So, you want to develop an iPhone app for your company. The problem is, you don’t have any programmers on staff. And you have little money to invest in what you think is going to be a boon for your company. With the idea of preserving capital and spending to get really good value, what do you do? Do you employ a firm which has a really great website and lots of testimonials, or do you hire a solo freelancer?
This is the decision faced by small business owners all the time. They can see the merits of either decision, but they are tortured by the possible opportunity cost of choosing one over the other. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why you prefer to outsource software development to a large company, or a solo-preneurer.
Going the Solo Freelancer Route
When working with an offshore developer you find on Upwork or Toptal, you don’t pay until you approve the project. These companies, as well as other online freelancing websites, hold your money in an escrow account until you are happy with the results. When you give the go-ahead, the money that you set aside is released to the freelancer. This type of outsourcing for software development is safe financially, as you don’t pay if you are not happy.
Hiring solo freelancers as opposed to a large firm makes a lot of sense for another reason. You are going to receive multiple proposals from talented programmers all over the world. Take some time to sort through all of those offers, checking testimonials of course, and you often get some really great value for your money.
Outsourcing Your Software Creation to a Company Rather Than an Individual
Companies have larger advertising costs and overhead expenses than solo freelancers. This means you could end up spending more money for basically the same results when you put a multi-person firm on the job. On the upside, it is often easier to vet a company than a freelancing programmer.
On the downside, you won’t get multiple proposals, and you will be offered one price. Sure, you can try to negotiate with the software development company on a price or other terms, but this is not as easy to do as it is when you hire an individual who is a little hungrier for work.
Working with a company as opposed to an individual usually means much better communication. There are standards in place that keep you informed of what is happening every step of the way, whereas with an individual programmer you may get a little frustrated when your questions are not answered immediately.
There is no doubt about that. It is great way to keep costs down on a software development project, and you don’t have to grow your staff just to lay someone off after the project is complete. There are upsides and downsides to both individuals and multi-person firms, so take into account all of the aforementioned variables when you decide to handoff your software creation to someone outside your company.