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Starting up tech business? Hiring a freelancer or looking for a technical co-founder?

By Kapil Raj Nakhwa on Oct, 16, 2016 in startup, hiring, agency, freelancers, co-founder, online business

As an online business startup, one of the hardest decision you will make is to choose the right people to take care of the technical aspect of building your business: People who are technically complete and share the same drive and passion for your business like you do. Our clients who made the decision of hiring us to build their online businesses have admitted this to be the hardest decision they had to make in their businesses, which we think of as a valid one. As a young startup you might have a lot of questions facing you. Do you hire a freelancer? Do you hire a consulting agency? Do you hire a technical co-founder? Honestly, there are no wrong answers to these questions. Each option is perfectly viable but it is important to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each before coming to a conclusion.

An Agency, a CTO or Freelancers. Which One Should You Hire For Your Online Startup?

What are the options?

We’ve experienced that most non-technical entrepreneurs feel like they need to look for a technical co-founder immediately in order to build their products for them. And if you manage to find one who fits right into your requirements then that is great! However, it is not easy to find someone who is willing to put in as much as you or more for your business. It is important to keep in mind that on aiming to hire a technical co-founder you are not looking for an average salary compensation. This is going to leave very small room for errors or experiments with that position in your business. It has to work the first time! Which sadly, is very unlikely.

Some entrepreneurs might choose to go with freelancers. With the rise of freelancing communities there is no shortage of highly skilled developers. But again, an individual freelancer will hardly possess all the skills required to successfully launch and scale your product. You might hire someone who is a great designer but are going to have to find an equally great developer to form a good pair. Assuming you manage to find both who are equally good, you are still going to struggle in managing the project. And still if you are adamant on managing the project yourself, being aware of your limits in knowledge on technical subjects, you are eventually going to lag on the business side of the product. Taking care of everything is soon going to limit your creativity or planning on your market acquisition or entry strategies.

What is the right option?

An Agency, a CTO or Freelancers. Which One Should You Hire For Your Online Startup?

A better option is to go with a technical consulting agency. Hiring a firm might come at some cost, but a firm is going to be equipped with all the necessary skillset to develop your product. It is going to have tested methods and processes, most likely adhering to the industry standards. At Jyaasa, we have found it is important for our clients that we cover all aspects of an online business development which enables us to simply take care of the technical side of their businesses. Instead of having to keep tab of multiple freelancers on a daily basis, now you will have one. Instead of not knowing what to expect, now you can expect an industry standard quality. Now you can go on and think about your business strategies knowing there is a team of seasoned technicians working on your business on the technical front.

Why an agency over freelancers or a CTO?

1. No More Technical Research

How many hours have you spent on research in order to explain your business requirements to a freelancer you’ve hired? How many times did you have to explain the requirements until the freelancer finally understood you? And how many times did the freelancer produce the result you were looking for? A firm will have gone through this process in the past. It will know how to convert a business idea into technical specifications. Chances are they will have an analyst whose sole responsibility is to do just that.

At Jyaasa, we have consulting sessions ahead of every projects specifically for this purpose, where we sit down with the clients and markdown the business requirements. In further sessions, we come up with technical specifications along with the explanation for those decisions and the possible costs that entail them. The client will have to very less technical research if any. We do it for them. There you rid yourself of having to write technical specifications.

2. A Complete Package

Like mentioned above, you can hire multiple freelancers and manage them or just try to assemble a team of able developers. But it’s going to be less effective and less managed than a team that has already been working together in an organization. When you hire an agency you will get a complete team of project manager, analyst, developers and designers. You also won’t have to set up a process or a system of reporting, tracking time or monitoring progress. The firm will already have a system to take care of that.

3. Industry Standard Practices

Do it in-house, then you will have to go through a long and tiresome process of developing a good practice to develop a good software for your business. But you don’t have time for that. You want your product out as soon as possible. If you hire a freelancer or multiple, who is to regulate the standards except themselves? But a firm, takes care of all these. A firm will have a set best practices and a system to enforce them in all the undertakings. At Jyaasa, we have Test Driven Development, SCRUM planning, Agile methodology, Google Designs Sprints, Phased Development Sprints among others as heart of our processes, which helps us provide to our clients the high quality software instead of just cranked out codes.

4. Scale

You have developed your business with 2 developers and a designer, and the business is growing. But now the business is really growing but the developers you hired are just not replying to your emails. You want to scale, you want a system to be able to handle the incoming wave of visitors. You hire some other freelancer now to get the job done.

The tricky part comes here.You are going to have to repeat the process of making the new freelancer understand your business and the new requirements.

There is no way to know if the code the previous developer had written was following any kind of standard, so now the new freelancer is saying that it is going to cost you extra, or he is going to have to start again.

In a firm, you may not have the same developers who developed your software 1 year ago, but you have the same system, same set of values and standard. You won’t have to go through the process of explaining your business again. You can get straight to what are the new requirements. If you had your software developed by a firm chances are they have made it scalable. Now, that is going to drastically minimize your scaling time period in comparison to previous roads.

5. Flexible Dedicated Teams

Your business is growing and you are looking for a small team to maintain your business site. Or you are eager to launch a feature in your site and want it done as quickly as possible, because of which you want a team to work on it full time for 4 weeks. A firm can do that for you.

Running an e-business is tough and in the long run you will surely need more manpower and technical skills. Rather than hiring freelancers, it makes more sense to hire agency to build a dedicated team for you and take care of all your technical infrastructures. When you have a dedicated team, you can hire or expand as your business grows or to give that specific feature set a push and move the project much faster and roll back whenever you do not need more developers. You will have much more subtle control over your development team and your overall business.

Hiring a dedicated team would give you complete access to what is being developed or what you want to be developed and when you want it to be featured and be live. You can plan with team to be more accurate in your planning for growth and know about any possible obstacles miles away as well. A dedicated team through an agency will be like having your own employees without the hassle of appraisals, monitoring, benefits and firing.

As an agency, at Jyaasa we are flexible enough to move the resources away or in as needed along with the expertise needed in particular stages for our clients’ businesses. Having a dedicated team of developers, especially for the nature of businesses which are Software as a Service (SaaS) that might need constant maintenance and further work on improving the product, you would be wise to invest on an agency instead of freelancers which is surely going to save your time and effort if not multiply them for you. Take a look at our Process for developing awesome web products on how jyaasa develops the awesome online businesses for it's clients.

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Comments

Anonymous
Nice article ! . I was about to hire a freelancer from India but have opted to re-consider my choices instead.
 July 05, 2016
Bimal Prasad Pandey
Great information
 July 27, 2016

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