How to get quotes from app developers for comparison

Key points to consider when getting quotes from multiple app developers; write clear user stories, define the problem you are trying to solve, determine how your app will make money, consider third-party costs and why a prototype helps
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It's difficult to ensure you're comparing apples to apples when getting quotes from multiple developers. Each company will ask different questions and provide different information. We've lost out on projects because other companies offered something inferior to what we were proposing. These clients often came back to us after wasting time and money.

Here are a few things that you can do to mitigate that. 

  • Provide a clear understanding of what you want built and the features required to give your app a competitive advantage.
  • We find the easiest way for clients to do this is to write out the user stories in plain English for all types of users, including administrators. For example:
As an app user, I need to be able to enter the location of where I want to do to
As a driver, I need to be able to accept rides.

  • If you’re not technical, don’t fake it! Unless you have a preferred technology stack such as Flutter, Python or ChatGPT, allow the developer to propose the solution they think is best to deliver on the user stories.
  • Ensure that you have this all in writing so that everyone can work from the same document. This will make it easier to edit and update as things change, as you will have more information.
  • Ask yourself the following questions:
What problem am I trying to solve?
Who is the target audience?
What is the ideal user journey for each user type? In other words, what does each user need to be able to do on my app? Write this out as a series of steps. We can use this to work out how we can deliver these steps technically.
How will it make money?
What is informing your decisions? (Have you done any research?)

  • Is it important that the developer builds from scratch and can provide all the source code so you own all the IP? If it is, you need to be explicit about this.
  • Ask if there will be any other third-party costs such as licensing that you need to be aware of.
  • Consider the following useful things to know before building your app, which will also inform the features of your app:
Who are your competitors? (locally and internationally)
What differentiates your app from theirs? Are you bringing an international app to your country? Are you targeting a different market? Are you simplifying a process? Are you creating access for a different market?
Who is going to do the designs?
How will it make money?
Will you need to own the entire solution, or are there existing platforms that can provide some of the functionality that the app can use?

It is okay if you do not have all the answers, as we are here to help you figure it out. We just want to make sure that you have at least thought about these things.

A prototype is a great way to get a clear idea of what you want and ensure that you are getting suitable and comparable quotes from each company. You can read about what makes the prototype process so useful and what goes into the process here.

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