Hiring a Company vs an Individual Developer


Your business is in need of a professional mobile or web developer. That much you know. But the next step in the process can be a little more complicated. With so many different options out there to choose from, hiring the right mobile/web professional can quickly become an overwhelming task, especially if you’re not sure whether or not your business needs a mobile development company or an individual freelancer to do the job.

To make the best decision for your business, you’ll need to have a solid understanding of what each of these options are, what they can offer, and some of the common reasons why a business owner might choose one over the other.

Mobile Software Development Company

One of the most notable differences between a mobile development firm and an individual developer is the fact that the former has a team, whereas the latter typically does not. Because of this, mobile and web development companies have a broad range of resources and expertise at their disposal that they can utilize to produce not only an effective end product for you and your business, but also to offer continued mobile and web management services.

In order to do this, software development firms follow an established process that has been proven to work in the past and that can always been adapted and improved upon as technology advances. Development typically consists of several stages, including analysis, specification, mockups, design, coding, and quality assurance. At each step along the way, specialized teams of professionals utilize years of acquired knowledge and experience to meet your mobile and web design and development needs in an organized and strategized manner.

Thus, when you work with a mobile development firm, you’re actually working with a project manager, developers, and a quality assurance team. In this sense, development companies can employ ready-made solutions and strategies that help to cut down on both cost and the time it takes to reach your end goal and get your product or service up and running, which, as you know, is a huge advantage in today’s competitive, fast-paced global market.

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Individual Mobile Developer

On the flipside, one of the most common reasons why businesses consider hiring an individual freelancer for their mobile/web development is to try to save money. But the truth is that taking this approach to your software development isn’t very cost-effective at all in the long run. In truth, your money would be much better spent on an affordable mobile development company rather than taking your chances on a freelancer and running the risk of not getting what you paid for.

This isn’t to say that individual developers can’t be skilled or talented, but it all boils down to that key difference: their lack of a qualified team. If you choose to rely on a freelancer for your mobile development needs, you’ll likely have to hire multiple individuals in order to fill each separate role, which can be risky for a number of reasons.

First, you will have to take on the responsibility of managing the team, which can be very time-consuming and complex. Secondly, there’s an increased risk that you’ll end up hiring an under-qualified freelancer, as you’ll have multiple positions to fill. And lastly, working out the kinks throughout the duration of the project is made that much more complicated when you hire multiple freelancers who don’t work together as a collective team. If there’s a problem along the way, it’ll be on you to find out where it is.

Similarly, hiring only one individual developer comes along with its own set of risks. Not only do individuals have limited access to resources, but they’re also restricted to relying on their own personal experience and not the collective years of expertise and specialized knowledge of an entire group. Although a freelancer may claim to be a “Jack of all trades,” it’s much more efficient to hire a company comprised of specialists in each field, rather than relying on a single person to perform the job of multiple professionals. Additionally, many individual developers decide to freelance because of the flexibility that it gives them, but as a client, it can be difficult to build a reliable and dependable relationship with someone who lacks stability.

Because of these key differences, the goals of an individual freelancer compared to those of a mobile development firm will be starkly different. Equipped with a specialized team and long-term strategic plan, your development company is in no rush to get rid of you. Rather, this relationship is much more of a partnership between your business and your software development agency, whereas an individual developer simply does not have the time or resources to offer much in the way of an ongoing relationship with you.

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Choosing the Right Mobile/Web Development Company

While it’s easy to understand why having access to the security and collective knowledge that a mobile and web development company can offer, it’s also unrealistic not to factor in your budget. Spending more than your business can afford, especially in the startup stage, simply isn’t smart, and you know that. So how can you reap the benefits of hiring a mobile/web development agency without having to sacrifice quality services? Here are a few tips to help you get the best of both worlds:

  • If you’re thinking about putting together your own in-house team, don’t. Many small business owners fall into the trap of thinking that they can do everything themselves, which will save money and thus, grow their business. But this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Hiring your own in-house team of developers is likely going to end up costing even more than outsourcing your mobile and web development needs, not to mention the fact that you’re going to have to sacrifice on quality by doing it internally. It pays to hire a professional.

  • Consider hiring a company from Ukraine or another country with lower labor costs. Because of the differences in labor costs and taxes, many software development firms from countries outside of the United States can offer the most competitive rates while still utilizing the most advanced resources and teams of experts to provide high quality services.

  • Know your objectives. While hiring a team of mobile and web experts instantly gives you access to a structured plan for the entire scope of your project, it can be helpful to do a little planning of your own ahead of time. This can help you to more clearly understand the objectives of your mobile or web application so that you can work with your development firm to efficiently outline a plan that’s been custom-tailored to meet your business model.

  • Think of mobile development as a long-term investment. Prioritizing business expenses is a must for the success of any startup or small business, and breaking down these expenses into short-term and long-term categories is a useful way to do this. Think of long-term investments, such as hiring a team of professional mobile developers, as a necessary expense in order to organically grow your business over time. While some short-term expenses may also be necessary, having a long-term outlook on your business plan and growth is one of the best ways to expand and manage a successful startup.

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