Freelancers are self-employed professionals who work independently on a project-to-project basis. They can be approached via various platforms such as UpWork, Fiverr etc. While it is common for companies to rely upon freelancers for almost any type of work nowadays, freelancing mobile application development projects can be a bit challenging. In this article, we have covered the challenges posed by outsourcing this task to a freelancer. Let’s get started.
Mobile Application Development: Need of the hour
Needless to say, mobile apps have transformed the way business is done. Today, having a mobile app is almost a necessity for most businesses, be they start-ups or well-established brands. Mobile apps like Nykaa, UrbanClap, Ola and Instagram have a massive user base. We have enlisted some of the key reasons why your business should have a mobile app in the current scenario:
- Mobile Apps allow your customers to shop in a flexible manner and make in-app purchases on the go. This is particularly important considering the proliferation in the number of online shoppers;
- Since these are super convenient to use, they result in continuous engagement – this can be further helpful to understand the behavioural pattern of customers and formulate business strategies accordingly;
- These offer enhanced accessibility from multiple platforms like the Apple store, Google play store etc, thereby offering a seamless shopping experience to its customers across all devices;
- These enable seamless one-way/ two-way communication between you and your customers (e.g. booking appointments);
- A great marketing and advertising tool that helps to promote existing/ newly launched products and services;
- With the help of push notifications, you can ensure that your brand is remembered by your customers at all times.
These are just some of the many reasons that highlight the significance of having a mobile app for a business. Now that you know it is essential, another question that may pop up is who is the right person to reach out to for its development. One very common dilemma that businesses often face is whether to go for an app development company, deploy a team of designers and developers on board or hire a freelancer to do the same.
Difficulties of working with freelancers for mobile app development
The scope of work is often limited
Generally, mobile app development companies offer all services pertaining to app building. Right from polishing your app idea to designing its UI/UX, to providing back-end infrastructure to project management and even services beyond the ambit of basic development like providing post-launch support – you get all the services under one roof.
Freelancers, on the other hand, have a very limited scope of work. Like, for example, an app development company provides cross-platform apps, which means your apps are being simultaneously built for both Android as well as iOS users. Because both these apps require different skill sets/ tools etc., it may be very challenging for a freelancer to develop both at the same time. As a result, you may end up deploying this task to two different freelancers, which will take more time, money and effort. Thus, it is a better idea to discuss the scope of work well in advance in a detailed and comprehensive way before outsourcing the same to a freelancer.
May have to compromise with the quality of work
The biggest reason that organisations want to outsource mobile app development tasks to freelancers is affordability.Hiring a freelancer is likely to cost less as compared to both appointing an in-house team of developers or seeking help from an app development company.
Having said that, due to this, many times, companies have to compromise the quality of work delivered by freelancers. When the project of building an app is outsourced to a reputed company, there is a surety that the same would be developed by a highly qualified, experienced and diversified team of professionals. Thus the product would be of the highest quality standards.
This may, however, not be the case with freelancing. Although this can be avoided to a certain extent by checking the previous work of the freelancer before assigning the task, there is a limited guarantee that the product delivered hasn’t compromised with quality.
It could be time-consuming
Since freelancers are more of a one-man army, the probability of delayed deliverables is generally high.
This is unlikely in the case of app development companies that have a pool of talented experts working together day and night to develop the right app for you.
Moreover, if the freelancer gets stuck on some issue, there are chances that he/she would have no one to rely upon to overcome that stumbling block. This can result in further delays to the whole process or, in the worst cases, project abandonment.
Today, time is money and adhering to a strict deadline is important, especially when you have a tight timeline in place to launch your mobile app. Thus, it is advisable to be cautious enough if you’re planning to take this path to app development.
High scaling cost
Outsourcing the app development project to a freelancer seems great as they generally charge a low hourly rate which seems very lucrative at first. However, the cost may be low, but the number of hours may go up (as discussed in the previous point), and you may end up bearing the same cost as hiring an app development company, if not more, in the long run.
Besides, their pricing policy is not transparent. The task of building an app is not like a set of standard steps that are identical for all – each app is different from the others. So it only makes sense that the cost involved should also be different in order to accommodate the business’s needs rather than having a fixed, standard rate per hour.
Communication gaps can ruin the experience
Freelancers are called freelancers for a reason. They don’t follow the typical 9 to 5 rule and work according to their whims and fancies. They work remotely, possibly from home and are not bound to work as per your working hours.
Due to this reason, it may be difficult to coordinate with him or her, which can further result in communication lapses and ruin the experience of working altogether. It may be difficult to keep tabs on the progress of the app and share your constructive feedback after every stage to make sure that you both are on the same page.
Thus, these gaps can be problematic as the final product may not be what you expected in the first place. Besides, there could be other barriers related to language, culture and time zones that can further complicate the entire process.
It may be a risky proposition
Your mobile app idea is like an asset to you – What if you trust the wrong Developer? What if your idea gets into the wrong hands? It will be no less than a nightmare – seeing your unique, innovative concept being stolen by a competitor from right under your nose. To escape this, make sure you execute a Confidentiality/ Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) before discussing the minute details of your project and giving access to your invaluable app data to the freelancer.
However exciting it may seem to work with a dedicated freelancer for your mobile app development project, what must be kept in mind are the potential pitfalls of trusting the wrong person. Don’t get swayed away by the attractive portfolio of the freelancer or by that alluring rate quoted per hour and blindly outsource the entire project. Make sure you do your background research properly and also arrange at least one meeting in person if that’s a viable option for both of you.
The better option is to consult Expand My Business, as we offer end-to-end managed solutions for all your digital needs. With our pool of more than 1500+ verified partner agencies across India, we allot a dedicated delivery manager for your project. Our consultants will help you find the best mobile application development company within your budget range, and our delivery managers will ensure the quality of the deliverables. If our work is not satisfactory at both ends, then our money-back guarantee will rest assured. Get in touch with us to get started today!