You have decided on the concept of your custom software solution. Now it is time to plan how to deliver it to the market.It might take between six months to two years from the initial idea to prototype then minimum viable product (MVP) and finally to a fully working solution ported to Web and major mobile platforms.

As a start-up, you must quickly consider your short-term needs (e.g. bug fixes or logo redesign), but be prepared for the long haul (like publishing the mobile app in the app store or making it visible for your target audience). During development time, you might pivot your solution development. As soon as you get feedback from your first customers, you might add new features, remove existing ones or even completely rebuild your app.

Based on the scope of work to be done, you might need help from different IT professionals, including, but not limited to:

  •        A designer who creates a pleasant-looking user interface
  •        One developer during the prototyping stage, 2-4 developers in the final stages, based on target platforms and development time
  •        A quality assurance engineer to improve code quality
  •        A project manager and a business analyst to refine requirements and organise smooth teamwork
  •        Support services to help users with questions and  ensure the solution functions well

The work on the app also includes its promotion (marketing activities, SEO, content writing, etc.); this often takes even more effort than development.

All of these activities require time and special skills; hence, start-ups must plan accordingly and decide what they will do and what they plan to get done by other professional (design, coding, SEO, etc.).

How can you find the right people and achieve your goals before you run out of money or motivation? Let’s check out the basic options.

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In-house development. You gather professionals in your office and form a team. You have full control over staff, but also retain full responsibility for all expenses like taxes, insurance, and so on.
teamwork-2[1]Outsourcing. You contract a freelancer or a software development company to make a solution based on your requirements. Depending on the software engineers currently available, you can choose between several technologies, but you have only limited control over management and the development team as you pay an agreed rate which might be hourly, daily, total estimated for the work of the whole team. The price difference is usually in the quality of the team, communication and its flexibility.Based on the geographic distance between you and the contracted person/company, there is nearshore and offshore outsourcing development: nearshore means that you hire professionals in a neighbouring country or region (e.g. Central or Eastern Europe). When going offshore, you search for a trusted partner in a completely different geographical location like India or China.
teamwork-2[1]Outstaffing or remote teamIt lies in the middle between in-house team and outsourcing. Basically, you get a team who works on your project for a fixed rate per hour with an estimate of time needed but remains employees of another company that pays taxes, insurance, office rent and other administrative expenses. You have almost the same level of control as in the case of an in-house team while another company saves you from bureaucratic hassles.The best decision for you varies greatly depending on your priorities, what you want to save: time, money, team skills and experience, office rent, etc. Just be ready to rebuild your app, change something in your strategy, and combine different development approaches when you need it – all on the fly.

In-house team Outstaffing (remote team) Nearshoring
Outsourcing Offshoring
Benefits -Immediate response
-Control over development process
-Retain programmers who are hard to replace
Cost-saving model
Wider pool of talents, tools and technologies
Experienced teams
Flexibility
-You decide whom you take on board
-Retain control of productivity
-No administration costs
Outsourcing companies are responsible for the entire project but keep you informed on progress
Drawbacks -Hiring takes time: not every programmer is ready to work in a start-up
-Higher salaries,
administrative costs and taxes
-Extra time for management needed
-Higher per-hour rates than for outsourcing
-Extra time for team management needed
-You spend more time on project discussion
-Cultural differences
-Time sensitive tasks might be an issue
Non-transparent team formation
Hidden costs
due to low productiveness and poor management
More expensive than offshoring due to more talented and better-educated engineers
Most suitable per specific projects -Your project requires unique competencies no one else has
-You have enough money to pay salaries for 6-24 months with no revenue
-You can start monetisation immediately
Your project works as planned and you want to retain your team because of their expertise Start a simple project to test customer interest Start an MVP or develop new features

For example, your in-house development team falls short on what they previously promised. Most likely, they are overwhelmed with time-sensitive maintenance tasks due to rapid growth. In this case, you can add new people to your team (extra time required to find the right people and get them on board). Or, you can outsource support and maintenance to your remote team and they will be responsible for the whole maintenance process while your in-house team focuses on delivering new features to the market.
Important note. Because start-ups have limited resources, they must invest wisely and find balance between delivery time, costs, quality and location of their team.

Remember: whichever option you choose, you should always keep in mind why you choose that option and make an informed decision based on your initial decision.

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