Hiring overseas is nothing new, but when issues can take your business offline, it can be tempting to choose to hire software development agencies you can see face-to-face to resolve problems as they arise.
Local software development agencies charge a premium for this, and often charge higher rates as competition for their services can be high. However, with foresight and planning, overseas partners can provide better value with the same level of service a local team can bring to your business.
There are a few simple steps to keep in mind when hiring an overseas software development agency.
The first is: communication is king.
When tendering an overseas partner, from the initial outreach to the more in-depth technical details, make sure that you have clear and accessible lines of communication. Most overseas agencies are well aware of these requirements and should have experience in dealing with customers from a range of countries and backgrounds.
Whether it’s striking up a good rapport or finessing the more delicate details, a little work on making sure you see eye-to-eye on your project is far more valuable than seeing someone face-to-face and talking at cross purposes. From email to Skype to Slack to a simple phone-call, make sure that your paths of communication are reliable, available, and uncomplicated.
Give them some smaller tasks to try out, and maybe throw in a few wrinkles for them to smooth over; seeing how they work in tricky situations, and the quality of their results, should tell you plenty about how you can build a healthy working relationship going ahead.
Integrating overseas partners into the day-to-day running of your business pay dividends when it comes to smoothing out the bumps that appear on any road to success.
Meeting in person at least a few times will bring your teams closer together, and having your software development agency invested personally in your project will bring a higher level of commitment than treating them merely as service providers. Where practical, try to arrange meetings in person, at least during initial negotiations: going to their offices will let them know you mean business, and flying them to yours will show you’re willing to go the extra distance to get the job done.
At the least, you’ll be able to get a better idea of their approach and working culture. If feasible, try to arrange a financial imperative beyond fees for their role in the success of your business – licensing, stock or discount options on your product will not only encourage their best work but also incentivize their role in your success. Make them feel a part of your team, even if you meet a few times a year.
Reputation matters, and goes both ways. An excellent overseas team will raise your profile in their market as well as your own.
Even if they lack the visibility of larger brands in your home market, by hiring overseas, you’ll be raising your profile there.
Particularly in developing markets, opportunities are available not just for setting new standards in the way you do business, but for your brand to become a known quantity – and as that market develops, so will your visibility. It’s not just about the products you’re making now, but your future outreach and growth – working with software development agencies in markets you hope to break into can be a great gateway into better understanding those markets, and the same rules that apply at home apply everywhere else in the world.
From Shanghai to Mumbai, personal recommendations from trusted businesses will bring further business, visibility, and brand awareness, and a good working relationship with an overseas software development agency is a great place to start.