Though it took some time for outsourcing to instil itself in our everyday vocabulary, the practice has been with us since the late 80s. Cost reduction was responsible for its earliest appeal but we are today familiar with other, equally or even more attractive benefits - an enhancement in capacity, increase in performance, greater scalability and flexibility, better market coverage, access to a more talented workforce, to name a few.
Considering, it is no wonder that businesses of all sizes are thinking about testing the outsourcing waters. All business processes come into play, but website development leads the way, keeping the top spot as one of the most commonly outsourced activities.
Bear in mind: however lucrative it may seem now if improperly managed, outsourcing website development may cause more damage than good. So which steps do you take to ensure you are on the right path?
Set your goals
This might seem redundant to mention, but you’d be surprised just how many business professionals neglect to define their short and long-term objectives before they start scouting for prospective web development companies. It is of utmost importance to formulate your plans, manage expectations and first communicate them with your team before presenting them to a potential development partner.
Failing to do so, you put yourself at risk of wasting a significant amount of resources on a business move that you haven’t really thought through.
Also, know that we don’t just mean having a rough idea of what you wish to have displayed on your website, but also how you plan on further growing and advancing your business. This includes anything from thinking about future products and new solutions to expand to different markets. All this will serve as a strong base for any future activities, development, and any other.
Enlist your criteria
When business objectives are aligned, it becomes much easier to decide what it is that you are looking for in a website development company. The development agency will want to know more about:
The scope of the project
The specific features a website will have
Your target audience**
And that’s just scratching the surface. To create an official offer, they will need to know your exact needs. Just the same, you will need to be aware of your expectations to be able to determine which web development team is right for the project at hand. You will, too, know what are the right questions to ask, which aspects to pay close attention to when skimming through their case studies and previous work examples, as well as how to negotiate the right price.
Expand your search
It is not uncommon to hear businesses from tight niches and specific requests complain about not being able to locate the right development team. To achieve your goals, you need to collaborate with a developer that possesses the skill and experience to turn those sketches into reality.
Oftentimes, they are not to be found right around the corner. In fact, they are sometimes not even within the borders of your country.
At this point, it is smart to research available options:
Nearshoring - Look for a development team in nearby countries, possibly the ones you share borders with. Minimize chances of miscommunication, lower the language and cultural gap, and work within your time zone.
Offshoring - Hire a website development team regardless of their location. By eliminating geographical constrictions from the equation, you can opt for services that are far more affordable and still receive optimal results. However, offshoring will impose greater language and cultural difficulties, as well as a difference in time zone.
Which one to go for? That, again, depends on your objectives, needs, and challenges you are ready to face for the sake of successful project completion. Both outsourcing business models come with a set of advantages and disadvantages that you must weigh in order to capitalize and not face demise.
Beware of the common mistake others have made: don’t settle for the most affordable option. Surely, now it may seem like you are gaining a lot, but a lower cost of services can produce lower quality results. Of course, not necessarily, but it is a risk you’re taking when the financial aspect is the only one in play.
To hire the most adequate development team:
- take a look at their previous work
- pay special attention to the work they’ve done in your niche
- check out their references
- prepare a list of specific questions that will help you determine their competence and expertise
Set the date and the budget
It is crucial to establish in advance the scope of the project. Jot down all elements you wish to include, aspects that need to be emphasized, particular options you wish to create and see how long it will take to accomplish each. All this will help define the complexity of the project and thus affect the final cost.
If the initial requirements exceed your budget, see if it is possible to manage expectations, postpone certain milestones, prolong the deadlines or find alternative, more affordable approaches.
The choice of the right development partner can make you - or break you. On the one hand, you might find it fortunate to have such a large number of companies to chose from, on the other, you are likely to realize that the bigger the pool of candidates, the more difficult it will be to choose the best developers for hire.
Yes, cost reduction can be a huge benefit, especially if your business is still in the startup phase. But for the long term, positive results, other factors are to be considered and certain steps are carefully taken to be absolutely sure you have your facts right and the ultimate decision is the best possible one.