. You may need to go as far as to find an organization that can help with marketing and testing, but you’ll also need to be prepared to pay for that kind of end-to-end product development.

If you have the product well defined, you may be looking for a development firm that can help with design, usability, and development. If you have a design or have worked with a designer to outline the look and feel and user interface, you may only need a partner that can execute the development work.

Whatever stage you’re at with your application, be honest with yourself on where you need help. Understanding where you’re short in planning and development will guide you in choosing the right partner or partners to build what you envision.

Locating the right company

Once you know what help you need, you can better identify the right firm. There are a few ways to go about that.

Ask your network

If you’re an entrepreneur, you’ve likely got a network of like-minded individuals who have explored similar projects. Reach out to your trusted network and ask for recommendations. Your network can steer you to – or away from – companies they have worked with or those that they have networked with.

Referral Sites

A boon to entrepreneurs who don’t know where to start, referral sites like Clutch.co can help uncover highly qualified companies with the capabilities you need. Many of these sites allow you to filter results by ratings and reviews. If you’re looking to work with a local company that you can meet with face to face, you can also filter by zip code or location.

Online Search

Telling you to “Google it” might seem like obvious advice, but it’s less about searching and more about what you search for. Again, if you’re looking for a local firm that you can meet face to face, you’ll want to try searching for something like “mobile application development in Philadelphia”. 

Another thing you can try looking for is something like “web application development in Philadelphia”. Many web development companies have capabilities in mobile development as well. However, as we’ll discuss in the next section, you’ll want to be sure that they have actually created mobile apps and not just mobile-ready websites. The upside is that a web development company with mobile development capabilities should also be able to help you with a marketing site to support your mobile app’s release.

Ask the right questions

Once you’ve found a few mobile development companies to consider, it’s time to talk to them and ask the hard questions. At this point, you’ll want to share specifics with them, so it’s best to have an NDA ready to go that will allow you to share details of your application without the fear of losing your idea.

Before talking to anyone, prepare a list of questions that will uncover their experience in the areas most important to you. Don’t shy away from subjects like cost and cost containment. Here’s just a few potential questions to start with:

Have you built mobile apps from the ground up?

What is your application design process?

Once started, what will the development process look like for me?

How do you set feature priorities?

Talk about your experience with two very different mobile applications you’ve developed.

What is some of the most challenging features you’ve needed to develop?
How do you ensure that you stay close to your estimate?

How do you handle cost overruns?

What other services do you offer that would compliment my project?

How will you scope the project?

 

You should also request customer referrals. If available, follow up and talk to their former customers to find out what their experience was like. While a provided customer referral is likely to give a positive review, it will also give you the opportunity to dig into what it’s like to partner with the company.

The key to finding a great mobile application company in Philadelphia or anywhere else is to keep your eye on the ball. Understand what you’ve got and where you need help, and don’t be afraid to ask hard questions. A skilled mobile development company will be able to show you their work and speak confidently about your challenges and what to look forward to as you watch your vision become a reality.


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