old Bespoke Software Development Company

Different companies encounter different problems in their day-to-day operations. To solve these, they often hire agencies that can provide standard or customized solutions for their business. Standard or off-the-shelf software is a popular choice for businesses since it is readily available and often cheaper. However, for more intricate problems or pain points, more businesses are choosing customized or bespoke software since it is unique and specifically developed to match their needs.

While the thought of having a tailor-made software for your company may sound enticing, the process of choosing an agency to craft one is a lot more complex. Like every other business venture, you have to consider a variety of things before sealing the deal. No one would want their solutions provider to add to the company’s list of problems, right? To help in selecting an agency that can successfully deliver your project, here are a few pointers to consider.

Review Previous Works

Think of it like you are hiring a new employee. The first thing you would check is their CV—does he/she have related work experience, key accomplishments, and knowledge in the position they’re applying for? These things give you the impression of one’s credibility and knowledge on the job. The same goes for the agencies you are looking into. Have they completed projects similar to your needs? Do they have success stories and numbers to back up their work? By answering these questions, you not only get an idea of how deep their technical know-how is but also how successful their projects are. Agencies who worked on related projects already have a background of the best practices and fixes for common problems so it will be easier to implement what is needed.

Check Client Testimonials

Previous clients are the character references in an applicant’s profile. They are key people you want to hear from since they can share positive points and negative comments about the people you might work with in the future. The question here is, would the agency allow you to call previous clients? Would these clients be willing to share their testimonials? Or worse, does the agency even have previous clients at all? You can never be too sure. So it is always best to check. Especially now where there are many small companies who title themselves as software agencies but have no previous business experience at all. If they happen to have existing clients, consider where these clients are based. Many firms only have clients from eastern Europe. While it is not necessarily bad, a variety of clients coming from the US or different parts of the world can provide more insights and feedback on the agency’s work.

See If There Are Media Mentions

Aside from checking the client’s testimonials, why not see if there are media mentions as well? In the age of digital media, information is so abundant and highly accessible that with just a few clicks, you would instantly know what is good and bad in almost any brand’s work. Do your own research and see what the media is saying about the agency pitching to you. Most importantly, remember to check credible sources for the mentions you find. No one wants to read a BS post that only contains high praises for an agency but has no substantial basis.

Check Their Experience In Tech

It is a no-brainer why businesses prefer experienced agencies as their solutions provider. Aside from a shortened learning curve which could save cost and time, experienced agencies already have mastered techniques under their sleeves through the years they have spent in tech. If there is anything else you would want to look into about their experience, it is more of who they have worked with before—startups or large enterprises? While both require specific dynamics, the scale of their needs might be different so the approach would be different as well. Knowing how the agency handles these types of clients shows you how flexible and capable they are in providing custom solutions. 

Look for Business & Marketing Experience

Say you have already checked their previous works, listened to client testimonials, and reviewed their tech experience, but still, you are left with a long list of options. What do you look for next? Think about it—there are a lot of development agencies who are good at what they do and are capable of providing what is asked from them but not all of them have the knowledge and experience in business and marketing. How could they provide tailor-fit recommendations if they do not understand the basic requirements and needs of the business? An agency who knows how the business works and has marketing experience can provide a more specific software that would fit the demands and requirements of the company. Business owners, especially startups, value this a lot since they require a more specific approach.

Get To Know Their Team

When you invest in a bespoke agency, you are not just looking into the business model and solutions they will use for your company. You should also consider the team working on it. Do they have strong UX specialists, designers, and QA testers? Are they capable of delivering tasks on time? Agencies with a dedicated team are highly preferred because they can focus on the current project. This is crucial  for startups, since they have fewer employees compared to big corporations. Even with a smaller team, they are expected to deliver the same high-quality work, sometimes even more. 

Aside from this, check also if there are pictures of the team you will work with or the office they are working at. It might give you an idea of how they keep busy in the workplace and how transparent they work. You can also check if there are local employees near your business location or in key cities like New York or San Francisco. This may be small but could prove to be essential in the future especially when you’re communicating messages and requirements.

Research About The Vendor

Since you are looking to hire an agency to work with your company, it is important to know if you will get your money’s worth. At the end of the day, we all want an ROI for the business investments we make. The key to knowing what’s worthy or not is doing the basic: research. Is this vendor big or small? While either one can work well on different projects, you can consider differences in dynamics and speed. Usually, the smaller vendors are more dynamic and provide better service.

Next, where is the company established? If it is in the US, you can look into grant-giving bodies like the NSF & SBIR to provide extra assistance for your project. This works best for startups. Research also on how the agency handles data privacy and financial information. Since we are in the tech-space, data privacy is a very sensitive issue that should be taken seriously by both the company and agency. We would not want to encounter any issues or disputes with GDPR and PIPEDA .

Lastly, Look Beyond The Sexy Stuff

What most businesses tend to overlook while choosing an agency is its experience and capacity in delivering software projects that are technical  Most of the time, agencies would highlight their skills in creating sexy mobile layouts, snazzy web apps, and intricate UI designs. But how about the dirty, real-world software projects that happen behind the scenes like data processing, web scraping, and excel-like data systems handling? These are key factors that should be considered as well since it’s not always aesthetic that brings in the money for businesses—data is highly important as well.