How to choose a software development company for bespoke solutions

by Andy Jones ,
November 26, 2020
Software Development Company, Bespoke Software, Bespoke Software Developer

In today’s hyper-digitised world, you need the right people, processes and technologies in place to achieve business growth.

This is where a bespoke software solution can help your organisation deal with its business problems and gain a competitive advantage because it is tailored to meet your exact demands.

Both large enterprises and SMEs outsource this work at very similar levels – corporations outsource 50% of total work while SMEs outsource 40%. At Make IT Simple, we have experience helping companies of any size and working across multiple industries find the right IT solution for their business.

While every organisation and project is different, there is often a common thread running through each company we work with. Each one understands the complexities of developing a bespoke software solution from scratch and wants to find the right software development company to meet their needs.

But many businesses don’t know where to start and how to choose a software development company for bespoke solutions.

We understand why this is a daunting process – especially with companies now operating under massive economic uncertainty and social change thanks to COVID-19. Now more than ever, you don’t want to waste time and money on a digital platform that’s not fit for your purposes.

In this post, we reveal how to choose a software development company for bespoke solutions. We will look at the steps your organisation can take to find the right software development company for your business.

3 steps to choosing a software development company for bespoke solutions

1. Prioritise your objectives

A good software development company doesn’t expect you to know exactly what you want from your custom software from day one. You shouldn’t have to sweat the small stuff – that’s our job.

When you start investigating different software companies, don’t worry about writing up a full specification – just make sure you have some specific ideas on what you want to achieve and why, then we’ll work out how to make those ideas a reality.

To achieve this, try to understand your basic objectives. You should be able to answer questions such as:

  • What’s the main objective for your project?
  • What pain points do you want it to address?
  • Do you have any essential requirements or redlines?

When you’re finalising these details, you may want to get some feedback from the other members of your team. What do they want to see from a software solution to make their working lives easier? What are their pain points?

Key takeaway: Work out your main project objectives from the start.

2. Check out their experience

Whenever you look to work with someone, it’s important to check their experience and skills. It’s no different when you’re trying to work out how to choose a software development company for bespoke solutions.

With this in mind, you may want to ask any potential companies if they have any specialist experience developing solutions for the industry you operate in.

Remember to be realistic, however – a company may not have had a huge amount of experience in every area, with many specialising in core areas. Software development is a broad field, but you may want to ask:

  • Have you worked with clients like my business before?
  • How successful have your projects with other clients like me been?
  • Have you done this kind of project before?
  • How long have you been in business?

You may also want to do a little research. Ask for references from previous clients – their LinkedIn recommendations and other online testimonials on the company website may be a good place to start.

If you can’t find any online recommendations, this could be a red flag. Good software companies will want to promote their good work.

Another important factor to consider is their stability and longevity of a company and its projects. You want reassurance that a company is secure enough to exist for the duration of your project.

Plus, you want reassurance that the final software solution is stable and secure enough to provide the robustness and value for money you require.

Key takeaway: Ask for specific work examples and references.

3. Meet the team

Once you have shortlisted some candidates for your project, you may want to hop on a Zoom call or pop into their office to meet the team. This will help you gauge each company’s ways of working, while allowing you to ask more detailed questions. For example, you may want to ask:

  • How long will it take to develop the technology to meet my business needs?
  • What kind of costs can I expect for the technology I’d like you to develop?
  • What service do you offer to your clients? Will you support me from design through project management to testing?
  • How do you work with your clients? What level of support and communication can I expect?
  • What sort of contract do you use? Will I be trapped going forward?
  • What after-project support and maintenance do you offer? And how much will this cost?

A good software development company will be upfront about their services, costs and timescales from the get-go. They should also balance enthusiasm with realistic expectations for your project. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

You may also want to consider where the team is based and how they work. The beauty of software development is that it can be done anywhere, anytime. In our increasingly remote world, this is no longer a problem.

However, you may want to check the impact on the project and how this affects communication with the project team. For established software houses, location should not be an issue. They will have the appropriate solutions in place, while providing a more cost-effective solution compared to solely in-house teams.

Key takeaway: Meet the team, ask the difficult questions and gauge their responses.

In summary…

There are many factors to consider as you decide how to choose a custom software development company for bespoke solutions.

You should approach it like any other working relationship, gaining an understanding of their skills and experience, ways of working and any other relevant information.

When you are trying to work out how to choose a software development company for bespoke solutions, try to evaluate their:

  • Previous experience
  • Stability and security
  • Technical expertise
  • Development methods
  • Client relationships
  • Client recommendations

At Make IT Simple, we have more than 13 years’ experience creating bespoke software for a range of cross-industry companies, including Jaguar, Samsung, Land Rover, Weber, and a range of recruitment companies.

If you’d like to find out more about our experience, previous projects and what our clients say about us, please contact us to speak to one of the team today.

Laptop screen

Let’s Talk

If you are looking for a bespoke software development company, please get in touch by phone by calling +44 (0) 1905 700 050 or filling out the form below.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.