By Ben


March 2023

5 Questions Startup Founders Should Ask App Development Companies


As a startup founder, you’ve likely come to the point where you need to enlist the help of an app development company to build the foundation of your application. This decision is crucial, as it can affect the trajectory of your business for years to come, and it’s typically one of the most significant initial expenses of any tech startup.

Choosing the right mobile app development agency can be a daunting task. With so many companies available, and different ways they all work, it can be challenging to find the right fit for you. Of course, if you’d like to take a look at our app development process, you can find out more here.

The team you decide on should have excellent communication skills and the ability to help you achieve tangible results that you can showcase to potential investors or help you hit your KPIs.

To help you make an informed decision, here are five important questions we think a startup founder should ask any app development company:

1. What is Your App Development Process?

A good app development company should have a well-defined and organised app development process. They should be able to explain each step of their mobile app development service and how it relates to your app development project. You can find an overview of ours here. They should be able to answer questions such as: How do you approach design? How do you handle development and testing? What is your approach to user testing and feedback?

When asking a development company about their process, it's essential to understand how they approach each stage of the development cycle. Here's an overview of some of the key stages in an app development process:

  1. Discovery: This initial stage involves discussing your app idea with the mobile app development company to determine its feasibility and create a clear understanding of your project's goals, target audience, features, and timeline. This stage can also include market research to identify potential competitors and target users.
  2. Design: In this stage, the company will create mock-ups or wireframes of the app's user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) design. It is important to ensure that the UI and UX design aligns with your vision, and is intuitive, user-friendly, and visually appealing.
  3. Development: Once the design has been finalised, the app development company will begin to build the app. This stage involves coding, testing, and fixing bugs in the app. The development team may use an agile development approach, which involves breaking down the app into smaller parts, working on them in sprints, and testing them as they go.
  4. Quality Assurance: Before launching the app, the agency will perform a thorough quality assurance (QA) process to ensure that the app is fully functional, bug-free, and meets all the requirements set out in the discovery stage.
  5. Launch: After testing and making any necessary changes, the app is ready for launch. This involves submitting it to the app store for approval, which can take several days. Once approved, the app is launched for users to download.
  6. Post-Launch Support: After the app has launched, mobile app development agencies should offer ongoing support to ensure the app remains stable and user-friendly, which includes fixing any bugs or issues that arise, providing updates and new features, and answering user questions. Furthermore, now it’s built, you may need help marketing the app. Do you want to start the process with someone new or continue to work with your existing delivery partner who knows your product inside out?

Choose a development agency with a clear and transparent process that will work with you to ensure your app development for business aligns with your goals and expectations. By understanding their processes, you can gain a better understanding of how they work and how your project will be managed, helping you make an informed decision.

2. What is Your Experience with Similar Apps?

When it comes to mobile app development, experience matters. You want to work with an app development company that has experience creating apps similar to yours. They should be able to provide examples of apps they've developed in the past that are similar in scope, complexity, or industry, which will give you a sense of their capabilities and help you gauge whether they are the right fit for your project.

When asking a company about their experience with similar apps, you want to understand their relevant experience and expertise. Here are a few key areas to explore:

  1. Industry experience: Ask the development agency about their experience in your industry or niche. If they have worked with similar apps, they will better understand the market and user expectations. They can also provide valuable insights and suggestions to help improve your app's features and user experience. To learn about a recent app we built for a charity click here.
  2. Technical expertise: You want to ensure the company has the technical expertise to build a high-quality app. Ask about their experience with the programming languages, tools, and platforms needed to develop your app. If you have specific requirements or technologies, ask about their experience with those.
  3. Intellectual property protection: If your app involves proprietary or confidential information, it's important to ensure the mobile app development agency has experience working with confidential information and intellectual property protection. Ask about their policies and procedures for protecting sensitive information and what measures they have in place to ensure your app's code and data are secure.

By asking about the agency's experience with similar apps, you can understand their capabilities and whether they are the right fit for your project. It's essential to choose an app development company with the relevant experience and expertise to help you achieve your goals and build a successful app.

3. Can You Provide References or Case Studies?

Asking an app development company about their previous work can help you determine whether their goals align with yours and determine whether the company is the right fit for your project.

A reputable mobile app development agency should provide references or case studies from clients they've worked with previously and should speak about the company's ability and provide insight into the app development company's capabilities. Here are a few reasons why it's vital to ask for references or case studies:

  1. Demonstrated experience: References and case studies show the agency's experience in building apps similar to yours. By examining their past work, you can evaluate their ability to handle your project's requirements, timeline, and budget.
  2. Insights into project management: Case studies can provide insights into the development company's project management style, including how they communicate, plan, and execute projects. You can understand how they handle challenges and changes that may arise during the development process.
  3. Client satisfaction: References can provide feedback on the development company's communication, responsiveness, and overall satisfaction with the final product. You can evaluate how the company works with clients and handles any issues that may arise during or after the project.
  4. Inspiration and innovation: Case studies can inspire new features or approaches you may not have considered for your mobile app development. They can also demonstrate the development company's ability to innovate and bring fresh ideas to the table.

By doing your due diligence and evaluating the company's past work, you can ensure that you're choosing the right development partner for your tech startup.

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4. How Will You Handle Post-Launch Support and Maintenance?

When you launch your app, it's not the end of the development process. It's just the beginning. You'll need to ensure that your app continues to run smoothly and that any issues or bugs are resolved quickly. This is why it's essential to ask the app development company about their post-launch support and maintenance plans. Here are a few key areas to explore:

  1. Support and maintenance services: Ask their team about the support and maintenance services they provide after the app launch. Do they offer ongoing technical support and maintenance, bug fixes, and feature enhancements? Will they provide you with a dedicated point of contact for support, and what are the channels of communication they use?
  2. Costs and payment structures: Find out how the development company charges for their support and maintenance services. Do they offer fixed-price packages, hourly rates, or ongoing maintenance contracts? You want to ensure that their costs fit within your budget and that you understand what you're paying for.
  3. Handover process: Finally, ask about the handover process after the development work is complete. You want to ensure that you have access to all the code, documentation, and other materials needed to maintain and support the app. This should include training and knowledge transfer to your team, so they can continue to support the app in the long term.

By asking about post-launch support and maintenance, you can learn the company's commitment to supporting your app after launch, which will help you choose a partner who will provide ongoing support and help you achieve long-term success.

5. How Do You Ensure App Security and Data Privacy?

When building an app, it's critical to prioritise security and data privacy to protect your users' sensitive information. As a startup founder, you need to ensure that the app development company you choose has robust security protocols in place. Here are a few areas to explore when asking about app security and data privacy:

  1. Security measures during development: Ask about the security measures the development company takes during the development process. Do they use secure coding practices? Do they conduct regular code reviews and security audits? Do they have a team dedicated to security testing and analysis?
  2. Compliance with industry standards: Ensure that the development company adheres to industry standards and best practices for app security and data privacy.
  3. Data protection protocols: Ask about their company's data protection protocols. Do they have measures in place to protect user data from unauthorised access, use, or disclosure? Do they use encryption and secure storage to protect data at rest and in transit?

By asking about app security and data privacy, you can ensure their mobile app development service has robust security protocols. This way, you can protect your users' sensitive information and maintain their trust. It's critical to prioritise security from the start and work with a company that shares your commitment to protecting user data.

Our Final Thoughts.

Choosing the right app development company is crucial for startup success. As a startup founder, you need to work with a team that can help bring your app idea to life while delivering results that will impress investors and insure long-term growth. By asking the right questions and choosing the right development partner, you can set your startup up for success and confidently achieve your mobile app development goals.

If you're seeking to initiate an app development project, whether you're starting from scratch or need assistance with an ongoing project, we recommend considering our skilled and experienced development team. We work closely with our clients to understand their vision and goals and provide you with full ownership of all code and assets from day one. Contact us today to book a free consultation.