More and more customers are choosing to access the Internet through mobile devices such as their smart phones or tablets. Not only is it important for businesses to create responsive versions of their websites to reach these customers, but they must also start researching ways to offer customers a mobile app to access the brand, shop online, and more. Creating a mobile app can help businesses stay top-of-mind with customers and increase sales.
However, few businesses have their own in-house programmer who can build an app for them. Most have to outsource the job to a programmer, and it can be difficult finding someone who can do a professional job and bring your vision to life.
Here are a few tips for how you can find the right programmer to develop your business app:
Start with a Reputable Marketplace
While you might be able to find a good programmer on Craig’s list, you’re also just as likely to find someone who’s unreliable and inexperienced. It’s better to search for help on sites that offer you safeguards and quality reassurance, such as Elance and oDesk. Sites like this allow you to review portfolios, get references, and verify work hours. You can also use safe payment systems that allow you to get your money back quickly and easily if you are unsatisfied with the work or the person fails to deliver.
Review Previous Work Samples
One of the best ways to find out what kind of work you can expect from someone is to review samples of work that they have completed in the past. In reviewing a programmer’s portfolio of previous work, you can get a sense of the quality of the work and determine if the person has worked on similar projects in the past, showing that he or she has the skills needed for your project.
Even if a programmer’s portfolio is gorgeous, he or she may have been a nightmare to work with — failing to meet deadlines, providing inconsistent communication, or refusing to implement requested changes. Of course, the person isn’t going to tell you these things. You have to check references to get feedback from people who have actually worked with the programmer.
If references are not included in the person’s online portfolio, request them. You can also look up the contact information for clients listed in the portfolio. Take the time to contact several references to get a balanced report.
Conduct a Test Project
Sometimes the best programmers on paper fail to meet expectations. Perhaps your project is unique and falls outside the scope of his or her skills, or perhaps your working styles just don’t complement one another. The only way to really know for sure that the person is going to work out is to actually work together. You can do this without making a big commitment by agreeing to a smaller scale test project.
Of course, a full app is never going to be a small scale project. But you can ask for a simple widget or other simple application that can give you a sense of the person’s working style and product output. Then, if you are happy, you can go ahead with your full-scale project, confident in the knowledge that it will be completed to your specifications.
Developing a mobile app is a great way to promote your business and to ensure that you are reaching all of your customers, no matter how they choose to access your site. It’s also a great way to provide added value for your customers and to give them new information and new products to meet their needs.
Finding a quality, reliable programmer to develop the app for your business isn’t always an easy task, and you could easily waste your time with several failed relationships before ever getting the results you want.
These tips can help you ensure that you find the right programmer to develop your business app so that you get what you need the first time. Have you hired a programmer to develop an app or other product for your business? Share your tips for success in the comments!
Author’s Bio: Kim Willington is a freelance writer and researcher for Helpdesksoftware.org, where she has recently been researching incident management software. In her spare time, she enjoys antiquing and taking long walks with her retriever, Spencer.