App Development, Thought Leaders

How to Choose an App Development Firm

October 18, 2017

by Michelle Delgado

Senior Writer & Marketer, Clutch

Choosing an app development partner is a crucial step in launching a successful mobile app. Consider an app development firm's past projects, preferred work style, and commitment to a long-term partnership to find a firm that's compatible with your goals.

How do you find the right app development partner for your business?

Choosing the right app development partner is one of the most important steps in transforming an idea for an app into reality. You need to find an app development firm that will understand your vision, add its technical expertise, and deliver a mobile app that meets your needs.

Use this guide to prepare for meetings with potential app development partners to ensure that you choose the right firm for your next project.

Top 3 Factors for Evaluating An App Development Partner

  • View previous examples of mobile apps the firm has produced
  • Explore whether you have compatible work and communication styles
  • Remember that the partnership will be a long-term commitment 

Ask to See App Development Firms’ Work Samples

Look for verified reviews and case studies to learn about app development firms that may be a good fit for your business.

Andrew Garkavyi is Vice President of Intellectsoft, a software company with clients ranging from Silicon Valley startups to international enterprises. He says that companies shouldn’t be afraid to ask for samples of a potential app development partner’s past work and talk to past clients.

“See if [the clients] are satisfied with the quality of work,” said Garkavyi. “It’s important to look at the work itself and verify that it matches the expectations of the customer.”

One place to start is Clutch, which features more than 3,400 mobile app development companies and in-depth interviews with these firms’ clients.

Some companies’ blogs also offer insight into their approach to app development. For example, Intellectsoft provides case studies of different types of apps to illustrate why they have succeeded and how their results can be replicated.

If you are considering using DIY app builder software, some companies provide resources that allow you to explore the tools before you purchase. Bizness Apps, a leading app builder software firm, has a video library demonstrating how to build apps for restaurants, lawyers, real estate groups, religious organizations, and more. This allows potential clients to take a closer look at features and designs that could meet their needs.

Seek Authentic Collaboration With App Development Firm

A strong partnership between a mobile app development firm and business is rooted in an ability to think creatively and collaborate effectively. Authentic collaboration is a blend of intangible qualities, such as communication styles and creative visions, and strategies for communication that allow a project to advance smoothly.

To encourage the conditions for authentic collaboration, businesses should approach potential app development partners with a clear vision of their goals for an app and targeted questions about how a potential partner can bring that vision to life.

When a potential client reaches out to Intellectsoft, Garkavyi and his team also bring their own questions. Be prepared not only to ask questions about potential partners, but also to offer information about your company.

Questions to Prepare Before Meeting with an App Development Firm

  • How does your company approach planning?
  • What is your approach to quality assurance?
  • Do you follow any specific methodology?

By evaluating one another on a deeper and more strategic level, companies and potential app development partners can more accurately assess whether their approaches are compatible.

“It gives clarity to everything that happens,” said Garkavyi.

Garkavyi finds that conversation and collaboration drive the most successful partnerships–not companies that come in expecting control over the partnership.

Think Long-Term

When evaluating potential app development partners, it’s important to remember that you will maintain a relationship with your development firm as long as your app is on the market.

Unlike other product development, which ends when a product is released to the public, apps require attention that ranges from constant management to periodic updates. Without exception, maintenance is required to keep pace with security requirements and evolving trends in user experience.

Additionally, the length of the development process varies greatly depending on the specific project at hand. We found that the time associated with mobile app development is based on the app features needed, scale of the app, and even companies’ internal technology systems.

Because your relationship with your app development partner will likely last for many years, it’s especially important to consider the compatibility of your work and communication styles.

Ways to Find the Right App Development Partner

Although the app development process can presents challenges, the right app development partner will help you enjoy the creative aspects of the process.

  • Examine samples of past work to understand how a potential partner approaches app development and gain insight into how your project might take shape
  • Ask questions up front to determine whether your partner’s and your company’s approaches to collaboration are compatible
  • Prepare for a long-term partnership by talking through strategies for measuring progress and maintaining open lines of communication

With these three tips in mind, you’ll be ready to find the right mobile app development partner for your project.

About the Author

Headshot of Michelle Delgado


Michelle Delgado is a marketer and content developer at Clutch, a B2B research firm in the heart of Washington, DC. Connect with her on LinkedIn, or feel free to reach out with any questions, comments, or concerns at [email protected] or (202) 869-3866.

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