When you start to consider agencies to outsource your software product development consider following the steps below.
Step #1 – Determine What You Need To Outsource
Prior to outsourcing, you need to know what the goal of the process will be. This is possible by creating a list of business-related goals.
- Define what kind of software development you need (type of expertise)
- Get on a call with all agencies you could potentially work with
- Get on the same page and set goals
Step #2 – Collect A Batch Of Great Candidates
Now that you know what you need, it’s time to build a list with potential candidates. Ideally, you should start by asking founders in your network to get information on all the agencies they have worked with in the past.
You can do this in 3 different ways:
- You can reach out via an (cold outreach) email.
- You can reach out to previous clients of the agencies you are interested in.
- Check established, third-party reviewing websites.
Once you built a respectable list, structure them in a sheet and add all the important information. Here is an example of the structure:
Step #3 – Time For A Meeting
On the third step, an introduction meeting is usually what follows.
- If your list is on the smaller side, you can send personalized emails and plan everything on Google Calendar
- If the opposite is true, you can send a templated email template to all your contacts asking them to confirm a date.
Before hopping on a call, write down all questions that will help you understand everything you need to know. Consider the following questions:
- Has this company collaborated with startups in your location and industry?
- What are the specializations of the agency? And what kind of experts are available?
- Are there any available case studies you could check?
- In what timezone is the agency operating in
- Is the agency a good cultural fit?
- Do they have a strong system that allows them to scale depending on the situation?
Adding to that, it might be a good idea to create project-focused questions.
Step #4 – Pick The Best Option
After getting to know all your candidates, proceed to the next round of interviews by focusing only on your favourite candidates. Make sure they prepare and send over a proposal that contains the plan they want to present to you. Once you review all the plans, it’s time to schedule the final interview.
Once you consider all the options, you can make the final choice. Don’t forget to emphasize on cultural and time-related issues, as communication is an important part of the collaboration.
Step #5 – Sign The Papers
After you select the partner you want to work with, sign the contract. The document should touch upon all the legal aspects that could have an effect on the work relationship.
Most startups start the collaboration with a probation time that will help you understand their methodologies and overall performance.
Step #6 – Train Your Employees
The final step entails training your employees to communicate properly with the agency. This is achieved by following some practises, which we will outline below:
- Plan meetings often and make sure that all employees involved in the process are present.
- Create online channels using software like Slack and consider moving all communication towards a remote-first option.
- Fly the team over occasionally to establish real-world communication as well.
That’s it! You now know what steps you need to follow to establish a good relationship with the agency you are planning to work with. If you have any more questions, make sure you reach out or leave a comment below.