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How to choose the right software house for developing a product in a startup? The 9 most important tips

If you want to develop a product, but your startup does not have IT support or has insufficient one, look for a technological partner in a software house. You entrust to them an important - if not the most important - part of your business, so choose wisely from the start. What should you pay attention to when deciding to have your startup collaborate with a software house?



During the last decade, we witnessed a true "explosion" of startups. Fulfilling the dream of having one's own business seems to be within arm's reach of every entrepreneur – all you need is a unique idea, charismatic personality and an influx of cash from an investor. It is estimated that around the world there are currently functioning 500 million startups, with over 100 million new ones established each year (data from: Global Entrepreneurship Monitor -2017 Global Report, CIA World Factbook, World Bank).


 world of startups - programa software house


All the startuppers lead a sort of battle against time, striving to introduce their product to the marker as soon as possible. And although it does not need to have extensive functionality from the very beginning, the customers will not forgive low quality or technical shortcomings.

If you want to develop a product, but your startup does not have IT support or has insufficient one, look for a technological partner in a software house. You entrust to them an important - if not the most important - part of your business, so choose wisely from the start. What should you pay attention to when deciding to have your startup collaborate with a software house?

9 tips regarding choosing a software house to develop your product


1. Experience

Study the portfolio of a potential partner. Take into account not only its size but also its character. You can draw many interesting conclusions from it.

The initial portfolio analysis is going to let you evaluate whether a give provider has the skills and experience necessary for implementing your project.

2. Acknowledgements

Look through the recommendations published on the partner's website, as well as the opinions published elsewhere - in social media (LinkedIn, Facebook etc.), message boards or verified databases (e.g. Clutch). Such research is not going to take a lot of your time and will surely provide you with a more complete image of how your collaboration might look.

When studying the acknowledgements, pay attention to:

lidl recommendation for programa software house

3. Skills

Request provision of a code sample and provide it to a person capable of evaluating its quality. Also, ask how many people work in their company and what is the level of their experience – whether the majority of the team consists of beginning juniors or rather of people with a longer tenure at the position of a programmer. This is decisive in terms of whether they would be able to implement your project. A tip – do not focus too much on the age of programmers. Low average age is characteristic feature of software houses and does not have to correspond to the knowledge level of a given person.

code sample programa software house

4. Technologies

This matter is simple if you know well what kind of technology you want your project to be implemented with. A software house specialising in Java is not the best pick when your project employs PHP. Meanwhile, if the choice of technology is of secondary importance to you and you only want the tool to work well and enable further development without problems later on, you can rely on a suggestion provided by a business analyst (of a given provider or, in the best scenario, independent one). After verifying the assumptions and collecting the requirements, they will advise you on what technology would be optimal for your project.

5. Project management methodology

Does the software house consider work in a typically agile manner (e.g. Scrum) or a different one (e.g. Kanban, Prince2)? Or maybe it works in a cascade model? Whether a given project management methodology would be good for you depends on many factors (such as project size, number of participants, character of the project and many others). Agile does not always have to be the best choice. Learn about it at the very beginning and make sure whether you partner is going to be flexible enough to adjust to your needs.

6. Communication

All the companies declare that they remain in constant contact with clients. Learn what it means and practice and whether their methods are optimal for you. There is a couple of options to choose from:

Usually there are employed several communication channels. What is important in such situation is to establish what kinds of matters are settled using which tool (e.g. ongoing operational matters via messaging software and strategic arrangement via e-mail). This is going to allow avoiding chaos in communication.

It is also a good idea to specify whether the contact between the companies will be limited to project managers or the remaining team members working on the project will be available for you too.

Bugilo Project Management Tool

Bugilo - one of the project management tool 

7. Work time

Unexpected and sudden situations take place much more often than we would like. It is worth asking specifically whether at such moments the partner's team would be available also outside of normal working hours.

On the other hand, if you choose foreign outsourcing, verify whether the differences in time zones is acceptable to you. It is hard to be in "constant contact" if you have to wake up at 3:00 AM or sit at the office until late evening in order to have a conversation.

Tip: 1 of 7 reasons why you should choose a software house from Poland to develop your web solution is perfect location that guarantees an acceptable time difference, and therefore smooth communication between your company and the chosen software house.

8. Project costs

You have a budget? Verify at several partners what such budget could be used for. You will see then how the rates of various software house may differ from one another. Read what a good web project cost estimate should include.

You do not have a budget? You can easily estimate it yourself by using this ROI calculator.

calculator programa software house budget roi IT

9. Time of project implementation

Time is money. Especially for a startup. You not only need to build a good MVP/product, but also to do it fast. Fast enough to have it hit the market as soon as possible so that the market can verify the correctness of initial assumptions (and work!). Reject any offers with a very long implementation time - you cannot afford it. You also cannot afford a product that would be made in 2-3 weeks as you would probably discard it due to its low quality.


Michael Dell, CEO of Dell once said:
"Ideas are common goods. Implementing them is not."

Collaborating with a software house that understands you needs and uses its competences to support the development of your product will surely help you make your dreams a reality.



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