Making a Name for Yourself

Making a Name for Yourself

3 Questions To Ask When Hiring A Custom Software Design Firm

by Catherine Barnes

When building custom software for a business, finding a developer who will provide high-quality work is of the utmost importance. Everyone who hires someone to build a custom software development solution wants them to do a good job. For businesses, though, this is especially important because company processes will be run on this software for years. Any inefficiency or incongruity in the programming could lead to inefficiencies or errors in business practices. If you run a company that needs custom software, here are three questions to help you find a developer who will do a great job.

Do you have any references?

Almost all developers will have references that they've hand-picked from among their happiest clients. Because a developer isn't likely to refer you to a displeased client, references' comments are only marginally useful when evaluating a developer. It's not their reviews that you should listen for when asking this question.

Instead, you should focus on what references the developer provides. At least some, if not all of them, should be businesses like yours. You may not find a developer that has worked with one company that's identical to yours in every way. Their list of references, however, should include several businesses that have at least one commonality with your company. Peruse their list of references looking for businesses that are

  • the same size as yours
  • in your company's industry
  • located near your company

If a developer worked with a lot of businesses that have one or two similarities with your company, they should be able to use that experience to anticipate and meet your company's needs. If a developer's never worked with a company that has at least something in common with your business, they won't be familiar with your company's unique needs.

Are you willing to provide a paid discovery?

Translating a vision for a program into a detailed custom software design proposal takes time. The process of turning your idea into a developer's proposed course of action is called the Discovery Phase. Often, it can take four or five meetings until the developer has all the information they need to create the proposal.

Paying for five meetings before any coding is done might sound unusual, but you should only work with developers who regularly do paid discoveries. Developers who insist on being paid for this part of the work realize that the phase is vital to the entire project and takes time. They know that investing time in meetings early on will reduce the number of delays they encounter while actually programming. By insisting that you pay for this phase, a developer is showing that it's an important part of the work they won't gloss over or rush.

As long as you have hired a reputable developer who has good references, you shouldn't be worried about losing the money paid for these meetings.

By how much do your estimates and final bills vary?

A project's final cost may vary slightly from the initial estimate, but the two figures should be relatively close. If they are off by a lot, scope creep may be an issue with the developer's projects.

Scope creep is the slow expansion of a project by adding on new features as the work is being done. Whenever a new feature is added on, the price of the project usually goes up.

Scope creep arises when a client doesn't clearly articulate their idea for a software program or when a developer doesn't anticipate all the features a program will need. Both of these can be avoided by investing in a thorough paid discovery, but it's good to double-check whether this is an issue with a developer's projects.

Finding a good custom software design firm isn't difficult. You don't need to know anything about programming. Just ask these three questions, and you'll be well on your way to hiring someone who will create a great program for your company. For more information, visit websites like


About Me

Making a Name for Yourself

Eight years ago, I made an extremely difficult decision. I voluntarily left a job I loved. After five years of teaching accounting at a regional university, I realized I wasn’t going to advance to a more lucrative position due to my lack of a doctorate degree. After many months of contemplating my future, I decided to launch a home based business. Thanks to the success I’ve achieved so far, I haven’t looked back. Are you considering starting a business? In order to be successful, you will need to acquire a large customer base. To accomplish this task, you should definitely pursue online marketing. On this blog, you will discover the best online marketing strategies to utilize when beginning a business venture. Enjoy!