Should I Work with an App Development Firm, Agency, or Partner?

by Régine Smith
Blog Post

When it comes to deciding who you’ll work with to develop your next app, piece of software, or digital solution, the decision that’s right for you will largely depend on your business and your specific project.

Some companies prefer to hire contributors and work with them individually. Others prefer to hire an agency that also serves as a project manager.

While researching how to find the right person or team to assist you with your software or web development project, you’ll notice that vendors typically refer to themselves as either a development firm, a development agency, or a development partner.  

When your only goal is to receive help with strategizing, building, and deploying an app, it’s likely that you don’t care too much about semantics. You might find yourself asking questions like, “What the heck’s the difference between a development firm and a development partner?” They all claim to do app development, so things can get confusing.

This article will help you understand the differences between app development firms, agencies, and partners.

App Development Firms

The term “firm” implies a small group of professionals with a limited range of services.

Firms usually specializing in one or two areas. For example, an app development firm might specialize exclusively in mobile applications.

If you’re looking to develop complex digital solutions that integrate seamlessly with various complicated systems, then a development firm is probably not your best option since they most likely won’t have the expertise across all of the areas required.

App Development Agencies

On the other hand, an “agency” is likely to offer a broader range of services and to employ a diversified team of specialists.

The advantage to working with an agency is that once they understand your goals, your users, and your brand, they can create an integrated strategy that uses the best combination of their services to help you achieve your goals.

App Development Partners

Working with a true development “partner,” like Koombea, takes things a step further.

When working with a partner, all of the outsourced team’s services are available to you, but the partner only recommends and provides the ones that are critical to your success.

The best mobile app development partners help you navigate through the entirety of the business equation. They take into account your vision, as well as costs, value, functionality, your product roadmap, time to launch, and more.

True partnership means that all of the pieces of the puzzle — your team, as well as your outsourced help — work together in the most effective ways possible to deliver a top notch end result.

Partners like Koombea are able to apply their deep understanding of not only the technical components of your digital solution, but of particular industry nuances as well. They can assist with ideation, product strategy, product market fit, MVP development and launch, ongoing development, and product feature and infrastructure expansion.

We’re live in an evolving technology landscape where businesses are relying more and more on strategic partnerships to ensure that their development projects are well strategized, and that their businesses are put in the best possible position for success because all variables are accounted for.

How to Find an App Development Partner

Searching for and choosing the right app development partner can seem like a daunting task to most.

Here’s how to get started.

Step 1: Search online.

It may seem like a no brainer, but Google is a great place to start your search for the perfect app development partner. Perform a search using terms that are relevant to your specific solution or initiative, identify development partner sites in the results, and start browsing.

Focus your online search on the resources that these potential development partners publish. Are they offering content that helps you make the best business decision possible? Do you get the impression that they can teach you about the technical requirements of your specific field?

If your aim is start a true partnership, you’ll want to feel confident that your development team not only has the knowledge necessary, but that they’re willing to share that knowledge with you.

Step 2: Ask for referrals.

Chances are, if you’re looking to develop and deploy a digital solution for your business, you most likely have a professional network comprised of people that have worked on similar projects in the past.

Reach out to contacts in your network that you trust, and ask who they’ve partnered with in the past to assist with their development needs.

It’s also a good idea to Inquire about each development partners’ services, and ensure that they align with your goals.

Step 3: Do your due diligence!

This may be the most important step of all.

Remember that finding the right development partner will take a bit of time. Don’t rush. It’s better to evaluate all of your options in depth and take your time instead of making rash decisions that will result in you wasting valuable resources like time and money.

Do the work. Put in the hours. Scour potential partners’ websites for lists of services, diversity of staff skills, and proof of work
.

If you’re looking for more information on how to find and select the right app development partner, be sure to read the following resources:

How to Know When You’ve Found The Right App Development Partner

How will you know you’ve found the perfect development partner? 
It really boils down to your particular business need.

If you don’t have the time required to filter through all of the development companies, firms, and agencies in your industry, start with this simple test:


  • If you need a specific service, or to fill a gap in your development team, then you should be searching for a development firm.
  • If you want to delegate the software development to a team of specialists, then you should be searching for a development agency.
  • If you need an arm or strategic partner — a team of experts who will work with you to establish an end-to-end development process — then you should be searching for a development partner.

Koombea is the leading app development partner enabling businesses of all sizes and industries to bring their ideas to reality. Contact us today to start discussing your next project!

by Régine Smith
Blog Post