How to pick the right software development agency for your SaaS product

Global revenue produced by SaaS companies is projected to hit $113 billion by next year. With immense potential, it’s become a market that many entrepreneurs and companies are pursuing. While it may be easy to decide to develop a SaaS product, choosing the right software development agency to do so can be difficult if you don’t properly prepare by taking key considerations into account and thoroughly vetting your options. Picking the right firm to create your SaaS application is crucial, as selecting the wrong company could leave you with a product that’s unfit for your customers, bug-riddled and too restrictive to expand.

To help you with your decision, we’ve compiled a recommended process to ensure you’re prepared to evaluate your options properly. The first step will be to decide on a budget, either a maximum cost or a budget range that meets your company’s financial requirements. From there, you’ll need to determine what fits your budget needs best: developing the SaaS product in-house or outsourcing the development to a software development firm. If you choose the often more economical route of working with an agency, you’ll then need to conduct extensive research by assessing agency’s portfolios, reviewing the firm’s clients’ feedback and asking specific questions to understand the agencies’ differences in process, scope and fees. Next, you’ll want to compare at least three company’s processes, pricing structures and experience to ensure that your selected software development firm’s scope and fees align with your needs and that they understand your industry and your customers’ needs. Lastly, as your final selection criteria, you’ll want to consider which agency is most equipped to build a product that can grow in the long-term.

Take these seven steps to find the right SaaS product development company or resource.

1. Define the budget for your SaaS product.

With numerous options at the onset, the first step you’ll need to take is assessing what your company’s maximum budget or desired price range is for the project. Having a clear understanding of the investment you can make will help you pick the right option for how to develop the SaaS product. Knowing your organization’s ideal cost of developing a SaaS product will also help you in the selection of an agency, as you’ll be able to weed out the firms whose fees are too high.

2. Explore your options of in-house development versus outsourcing.

When it comes to the creation of your company’s SaaS product, you ultimately have two choices. You can either keep the project in-house by leveraging or hiring an internal team, or you can outsource the design and development of the SaaS application by hiring a software development agency. When weighing outsourcing SaaS development versus in-house development,the major differences come down to the investment, the timeline, flexibility and dedication.

3. Review previous work to get a sense of the agency’s quality and performance.

If you make the cost-effective decision to hire an agency, it’s important to start your search by reviewing the work the agencies on your list have done. You’ll want to make sure that their work shows they can develop intuitive, high-quality applications that are also reflective of your brand. We’re proud of the work we’ve done in coordination with our many clients and we invite you to check out our portfolio of SaaS products.

4. Review feedback from previous clients to assess fit.

Once you’ve whittled down your list of agencies based on the quality of their work, it’s essential to research the remaining companies by looking into their reviews on numerous agency review sites to ensure that clients have experienced success with the firm. It’s critical that you do this before you sign any agreements or contracts, as it can be difficult to cancel a contract or end a partnership with a firm if you determine it’s not the right fit during the project. Reviews from past clients can give you insight into the benefits or the challenges of working with their team. We recommend using these nine tools to research software development agencies and review past clients’ feedback.

5. Understand the firm’s process, recommended scope and fees by asking pointed questions.

It’s crucial that you ask a software development agency these fourteen questions before officially hiring them. Setting up a meeting with each firm you’re considering will allow you to understand the communication methods, agency’s process, potential investment, agency’s terms and the experience of each company, which will help you select the right vendor to produce your company’s SaaS product. If you’re satisfied with the agency’s answers, your next step should be to request an estimate for the project. They’ll likely have some questions for you to get a better sense of the scope of the project. We recommend getting estimates from at least a few firms.

6. Compare at least three software development agency’s processes, pricing and experience.

Once you’ve received estimates from at least three SaaS application development companies, we recommend comparing and contrasting them all by weighing the differences in their processes, cost and the depth of their experience. While cost will likely be a big factor in your company’s decision, it’s important to go beyond just how much it costs to develop the SaaS product, but also to consider why it costs what it costs. Agencies with low fees may be able to offer a reduced price because they’ve left out key deliverables and quality assurance methods; therefore, it’s critical to consider the scope of the project and its deliverables in relation to the cost.

7. Think about long-term needs for change and growth.

Make sure you understand who will own the codebase and take the time to ask and learn about the technologies that will be used by the agency to ensure that your company can adapt and enhance its SaaS application over time to meet new customer demands. It’s important to ask about technologies and languages, as proprietary technologies or lesser-used programming languages can make it challenging to find software engineers that can work with the technology or language. If your team can’t work with the codebase, you may need to start again from scratch when adding new features or making changes to the existing application. At Geekbears, we recognize that successful SaaS applications will eventually require an in-house team, so we use open-source technologies to easily allow a new team to make changes to your SaaS product.

With such a tremendous market opportunity, it’s crucial that you pick the right software development company to produce your SaaS product. Without undergoing to process of vetting agencies and taking the time to understand all of the aspects of the project, you could wind up with an unadaptable, ineffective and bug-riddled product that leads you right back to where you started. Be sure to follow the above seven steps to ensure you select an agency that will deliver a successful SaaS application that helps your company grow.

At Geekbears, many of us have developed SaaS products and marketplace applications ourselves. We understand what it takes to not only build these digital products, but also how to launch and grow those offerings and businesses. Because we’ve been in your shoes, we work as a true partner to your business. Instead of waiting for direction, we work proactively based on set expectations and we continually offer strategic advice that’s rooted in our rich experience and insights. Our goal is to allow you to focus on the other aspects of launching your SaaS product, as you’ll be able to rest assured that your application is in the hands of seasoned, talented professionals who want to see your company succeed.