Every business owner wants to keep their costs down and the web development department is not immune to this thought process no matter how vital it is to a project. Lowering your overhead is more than ok, in fact as a business owner if you’re not constantly thinking of ways to lower your costs then you really need to get out of being in business and find another hobby. However while being cost conscious is your job the key to not tanking your future for the sake of savings is to simultaneously lower costs while keeping quality high especially when you are using outsource development teams. So how can you accomplish this? Well have no fear here are 5 things you can do to ensure you’re getting the quality your project deserves without breaking the bank.
1. Use an established 3rd party
Finding developers through your cousin or one of your employees is a one way ticket to trouble town and trust me that is not a nice place to live. Using sites like odesk.com or elance.com are great places to start but even some other gem sites likehire-web-developers.com or ifreelance.com can garner some great results and they are free to start your accounts, post jobs and start looking at candidates. Make sure you look at how long the contractor has been on the site, how many jobs they’ve had and what the ratings and or reviews were for those jobs.
2. Interview, Interview, Interview
Once you have some applicants to your job contact each one and set up a time to talk that is convenient for you both. You may be up late as some contractors live in far away lands that are wide awake while you’re snoozing, so try to be flexible and drink lots of coffee if you can. When you do start to talk with a contractor ask as many questions as you can! Ask for a portfolio, references as well as how they would manage the project if they were hired. Ask about communications and how often they would happen as well as any milestones and or roadblocks you may have.
3. Get in the Driver’s Seat
Google drive is free and will allow you to keep a very detailed roadmap of your clients projects. Here is a link to my project tracker that we use its already built and ready to go for you…you’re welcome. http://bit.ly/Vtlu79
4. Meet and Meet Again
Set regular meetings with the developers and make sure you are going over over every task whether completed or not as well as referencing any future tasks that me be on the horizon. Make sure you are being descriptive and try cover every base. A good general rule of thumb here is to pretend you are explaining each task to a child, that way you will ensure that your message is understood. Also don’t just talk over skype do screen sharing with tools like join.me and create mockups easily with sites like gomockingbird. With a mixture of solid communication, mockups and screen sharing your project is on the way to success.
5. Be Generous
Many of these new developers you have working for you have costs of living equal to what most of us spend on coffee and snacks every month, so if you want them to work their tails off for you don’t be afraid to offer weekly and monthly bonuses ranging from $25 usd to $100 usd. You will see how far this type of generosity will go and not only will your project get done right and on time but you will now have a development team willing to go the extra mile for you and trust me that can come in handy some day.
We hope these few quick tips can help you get better results from your web development team!