You hired your current mobile app developer after reading some positive testimonials and viewing an impressive work sample. Sure, the mobile development firm is located in another country, but they had super competitive rates, which proved to be the icing on the cake! Now, a couple months down the road, what started out as an exciting journey has evolved into a nightmare.
Development is painfully slow, and the language barrier has caused frustration and delays on both sides. Oh, and now you’ve requested a turnover of the app source code and the developers are pushing back. They’re demanding thousands of dollars above the agreed-upon fee now that they realize they’re going to miss out on future revenues from app updates and maintenance. But you’re on the other side of the globe and you’ve already paid them thousands to develop the app. Attempting legal action would be prohibitively expensive, so you have no choice but to meet the developer’s demands.
Don’t let this story turn into your company’s reality.
It’s estimated that there are approximately 21 million software developers worldwide, with about 12 million dealing in mobile app development. With millions of choices, picking an app developer is a real challenge, but that process is far easier if you focus your search on local tech companies.
Working with a local app developer has many advantages, ranging from a more natural idea-sharing process to fewer delays, greater local economic benefit, and fewer potential legal challenges. The end result is a faster, smoother, and more stress-free experience for both parties.
Local Developers Allow for a More Natural Idea-Sharing Process
Even with modern technology, the idea-sharing process is somewhat hindered by distance. You can compensate by using video conferencing, screen sharing, and other tech tools, but it’s not the same as sitting down face-to-face. In fact, there have been some rather compelling arguments presented about the benefits of face-to-face meetings versus video conferencing.
By working with a local company, you have the ability to meet with the firm at various points during the process. This maximizes your chances of seeing a final product that accurately reflects your vision.
Avoid Challenges Surrounding Timezone-Related Delays
When working with an app developer in another region or part of the world, it’s common to encounter some fairly significant delays. These delays arise from time zone differences, particularly in cases where approval is required in order to proceed to the next step.
For example, let’s say your developer—located on another continent—sends an app design mockup for approval. It arrives at 6 PM, after you’ve already left the office for the day. By the time you address the email the following morning, the developer has already finished his workday. Your reply isn’t viewed until 8 PM your time, resulting in the loss of a solid 24 hours. Multiply this over the course of a multi-month project and delays could add weeks to the process. If you had been working with a local company, you might have seen a turnaround of just a few hours, resulting in a shorter project timeframe and cost savings arising from better productivity.
Avoid Potential Intellectual Property and Legal Challenges
There are cases when an unethical developer may be hesitant to turn over an app’s source code. This most commonly occurs when the client plans to manage and update the app in-house, but the developer is reluctant to hand over the source code because this means they’ll lose out on recurring business. A financially-strapped developer might also demand a payment that exceeds the agreed-upon price in exchange for the source code—and there’s little the client can do to fight back if the developer is in a far-off location. Paying the higher fee is typically the only viable option.
It’s also not uncommon to encounter intellectual property challenges in cases where a client pays a developer to create a custom feature. Often, this new technology has a significant value on the open market. Selling the new software is a temptation that some unethical developers simply cannot resist.
Issues surrounding IP theft, infringement, and even disputes over source code can be complicated when you’re in different states. Things get exponentially more difficult when the client and developer are in separate countries, with totally different laws. Even written contracts offer little protection in these cases due to the major expense and uncertainty associated with taking legal action in another part of the world.
It’s far easier to avoid these dreaded scenarios by working with a local developer. And in the unlikely event that your business relationship does turn sour, you have defensible legal options since both parties are governed by the same local laws. This offers greater peace of mind, especially for clients who plan to invest sizable sums of money to develop new or proprietary technology.
Local References and More Vetting Opportunities
When working with a developer in another region, it’s challenging to effectively vet the company. You cannot call upon key information sources such as the Better Business Bureau or the local Chamber of Commerce. Without this information, it can be difficult to determine whether a company is reputable, no matter what they say. Especially if all they have is a website (developers are adept at creating websites that looks professional and legitimate, even when their apps fall short).
When you work with a local tech company, you’ll have the benefit of working with a business with local references. You may even be familiar with some of their former clients.
Enjoy a Greater Local Economic Benefit
By working with local app developers, you’ll be investing money into your own community rather than sending your dollars to a remote location on the other side of the planet. The total dollar figure can be quite significant in some instances, totaling tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars over the life of the app.
This local approach to doing business can be beneficial from a public relations and marketing perspective, too. Many locals prefer companies that make a concerted effort to support the local economy, as there are some compelling benefits that arise from doing business locally.
Serving clients in Dallas, Austin, Houston, and beyond, SevenTablets is an app development firm anchored in Texas. Our experienced team of developers has worked with a large number of local clients, many of whom have benefitted from our one-of-a-kind STAX platform. STAX can reduce app development time and cost by up to 40 percent, and includes a range of robust features. Contact us today to discuss your app development needs.