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Points to consider while hiring a Freelancer or an Agency for software development

 

Congratulations!!  if you have just got your multi-million dollar startup idea. But an idea is worth less than a broken hair, if not worked upon. 

 

There are many paths that one can follow, if you are passionate enough to start learning to code by yourself you may choose to do that. But any rational mind will recommend against learning programming only for building a prototype or MVP. This is going to be a challenging  pursuit as you will face many roadblocks and frustrations. 

 

Instead, it is advisable to focus on the business strategy and market research and take help from acquaintances to search for a person who can be your CTO. But this will be a more viable option for you if you are looking to develop an inhouse team, which sadly is not a good option for everyone.  More on in-house development later in the article. 



Or you may choose to follow one of  the two standard practices in the industry. You can either hire an expert freelance software developer or you can outsource your IT requirements to an IT agency that offers custom software development services.In this blog,  We will delve deeper into both of these options. There are pros and cons associated with both of these approaches, but first let us get some introduction about them 



Once in a century Black Swan events like COVID19 tests the robustness of our economy. When the people were stuck indoors and were facing the health and livelihood crises, it was the IT innovations of the past couple of decades that held the strings together and projected us on the path to recovery. 

 

It required a great deal of adjustments to keep the wheels rotating. Businesses which adopted the earliest to remote teams and operations, not just survived but thrived. In the process it also highlighted the faults in the system which were causing inefficiency. 

 

No wonder why companies all of a sudden are more comfortable with hiring employees who may not join them physically but are available via conference calls. 

 

So there is a great incentive in outsourcing development as this has now become a mainstream workflow. 

 

Positives of Hiring a Freelance developer 

 

Economy 

 

Hiring a freelance developer is generally an economic option. It makes more sense to hire an indie developer to have some kind of prototype. It is always advisable to get the first prototype before investing a good amount of money and going by freelancer route can save you a lot of money and efforts in case the idea turns out to be not fit for the market or financially unviable. Freelance developers can be the reasonable options for small projects. 

 

Availability 

 

You can easily hire a freelancer from dozens of online marketplaces like fiverr, freelancer, upwork, peopleperhour etc. On some of these platforms you can access the service offers that start as low as $5. 

 

Compliance light 

 

Hiring a freelancer can also save you from the compliance related headache associated with hiring a permanent employee. If you like the services of the freelancer, companies can offer a permanent position to the freelancer.

 

Time

There is low risk of wasting the time, if you have done the due research before hiring the person to work on the project. You may also stop the services anytime if you are not satisfied with the work, without having to worry about any investments stuck as with the agencies.

 

Niche Expertise

You may get services of the developers who have experience of working in the niche similar to your project. This freelancer can help grow your team down the line if you want to hire an inhouse team. 

 

Flexibility 

Freelancers are generally more flexible in their availability. They can adopt to the requirements of the project, if communicated within a reasonable time. 



Negatives of working with a freelancer

 

Limited by resources 

 

A freelancer is a single person working with his limited resources. You can not expect a freelancer to outcompete a successful agency in the amount of expertise that it would bring. It becomes all the more important if you are working on relatively complex projects. So freelancer hiring is a trend more or less restricted to small projects. 

Limited Skill Sets

 

Extrapolating on the previous point, a freelancer can be expert in his domain but it is very difficult to find a freelancer who has experience in all the domains your project is trying to target/touch. Regular one to one feedback is very important factor for smooth process of development, which gets fairly restricted due to various problems like language or dialect or difference of time zones.

 

Overworked freelancers

 

This is a key issue with the industry. Successful freelancers try to grab as much as possible for themselves. In this race they tend to overwork. Freelancers hide or ignore fatigue intentionally, which results in substandard  results. 

 

Hard to replace key freelancer

 

If a key freelancer on the project decides to quit the project, It becomes very difficult to find a replacement. If the freelancer has been working on the project since the initial stages of the development, it can cost the project precious time and energy.  



If you have considered these points of hiring a freelancer and weighed them on your requirement, you may go ahead with your decision. But we will recommend you to read on to understand the pros and cons of hiring an IT service agency instead which can fulfil your custom software requirements.

 

Pros of Hiring a Software Development Agencies

 

Full Time Service 

 

Most service agencies would provide dedicated resources for your project. You may interact with the responsible team at the time you please. This especially becomes very important in a situation when a problem requires a prompt response and quick resolution.

 

Offering better maintenance and support plans

 

IT Services is a very competitive industry, so the company tries to offer attractive maintenance and support plans to retain a customer for longer duration. You may see a wide difference when you compare with freelancers. Offering one year of free  maintenance after the project has been delivered, is normal with the agencies. 

 

Higher disposal rates and lower drop rates 

 

If an IT service provider wants to sustain it is a prerequisite that they deliver on their promise. This is seen that  most good agencies refrain from making lofty promises as it may tarnish their reputation within no time which is not the case with a freelancer. Freelance may quote a service at any impractical quotation and can easily get away from it, at the same time this same situation can even become a death blow for an agency which is still finding its ground. 

 

Simplified QA and Project Management 

Agencies have a dedicated team and resources which are responsible for managing and delivering the project on time. They also try to first hand ensure that the project delivered is as per the requirement of the client. This ensures the accountability and reliability of the agency which will bring on further business for the agency.  



Large Knowledge Pool

 

Agencies have a large talent pool at their disposal to serve a purpose. If a developer hits a roadblock, he can tap into the experience of a senior colleague to figure out the solution. If a client needs a consultancy on the domain apart from development, Marketing for example, he may ask for a consultancy session from the marketing department. So agencies can be your first point of contact for any tech related requirements. 

 

Scaling is easier with agencies 

 

It is almost commonsensical to value streamlining the process from the beginning if you plan to scale in the future. Scaling is far easier while working with agencies, as they can allocate more resources readily as the budget increases. On the other hand hiring new freelancers, and associated gambling with the compatibility and capabilities of the freelancer are worth mentioning.




Reliability and Stability 

 

Agencies work towards a goal of establishing a long term relationship with the client whom they have onboarded. Since this requires faith building agencies have little room for complacency. The referrals from previous clients play a huge role in getting big ticket projects in this industry. 

 

While there are many benefits of hiring an agency over a freelancer it should be noted that hiring an agency is not free of any drawbacks. These are listed as following 

Cons of Hiring an  IT Agency 

Unsuitable for small businesses and solopreneur  

 

Most of the agencies do not show interest in the projects which do not cross a certain budget threshold. Reason is also very straightforward, as the agency is investing the staff on a project it needs to earn to pay this workforce. Projects which could not scale for any reason, takes the agencies back by the amount of money and time. 

 

So the agencies prefer the projects from the client which has achieved a certain level of size and his offering is promising when it comes to demand from the market. 

Team changing can be difficult

Despite the availability of many documentation tools and industrial scale standardisation in project management, it is still a major setback for companies if they have to  move on from their vendors. A new team working on already a half backed project makes it difficult at both the ends.  

 

And if you think about building an inhouse team, you may have to hang on at the discretion of the agency to work in tandem with inhouse team for some time at least..



Burden of compliance 

 

It is very important as a client you ensure that the agency complies with the rules and regulations set by the legislature of the area. Also it is recommended that a non disclosure agreement is signed between the agency and the client. It is primarily meant to safeguard the Intellectual property. 

 

Limited Flexibility 

 

As the agencies follows a workflow which they evolved over the years. So in order to get things done a task has to make it to the next in the hierarchy. Generally it is a good practice and reduces the chance of chaos and goof-ups, but sometimes it also leads to little exasperation if the task was small. 

 

So hiring an agency is something you must look forward to if you are serious about your vision of the project. Agencies are almost always as involved as the promoters for the reason it will build them a reputation of working in a big project.



If you consider these points valid and are comfortable with working with IT companies, you should give a chance to Pearsystem. We are front runners in the web development and native app development services. In the second decade of being in business we still fill with excitement when someone approaches us with their idea which they nurtured for years. We are open to hear all your queries. Contact us now.

 

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