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Freelancers vs. software development company: what's right for you?

aarzoonaeem profile image Aarzoo Naeem Originally published at foretheta.com Updated on ・3 min read

Whenever you need software development skills for your company or a project, the big question is: Who should you hire? A full-time software developer, freelance developer(s), or a software development company?

While it is true that when selecting, one should consider the most cost-effective one. Yet, the cost is not the only thing you will be taking into account. Choosing the right option for the project or company is crucial as it can lower or raise the chances of failure. Knowing your budget requirements, resources, and the project's long term maintenance is essential.

You may have a brilliant idea that needs technical help from scratch, or you may have the full product specifications document ready. Both freelancers and software development companies can assist you in building a project from scratch. However, it will be cheaper to hire a freelance developer if you have the specification document in hand.
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What is your budget?

Decide on a budget to avoid disappointment or surprises. It is important to determine beforehand the quality of work you expect for the amount you are paying. A software development company may seem expensive, but it is generally cheaper in the long run.

Freelancer developers generally charge less compared to a company. The reasons are pretty simple: they are independent contractors. They don't have extra costs like office rent, employee salaries and so on. Also, you may find a freelancer for specific expertise in a software development project. This reduces cost and makes it convenient to fix a bug or add a feature to a product.

Yet, for a long term project that may need maintenance, software companies work out better. If there is a bug, it is their responsibility to fix it as soon as possible. They usually have a dedicated person or team for project support. Freelancers are often responsible for working on a project. But not necessarily on maintenance like fixing bugs or doing maintenance of an app.

What is your business communication style?

Do you prefer meeting in person, or do you think you can work with a remote team? Would it be possible for you to communicate with a freelancer over the internet?

You should know the answers to these questions before you decide on a freelancer vs. an agency. After that, you can consider weighing the pros and cons of an individual or a team, working in person or remotely.

Freelancers tend to have a more flexible schedule and can fit you in, whereas companies have fixed timings. One of the significant advantages of hiring a professional company is that it usually works with a highly organized method. This helps streamline the process, meet deadlines, and produce a successful project. The business culture and communication with a company are smoother as compared to freelancers.

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How reliable are freelancers vs. software development agencies?

This is a difficult question because we don't want to judge a book by its cover. It is easier to make software companies accountable for any hurdles that you face. You never know how many projects a freelance developer or his team is working on. It is common for them to take on more projects than they can handle and miss deadlines. It is difficult to discern the quality of work that freelancers will produce. Since many freelancers are experts in specific areas, it eventually costs a lot more when you need to fix bugs, etc. Most freelancers are not unreliable, but you have to dig deep to find honest reviews on their work ethics.

In comparison, it is easier to choose a company based on their testimonials, previous clients, etc. When you hire a software development agency, you are hiring experts in the business. They are professionals and experts in the job of making an app or software product. Accountability and reliability are much higher in a company as they have to uphold a reputation to stay in business.

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So, what are you going to choose?

It might seem like there is no 'right' answer as both have their advantages and disadvantages. Most people tend to keep the budget and cost a priority when choosing a company or a freelancer. One needs to consider work ethics, reputation, and value-added benefits for a successful product. In conclusion, it is easier to choose once your expectations from the development process are clear. Other than that, your end goal should be to produce a high-end quality product and choose sensibly.


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