When you're looking to outsource a project, the amount of options can be overwhelming. We recommend outsourcing to a nearshore agency (i.e., a company in Latin America's booming tech agency market that's in a similar or the same time zone as you). But where do you start? How do discern who would make a trustworthy software partner? And how do you narrow down your choices to decide who is worth contacting? We have a few tips to share as you begin your search.
Get a recommendation from a trusted contact.
There's nothing like a great recommendation from a reliable source. Take advantage of your LinkedIn network and don't be shy about asking former colleagues who may have experience with outsourcing web or mobile development. An honest opinion can go a long way, even if it's a warning of who not to work with. You can glean valuable insights from others' experiences, learn from their mistakes, and gain knowledge and strategies to help you in you search. Better yet, you may get a personal introduction to a potential software partner.
If you're not sure who in your network to reach out to, you can publish a general ask for recommendations on your LinkedIn page. Just be careful to select the right privacy settings ("Connections only"), as a post that's visible to anyone may end up with a lot of spam in the comments.
Check out genuine online reviews.
Online directories where you can check out reviews from actual customers are an invaluable resource for anyone looking for a web or mobile development agency. You can get a sense of what it's like to work with a company in addition to knowledge of their range of experience.
Clutch.co is a widely respected and trusted source for looking for B2B services. Clutch's verified reviews are completed either through a detailed questionnaire or a phone interview conducted by a Clutch analyst, so you can rest assured that you are reading honest opinions from real customers.
You can browse by service category, though be aware that the first results will most likely be sponsored; luckily, Clutch clearly labels sponsored results and provides multiple ways to sort your results to avoid this issue. You can also conduct more advanced searches to include your budget, industry, and the desired location of your software partner, among other factors.
Clutch prides themselves on their ranking algorithm, which includes companies' reviews, work experience, market presence, and services offered. In addition to customer reviews, each company profile on Clutch includes information about their areas of expertise and a portfolio of past projects.
GoodFirms is another great directory to look for nearshore web and mobile development agencies who can take on your project. You can browse many different types of tech services and filter the results by hourly rate, company size, and location. Each company's profile allows you to check out reviews from real customers, the range of services they offer, their primary areas of focus, and their portfolio of work. GoodFirms also provides free resources to learn about building a web or mobile app as well as a platform for asking questions to the tech community.
Post your project on a hiring platform.
There are also trustworthy websites where you can post the needs and goals of your project and allow different companies to "bid" to work with you by submitting their proposal and offer of services. This can be a good option when you have a clearly defined project. If you need guidance pinning down the primary goals and priorities of a new product, this may not be the ideal route for you. However, it's a helpful option when there is short term work to be done within a defined scope.
Clutch.co offers a Lead Matchmaking service that is completely free for buyers looking to outsource. You can provide the specifics about your project through completing their online form, emailing an RFP to them directly, or speaking to Clutch Market Analyst over the phone. Clutch will then contact service providers that they deem a great fit for your project (though they must have a premium or sponsor status to be considered) and encourage them to bid for your contact information. The four highest bidders win your contact information as well as an email introduction to you. The entire process has a quick turn-around, so you will likely hear from highly qualified software companies within three business days after providing your project information.
Upwork is a great place to find freelancers and agencies who can get the job done. You simply post about the project and the skills needed and allow proposals to come in. You can use the platform to interview potential software partners, and once you've made a choice, you can even use Upwork to manage your project and make payments. Upwork offers both free and paid plans, depending on how much support you need to find the right agency for you.
Curated.io specializes in matching small agencies with companies who need to outsource digital and creative work. You create a project brief and post it, receive proposals from qualified agencies, and then choose the team you decide is best suited to your project. Curated offers both a free and a paid version, the latter of which includes a dedicated project curator to guide you through the process, among other benefits.
While the search for a nearshore software development company may initially seem like a difficult endeavor, the online platforms available can help you assemble a solid shortlist of reliable companies. Resources like customer reviews are extremely valuable, and checking out an agency's portfolio can give you a sense of how much experience they have in your industry and what technologies they work with. For more tips on what to look for and how to narrow down your choices, you can check out our checklist on how to choose the right software company for you.
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