Any successful collaboration requires some work from both parties. Before working with a software developer, it’s always important that you take the time to plan out what you need. Try to figure out your expectations then follow our checklist of what to put together before making an approach.
Create a plan
It’s almost impossible to start working on a new piece of software without some form of a plan. If you don’t already have a clear idea of what you are looking for when you first contact a software developer, it’s going to make your working relationship much more challenging. Having a clear idea of your end goal and your expectations will help the collaboration go much smoother. You’ll also find that the custom software you receive at the end will be much more aligned with your expectations.
When it comes to creating a plan, this can be as simple as a basic sketch of your ideas. You could also put together inspiration from other websites or apps and make a list of the key features you require. Even if you are making a simple piece of software, the more detail you can provide the better. Providing your developer with a full set of objectives speeds up the development time and reduces costs.
Set a budget
One of the first discussions you’ll need to have with a team of software developers is your budget. We understand that companies all have different funds to work with, and at BSPOKE Software, we can create software for almost any type of business. Regardless of whether you think your budget is too small for the project, we encourage you to speak to our team. Custom software is no longer exclusively reserved for larger corporations and can benefit small companies too. Just make sure you are realistic about what your current budget can offer you and do as much research as possible before our first meeting.
Provide examples of software that you like
A great way to ensure we are all on the same page for your upcoming project is to provide examples of software and apps you like. Maybe these are from competitors, or they could be from completely different industries. These software examples don’t have to be exactly related to what you are planning to create but should include similar designs and features. Offering as much information as possible before starting the project, ensures a successful end product.
Decide how much time to commit to the project
While the majority of the work will be undertaken by the software developer, you’ll also want to dedicate time to the project or delegate this to a project manager. Communicating with your software development company is essential to avoid delays and errors. Providing a company point of contact to the developers ensures you can monitor the project’s progress and air any concerns. The better the communication is between your company and the software development company, the more successful the project will be.
A timeframe for your project
Having a rough timeframe for your project before getting started is always useful. While we can’t guarantee every project will run perfectly to schedule, this helps to create expectations on both sides. No two projects are exactly the same, some span only months and others years. Make sure you are realistic about the time it will take to build your software, especially if it’s something more complex. By having a timeframe, a software developer will be able to know whether they can fit in your work currently or if they may need extra time to complete the project.
A target audience
Knowing who you are intending to serve should be part of the initial plan you present to your software developer. If they aren’t familiar with your company or industry, it’s important you paint the picture of your typical customer. Try to provide an in-depth overview of the typical customer you serve and share this with your software developer. They’ll be able to keep your end-user in mind throughout the project, which will help to ensure your audience’s satisfaction with the end result.
A long-term plan
Even from the start of the project, we encourage you to have a long-term goal and plan in mind. This could be as simple as a list of features or very complex and include your future growth. It’s important for business owners to understand the role their new software will play in their organisation, as this can help to shape the project from the beginning. Even if you don’t have a solid plan, a general idea of how you would like to use your software can be a good starting point.