How Should You Choose A Development Agency?

April 1, 2021

What can you expect from large agencies, smaller firms or freelancers?

We at Splendex organized a roundtable discussion where we discussed these subjects with a few key players:

  • Ádám Zséger, Chief Operating Officer at Attrecto – a software development agency working with clients across western Europe and North-America,
  • Gergely Romhány, CEO and Co-Founder at TrustChain – a startup centered around digital contract management and electronic signatures, 
  • and Áron Földes, a digital product designer, working out of Denmark.

The moderator of the roundtable was Levente Székely, the founder and CEO of Splendex.

Levente Székely, Ádám Zséger, Gergely Romhány, Áron Földes. You can view the Hungarian roundtable video at fb.com/splendexio

Our participants were invited to add their valuable experiences to the conversation. Ádám represented the big software development agency, while Levente shared his knowledge from the smaller agency standpoint. Áron spoke for freelancer web designers, and Gergely portrayed the potential client for a development firm, along with his valuable input as a CEO himself.

Where Is Your Firm in Terms of Growth?

This is a vital question to answer when picking a development partner. The participants identified 3 separate stages of growth. These reflect more on startups, but can be used in terms of SME-s too.

The first stage is the beginning of something awesome, your firm is operating with a handful of professionals, and you can’t wait to get your product on the market. You don’t have the necessary development skills within your team to create an online presence, so you consider the next best option.

You’re looking for an agency who has experience that’s relevant to your industry, you want to benefit from not only their services, but their knowledge too.

You can’t afford working with a very large partner, so you contact a freelancer or an agency that seems competent. It goes two ways from here: they either look at you – and your business – as a paycheck, or as a partner.

Our participants all expressed a clear desire to have long-term partnerships, but it’s no secret that not every firm is this loyal to their clients, and doesn’t put an emphasis on their success.

The second stage is when the management of your business has a clear idea of what they want from an agency, as well as how they want it. You’re aware of your issues and you can afford a premium solution to fix them. You might have PMs or developers within your team, but you need a reliable subcontractor agency to help your ideas come to life.

The third stage is where you have a large budget for each of your separate activities, where it is most important to streamline and constantly measure, track and maintain. You may still want to work with subcontractors, but you might also have an in-house development team.

What Should (or Shouldn’t) You Outsource?

As an agency, you need to know where you create value, what makes your firm special, and keep that core activity within your inner team. This is true for larger agencies too, but making this distinction is especially crucial for startups.

You can technically outsource everything except your core activity, but often this is not the best solution.

As a general guideline you should outsource activities where scaling your team to meet the project requirements would simply not be worth it. Use outsourcing as a supplement of knowledge you don’t have in-house, or technologies you do not work with all year round.

At Splendex we enjoy these types of partnerships knowing it’s a win-win.

What Can I Do to Ensure a Successful Partnership?

Custom development isn’t cheap, and some people get scammed out of their money in exchange for a load of garbage. Therefore most agencies put together a portfolio showcasing their results, workflow, and development team along with client testimonials. If this does not convince you, there are other arrangements, such as pilot projects, trial periods and many more.

If you’re not sure which agency is worth your trust, simply ask them what they would recommend. Their answer will show you whether they value you as a client or want to gain quick cash.

If you enjoyed this summary, watch the entire video by clicking here, or get in touch for a free consultation with our founders!

Kitti Timár
Marketing Coordinator