Custom Software Development Companies: How to choose the right one

Have you been frustrated by your packaged software? Custom software could take your business to the next level. You’re ready to get going, but with thousands of custom software development companies out there, how do you find the best fit for your needs?

You don’t want to get stuck with a company that produces poor quality work, has bad customer service, or won’t listen to you. Working with the wrong company can lead to a frustrating experience that doesn’t get you the software you desire.

Protect yourself and your company by taking your time when choosing a custom software development company. If you’re unsure how to select the right custom software development company, follow our steps. By going through this process, you can thoroughly screen potential companies to end up with the experience and product you want and deserve.

Step 1: Start with Research

To maximize your investment, get an understanding of coding basics and different software systems. Prepare to take a deep dive into custom software. If you don’t know much about this topic, brush up on your knowledge.

Learn about Windows, UNIX, and other software development technologies. Each has its own characteristics. One may be a better fit for your needs than another. When searching for potential companies, make sure they are experienced in the technologies you would like to use.

Create a vision for what you want your software to do. Think about the software you currently use, and gather feedback from your team. What do you like about it? What don’t you like about it? What do you wish it could do that it can’t? How would software integration look for your company?

It’s good to have a clear vision of the software you are looking for, how it solves the problems you’re experiencing, and what could make systems more efficient.

Step 2: Ask for Referrals

Unsure what software company to trust? Check-in with other people in your network and ask for referrals. Ask if anyone has worked with a custom software company before. If you find someone, ask about their experience with the company and final product. Would they recommend you work with them? Have they experienced a better work flow, greater ROI, or any other measurable outcome?

Step 3: Narrow Down Your List of Potential Companies

Hopefully, you got some great referrals! Sometimes it’s slim-pickin’s, so if not, search for local companies. Look at their website, testimonials, and reviews. Do they seem like a promising company to work with?

In the end, narrow down your list to a few teams you think you would want to work with.

Step 4: Meet with Potential Companies

Schedule meetings with your top contenders. Be prepared for these meetings, and ask every question you can think of. Write down a list of questions, such as:

What level of quality is maintained while coding?
Quality coding is essential for a quality application. Discuss the level of coding to be maintained on your project. For instance, have specific guidelines such as no resource-hungry or buggy codes. Ensure that more lean coding is used.

Can I see your company portfolio?
This serves multiple purposes. First, it allows you to see their past work. Focus on the quality and types of applications they have worked on. Is it a vast portfolio, or a small one?

Experienced custom software development companies are more likely to have a tested methodology for completing projects. Smaller, less experienced companies might still be developing their methods. As a result, less experienced companies likely aren’t as familiar with challenges during the development process.

What is the expected delivery time?
You need to know when to expect your finished product. Also, you want to work with a company that has a proven track record of on-time completion. Pay attention to this detail in company reviews and ask how often they stick to the promised deadlines. Make sure this timeframe works for you and your team.

Who owns the copyright?
It’s in your best interest to own the copyright to the software. You don’t want the software company to make it available to your competitors. You’re paying for custom software. Make sure it’s truly tailored to your needs, and that your company is the one that benefits from it.

How do you enhance user experience?
Going through processes can feel either like getting dragged through mud, or slicing through butter. Software with an exceptional user experience is like a breath of fresh air. Don’t compromise when you go through the time, money, and effort of developing custom software. Instead, opt for software that offers a better solution to problems, enhanced user experience, and optimal speed. Invest in a polished, user-friendly application that will make your employees and your customers happy.

How do you handle safety and security issues?
This question is crucial, especially if your software application includes sensitive data. The company you choose to work with should have experience working with applications that keep your information safe. Ask what risks are involved if the application does not work correctly. What steps will they take to protect sensitive data?

What support do you offer post-development?
You want to ensure the company will be there for you after you receive your final product. Ask if they will commit, in writing, to provide continual software customization, configuration, orientation, maintenance, and backup services.

If something breaks after the development process, how will you be covered?

Step 5: Compare Companies and Quotes

Now that you have met with potential companies, compare your options! While cost is important, it should not be the only consideration in the equation. Most of the time, you get what you pay for. Often, the lowest quote likely isn’t your best choice.

Think through all the responses to your questions. Who understands your needs the best? Who can create exactly what you are looking for? Which team do you think would be most reliable? Who can deliver on time and keep your sensitive information safe?

Step 6: Make a Decision and Sign a Contract

Signing a contract is extremely important. You want to have all agreements in writing. In addition, you want to include dispute resolution in case there are any disagreements. This contract will protect you and ensure you receive the promised product. While it’s not necessary to consult a lawyer, it can be helpful.

Getting Your Custom Software
As with any journey, there is much to consider, and it could take more time than you might like. But when you get to use your new custom software, it will make it all worthwhile. When you work with the right company, you will receive a product that meets your needs.

How many times have you said: “I wish our software could do…”

Well, with a custom software team on your side, it can! Think of all the time you can save by having custom software for your business. You can streamline departments and services and get going on those projects you’ve been putting off. With custom software, you can take your company to the next level.

What do you want and need from custom software? Dream up everything you can, and put our skills to the test. Contact us today!