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Freelancer VS App Company. Which one to choose?
It’s a common scenario: you want to get an app built but don’t know who to hire. There are lots of freelancers and developers on numerous online marketplace. But should you hire one, or build with an app company? It really depends on what you need – here’s the breakdown.
Are you planning to build an app?
The app market is growing at a very fast pace. As of Q1 of 2021, it was estimated that there 5.7 million apps in both Apple App Store and Google Play Store and in March 2022, over 7.26 Billion individuals (91.54% of the entire population globally) owning a smart and feature phone in the world. This statistics is significant from a mobile marketing standpoint – and it is no surprise that more and more businesses are coming out with their mobile apps.
If you googled “app development”, you would have come across many different freelancers and app companies who promise to build an app for your business. So how do you know which one to pick?
In this blog post, we’re going to shed some light on the differences between hiring freelancers VS. an app development company.
But first, let’s understand what makes them different.
Differences between a freelance app developer and an app company
Here is an analogy:
Think of the difference between a freelance developer and an app company as the difference between a solo artist and a band. A solo artist can produce great music, but they’ll have to do most things themselves.
A band, on the other hand, can produce great music too – or even better music. And if the band is well-established, it can draw on its established network of various experts to delegate duties – in other words, division of labour. But the band will also be bigger, likely to be more expensive, harder to control, and have to deal with internal processes and control.
Let’s go a step further by defining these two entities:
Who is a Freelance app developer?
A freelance app developer is someone who works independently, on their schedule. They work on short-term projects for several different clients. They aren’t paid a salary by any one company, but they charge hourly or by the project. They can work independently, remotely or as part of a team and may have another job aside from their freelance work.
What is an app development company?
An app development company is a team of dedicated professionals who are experts in the field of app development. These companies have an established structure and process in place to build apps for clients or companies. The company has developers and subject matter experts that are in-house team members as well as contractors who may work on a contract basis.
Takeaway: App companies consist of several employees — designers, testers, project managers and most importantly developers. The main difference between them is that freelancers have to be independent and take care of all the processes by themselves.
How to Choose: Freelancer VS App Company
These two options have their pros and cons, and it’s up to you to decide which one is better for your business. It’s important to note that several factors will influence your decision. And if you want the best possible result for your app, you need to weigh all those factors before making your final decision.
Elements to consider before choosing a freelance developer or an app development agency
Quality of product
The most important element when creating a mobile app or any type of software is the quality of the product. If your eventual goal is to build a large user base that enjoys using your app, then quality is key.
A poor user experience will drive users away and give you a bad reputation in the market. This can be avoided by hiring professionals who know how to build a solid product with good UX principles, Quality Assurers that can ensure the product meets required standards and expectations, etc. But be aware that many freelancers might not have much experience in these areas and might be unaware of how the market works – thus they may lack in certain aspects like new features, the latest technology, etc. even if they’re savvy coders.
An app company on the other hand has a dedicated team of specialists each bringing their expertise to bear at various stages of app development. Additionally, some freelancers take on more jobs than they can handle, don’t use contracts, don’t have insurance, and don’t offer guarantees. It’s important to choose your freelancer with care, because if something goes wrong, you may not have any recourse.
Cost is one of the biggest factors when choosing between a freelancer or an app company and there can be big differences in cost between both options. A freelancer will usually charge between $50 – $150 per hour, whereas an agency will charge anywhere from a few thousand to even a million. It may seem that the first option is cheaper but it may not always be true in the long term. Why?
A freelancer has no employees and works alone, so he/she likely can’t afford to turn down projects when overloaded with work. Thus, your app may be developed slower than planned. An app development company usually has a team of experts who will work on your project without breaks, so you won’t have to wait for the results for too long. Another thing to be wary about when hiring a freelancer is that you are likely to face additional charges for support and bug fixing after the release of your app.
In the case of an agency, this is usually included in the price and guaranteed by a contract. Finally, building an app is a long process, which includes several stages like planning, designing, developing, testing, and launching. No single freelancer can cover all these stages within the given period. The quality may suffer if the freelancer tries to cut corners to meet the deadline.
So, if you hire a freelancer and they do a lousy job, then you might end up spending a lot of time and money fixing their mistakes. On the other hand, if you go with an app company, their charge will include the cost of the project manager who will look after your project from start to finish and make sure that all the requirements are understood correctly and all bugs are fixed before launching the application.
The size and function of the app
The bigger and more complex your app is, the harder it will be to manage its development. If you’re looking to build a native iOS and Android (or even Windows) app, it will take a lot more time than a simple MVP.
On top of that, if your app has more functions and features, the development will require more work, more testing and more documentation. Note that documentation is especially important in cases where you need to keep multiple developers on the same page when they work on different components of the same project.
If you dream about launching an app that will inspire thousands, then you need to find a professional app company. On the other hand, if your goal is to create a small project, then you may use freelance specialists.
If you are looking to create a long-term partnership, an app company is a better way to go.
Yes, freelancers can be more cost-efficient and you can hire them for smaller projects like an MVP or a simple app design. A freelancer can get the job done, but you will need to hire another one for each new project that comes up. This means that you will have to spend more time learning about each new freelancer’s work history, skill sets, and background, which could create inefficiencies or lead to a mismatch.
However, it’s not ideal to work with freelancers if you want to build a long-term relationship with the team that develops your product. Additionally, if you want your app to be successful in the long run, you will need an ongoing relationship with the development team. After all, it’s very likely that you will need to add new features and update your app over time. If that’s the case, working with an app company will make things easier for you and give you access to a wider range of services.
A good app development company should also be able to provide support for your mobile product even after launch. If something goes wrong, they will be able to jump right back in and fix it at a moment’s notice because they are already familiar with the codebase and infrastructure of your product.
The Project Management style of a freelancer would be very different from that of an application development company. A freelancer would work on a project, as and when it is assigned to them. This means that a freelancer could juggle multiple projects at the same time. When you hire a freelancer, you might have to do a lot of the project management work yourself. This can include managing timelines and deadlines, communicating with clients, and gathering requirements – this can be a problem when you need to dedicate pressing time to other aspects of your business or lifestyle.
A company on the other hand would assign a dedicated Project Manager for each project and ensure that the team works on one project at a time. The Project Manager ensures that all timelines are adhered to, and all deliverables are sent out on time. The Project Manager acts as the middle person between the development team, and the client. They take care of all aspects of the project, leaving you with no reason to worry about it.
If you are looking for something that requires a lot of flexibility and freedom, then a freelancer might be your best bet. In most cases, freelancers are self-employed and work on their terms and conditions. They have absolute control over their time, projects, and prices. This makes them more flexible than other developers who are bound by certain rules and regulations.
So, which one should you hire between the two?
Which one should you hire between a Freelancer or an App Company?
When do you need to hire a freelancer?
A lot of prospects ask us about hiring freelancers for their projects. In some cases, it just makes sense. Maybe you have a small project that you need to get done quickly and on a budget. Or maybe you already have someone in mind who you know will do the job well.
By and large, if you need small, quick tasks done, then hiring a freelancer might be the best option for you, as it’s more cost-effective and time-efficient than hiring a large development team.
Here are some situations where hiring a freelancer makes sense:
- You have a simple project (less than 10 hours of scope) and you know exactly what you need.
- You need someone to do one thing, like implement analytics.
- You’re looking for someone to fix an issue on your app, like adding functionality to an existing feature.
- You’ve already prototyped your idea and want someone to build it out.
- You can afford the time to be hands-on on your project.
When do you need to hire an app company?
Hiring a team of developers can be expensive, but if the work is extensive and long-term, it may be the best choice. When you hire a team of developers, you can build your app with a series of different perspectives, skills, and talents.
If you want to build an app that is going to make money or revolutionise how people do something, a team of developers will be able to bring your app to life in a way that one freelancer could not. This is because an app development agency can provide not only developers and programmers but also designers, project managers and other specialists needed to build your application.