What Should Every Startup Know About Outsourcing Product Development?
Starting a company is no easy affair. A rising entrepreneur must consider numerous factors to get through the early stages and gain a firm grip on their business. Startups often suffer from a tight budget, incompetent or inadequate staff, competition, and entrepreneurial stress. No wonder it's stressful!
It's no secret that building a business requires strategic maneuvering. If you are not smart, you risk more than just your business. One successful tactic to reduce overhead and kickstart your startup is outsourcing product development to lower manufacturing costs and marketing time.
Several product development corporations cater to startups and help them accomplish the most effective route to creating and introducing a desirable product into the market. Naturally, if you're just starting, then this might seem like a risky endeavor, but with a clear idea of what you want and smart thinking can help you achieve your business goals.
In this article, we will introduce you to outsourcing product development and its advantages over in-house effort. Let's get started!
In-House Product Development Vs. Outsourced Product Development
One of the main factors that is driving business owners to consider outsourcing product development is the cost. For an entrepreneur just starting their business, in-house development is a rather expensive and tiring expedition. From hiring and training to retaining employees, inhouse development could be too much for an inexperienced business owner.
With outsourcing, businesses can open doors to a larger talent pool with a broader skill set and more experience up their sleeves. Startups don't have to worry about renting office space for developers and purchasing systems and equipment, or any other expenses that can be difficult to pull at an early stage. They can immediately begin work as the remote team can get started from their desired location.
Naturally, outsourcing development is an investment on its own, but it is a more cost-effective method and comes with a unique set of benefits. If you're considering giving outsourcing product development a shot, this post covers all you need to know about this cost-effective solution.
1. Selecting the Right Third Party to Team Up With
The kind of outsource development company you choose has a major impact on the final product you'll be sending into the market. Whether it's a mobile app, website, web application, or any other product, whomever you hire for the development of your product determines the success of your business venture.
Therefore, you mustn't rush this step and consider all factors when selecting the right team to work on your product. Don't adopt a simple online searching, shortlisting, and zoom interview approach, instead go the extra mile to do a full sweep on their experience and skillset. Here are a few pointers to help you shortlist the most-suitable candidates:
Conduct an All-Inclusive Interview
When conducting interviews for an in-house team, you can meet candidates in person and learn a lot about their personality simply by their body language and behavior when answering questions. This isn't the case when hiring a remote team, and the closest you get is a Skype or Zoom interview where you can see the face of the interviewee.
To choose a development team that is the right fit for your company, you must adopt a holistic approach to cover all aspects of the interview. For this, you must have a clear representation of the scope of your project and tasks the team would be managing. From there, you can learn about their qualifications, experience, and competencies.
While you're getting to know them, pay attention to their communication skills and see how efficiently they describe their prior work experience. It's essential to cover all these bases in your interview questions to have a meticulous analysis of the applicants you've selected for the job.
Analyze Their Projects and Client Reviews
It's also essential to take a good look at the professional history and projects of the company you've selected to gauge how close they can get to what you're looking for. If they have a website or social media profile, then check out their customer testimonials to know how previous clients have rated their work performance if they don't ask for samples and client referrals. Browse through the projects and products they've created to get an idea of their proficiencies and find out if they're the right crew for your mission.
Assign A Test Project
It's not enough to simply hire a team based on what they've chosen to highlight on their resume. You need to see the outsourced team's work performance in real-time to determine whether they're the right people for your business. When you've decided on a product development company, assign a small test project to the team with a deadline.
This will allow you to have an in-depth concept of how skillful, efficient, and punctual they are. More importantly, you can learn how good they are at following guidelines and can innovatively materialize your vision of the product. How well they perform in the test will help you decide the level of collaboration and instructions, the remote developers will require, and if they can manage the project independently.
2. Implementing Tech Standards Based on Your Business Requirements
Technology is ever-changing, so it's critical to stay updated on all the latest trends and technology standards to ensure that your product is at the top of the game. The product being developed must abide by the appropriate tech standards. Moreover, it should be created while keeping the company's core competencies in mind. Therefore, you need professionals that are adept in the emerging technologies and can help your startup get ahead of competitors.
For example, if you want to develop a website for a carpet cleaning business, you must recruit development experts that possess the aptitude and technical skills to deliver an interactive and responsive website. From the coding and framework to designing, accessibility, content, and everything in between; it's up to the developers to ensure it reigns supreme quality.
On top of that, you must also have a clear definition of what the final product should look like so you can brainstorm together and list out the methodologies and tools that help put the product together. The outsourcing company will work with you from the very first stage to the final testing phase, which includes the implementation of the right SEO techniques as well.
3. Incorporate Close Collaboration and Communication
If you think your job in the product development process is over once you've outsourced the development, then you couldn't be more wrong. After you've handed over the project to the development team, your role becomes even more significant as you need to supervise the end-to-end development of the product. Therefore, there must be a seamless communication channel for you to easily collaborate and discuss every aspect of the development process.
When there's a flow of communication, you can work towards refining the product ideas and brainstorm together to enhance the final product. Through virtual meets and video conferencing, you can have team members exchange ideas and assign specific tasks to each worker so they can focus on their assigned job.
Businesses make use of collaboration tools like Slack, Jira, or Trello to set up a virtual workspace for their outsourced staff, where they can designate responsibilities and connect regularly. They can easily gain feedback on their progress and discuss areas that need improvement, which takes minimal time and effort. The project manager can use the platform to keep track project progress, team performance, and oversee whether the work is living up to your expectations.
4. Staying in Touch with The Product Development Company
To ensure smooth and rapid product development, you need to get regular updates on the progress of the team. It's not just about the final product, but the entire process from start to finish, and your additional efforts behind-the-scenes. Take part in the on-going development of the product, ask questions, and make suggestions, so you learn something from the process as well.
You can't just sit back and watch how it all plays out, especially if you're a startup with a tight budget. Make sure to supervise each stage of the development cycle and check that they're following the specifications documentation provided and don't make any changes without your feedback. The final product will go through multiple revisions and iterations by the testing engineers before it gets the green flag to enter the market, so you must be involved in every step of the development process.
Outsourcing product development teams help new businesses develop a superior end product at half the cost. You can outsource a team that has the knowledge and experience to create the product you envision better than an in-house team.
An external team can be your key to limitless opportunities and help your startup flourish. Before outsourcing, make sure that you hire the right company, know what you want, and collaborate closely with your outsourced team to create the product you desire.