You have a brilliant technology idea. But you're not a programmer? No problem.
The good news for today’s entrepreneurs is there are many development options and companies waiting to turn your concept into reality – if you have the funds to pay for them.
How much will you need to spend? How long is a piece of string? The cost of programming will depend upon four main things:
1) Can you use or customize an existing technology platform like WordPress to build your business?
2) Do you need to do a ground up build?
3) How complex is the site or application, and
4) Will you build on or off-shore (and where)?
Unless you have an existing relationship with a team of programmers, looking for a company or a freelancer to outsource your project can be stressful and time-consuming.
There are many things to consider before you begin your journey. If it’s the first time down the path, you may not know all the questions to ask or even what the end will look like.
The more you research and understand what you're looking to achieve before you even buy your domain name the better. The skillsets you'll need will depend upon the programming language or platform that best suits your business model.
Watch the accompanying video:
Well-constructed website wireframe designs are a key element to making critical technology decisions that will provide the flexibility to scale, or will box you in.
In addition to building a website you’ll need to budget for SEO, digital marketing, and more to turn your idea into a business. Knowing what you want at the beginning – as much as possible – is the key to knowing the skillsets you'll need.
The first steps are the hardest. Especially the choice of technology partner, which can make or break your business and potentially your bank.
Finding the “right” firm requires both identifying firms with the skills you need and the personality fit required for your working style.
There are a few ways to start a search:
There is also another way – use our programmer and developer search services to identify qualified IT service providers in Eastern Europe. We can even help you with project management.
Offshore IT resources provide a viable path to building complex technology solutions at a relatively modest cost. There are many choices. You need to find the best fit for your idea or company – which requires an understanding of the technology you will need, the cultural context of the company you work with, and a level of comfort with the service provider.
There’s no doubt that personal references and recommendations are a valuable way to narrow your search for resources. Search tools that put you in the driver’s seat are also invaluable to identifying qualified firms for your business that you can engage with on your terms.
Freelancer platforms like Upwork and Freelancer.com are an option, but once you’ve posted your project you will start receiving dozens if not hundreds of bids that can become overwhelming. Cheap doesn’t mean cheerful. Would you bid out babysitting to the lowest-priced provider?
One advantage of working with a CommunicationsMatch consultant is we understand startups, corporate needs and communications – because we’ve been in your shoes. We bring extensive experience and a proven network of professionals and firms with multi-technology capabilities in Eastern Europe. As a result, we are positioned to advise you on the best solution for your businesses’ needs because we don’t have a specific technology axe to grind.
Irrespective of how you identify agencies there are a number of key factors to consider when it comes to outsourcing technology development.
Communication: Outsourcing offshore is a challenge because you may not get to meet the person you are going to work with – except through Skype, Zoom or other video conferencing platform. It is essential to feel comfortable that your day-to-day contact person understands both you and the project, since they will be the interface with programmers, who’s language-skills may be limited. Their responsiveness, engagement, and ability to convert your ideas into the platform you are looking to build are crucial.
Technology: More often than not when outsourcing, individuals and companies want the full-array of design, development, testing, SEO, marketing and video production capabilities. Only the largest of developers can provide high-quality services in every area. Freelancers, small and midsize companies are generally experts in specific areas and may encourage you to use technology of their choice or will need to draw on other experts to cover all bases. A good IT consultant should be able to point out things you may not have considered and suggest and coordinate the delivery of services from reliable partners. For the individual or company engaging IT providers, it’s critical to ask for references and develop a level of comfort that they can deliver on their promises.
Culture: In some cultures “yes” may be “no”, being late is not a big deal, and pointing fingers instead of finding solutions is normal business process. If a deadline is not met, depending upon who you are working with there may or may not be a warning. It’s important to understand the cultural and business context of the companies and countries where you outsource business. Establishing clear understandings of expectations with your contact at the outsource firm or with a consultant you have engaged at the beginning of a project is essential to completing development on time and to a high standard.
Product support: What happens after development is something few think about at the beginning of a contract. Tech support after your project is launched is critical. Making sure the code is owned by you and is available, programming is up-to-date and well maintained, and, most important, that someone is there if something breaks, needs to be factored into technology developer or consultant choice.
In a survey of clients working with technology developers in the Ukraine – one of the leading markets for high quality and cost-effective programmers – the technology capabilities, culture, product support and communications of resources in the country were highlighted as assets.
The findings validate the idea that when communications are good, technology skillsets strong and the outsourcing team responsive, using offshore outsourcing is a very powerful and cost-effective way to get projects delivered. When the opposite is true, it can be a disaster.
Doing due diligence on a development firm you may be considering, engaging and being comfortable with your account manager, are clearly key to success. The same applies to consultants you may want to hire to help select developers and manage technology delivery from firms or service providers.
Hiring the right firms will make or break your project. If you don’t have relationships, working with someone to find the right partner and help you navigate to the best choice for your business may be your best technology investment.
Olga Kramar is a Ukraine-based technology resources search consultant & project manager, as well as Director of Search Technology, at CommunicationsMatch. She helps entrepreneurs, SMEs, and other organizations find and identify technology partners in Eastern Europe. Kramar, who lived in the U.S., is a native Ukrainian, Russian, and English-language speaker. She has worked with U.S. and European clients to develop a range of ground-breaking technology platforms and businesses.