Here’s why startups are boosting with tech partners
When you’re developing a digital product, working with a startup tech partner can help you grow faster and get your idea to market sooner. Here’s why a startup tech partner is invaluable and how to find the right technical partnership.
When you’re the founder of a startup, there’s a lot you need to consider.
You need to manage the company finances, hire the right staff, and find funding opportunities.
Even if you have technical skills, working with a startup tech partner can boost the chances of your business idea being a success.
And with 1 in 5 startups failing in their first year, it’s important to do what you can to ensure the legacy of your startup.
In this article, we’re going to investigate startup tech partners. What they are, what they do, and most importantly, how you can find the right technical startup partner for your company. And of course, how You Are Launched can be the startup tech partner of your dreams!
- What is a startup tech partner?
- Businesses that have joined forces with a technical startup partner
- What services can you take to a startup tech partner?
- Why work with a technical startup partner?
- In summary: a reliable startup tech partner can take you places
What is a startup tech partner?
A tech partner is an external company that you hire to help you develop and design your app or web platform.
So rather than recruiting in-house technical developers, you’re outsourcing the work to a third party.
(Bear in mind that a startup tech partner is different from a tech partnership — this is when multiple companies integrate their products with each other)
Businesses that have joined forces with a technical startup partner
Working with a technical startup partner is a lot more common than you think. In fact, many well-known businesses have outsourced their tech work in order to get ahead!
- Slack — outsourced the design of its web interface to Metalab
What services can you take to a startup tech partner?
A startup tech partner will be able to provide you with a wide range of services that will help you get your app or website platform launched.
Some of the services they offer include:
1. App design
It might be that you have a fantastic idea for an app or web platform, but you aren’t sure of the best way to create it.
A tech partner will take your idea and will carry out customer research to see if it’s viable. They can then create visualizations and a rough design so you can get a feel for how it will look and work.
A prototype is a sample version of your app or platform that you can test internally before you launch.
Your prototype can be anything from a wireframe drawing, a landing page, or even a very basic version of your app. It depends on your final product as well as the time and budget you have.
A tech startup partner will create the right prototype for your needs and test it thoroughly to make sure it works flawlessly before you move to the next stage.
3. MVP development
A minimal viable product (or MVP) is a ‘no-frills’ version of your app or platform that you launch to the general public. As it’s a simple version, your tech partner can quickly build and launch it, so you can get the edge over your competitors.
A tech startup partner will determine what features to include, get your MVP launched and make changes based on the feedback you receive from your customers.
4. Technical consulting
A startup tech partner will be able to help you with technical consulting services. This can be anything from carrying out initial market research to offering technical support after your app or platform has launched. Some might also provide digital marketing to help you promote your product if you don’t have an in-house marketing team.
If there are any services they don’t provide, they will be able to put you in touch with another company that can help.
Why work with a technical startup partner?
There are many different reasons why you should work with a technical startup partner, including:
1. You don’t need to worry about recruiting inhouse
Hiring developers in-house can be a challenge. You have to pay money advertising for top talent, you have to spend time reading resumes, and once they’re recruited, you need to get them onboarded.
It takes an average of 42 days and a cost of $4,129 to hire a developer — and that figure increases substantially if you use a recruiting agency!
Not only this, but you need to ensure the developer you recruit can work in line with your company values and vision. A startup’s work culture is incredibly important, especially in the early days, and you don’t want to waste time hiring someone who isn’t the right fit.
It’s ultimately easier to let a tech partner go than it is an employee.
2. You can hit the ground running
When you hire in-house, there’s no guarantee that your developer (or developers) has a comprehensive knowledge of every process or tool you need to build your app or platform. This means you have to wait for them to get up to speed or pay for them to go on a course.
And when you need to launch, every second counts!
3. You can spend time growing your business
As we mentioned at the start of the article, a founder has a lot of jobs they need to do. When you work with a tech partner, you don’t need to worry about designing or developing your app or web platform as they have it all in hand.
4. You can scale up (or down) as you need to
The great thing about working with a technical startup partner is you can increase the number of developers you work with very easily as your startup grows.
Alternatively, if you want to move to an in-house team as your startup develops, you can gradually do this without disruption to service.
How to find a technical startup partner for your startup
There are a lot of technical startup partners out there, so it’s important to choose the right one for your needs. Here are our top tips for choosing the right startup tech partner.
1. Understand what you need
Different technical startup partners provide various services. Consider where you are in your startup life cycle and determine what skills you need from a prospective partner.
For example, do you need them to wireframe your app or to build an MVP for you? Alternatively, if you have a small in-house development team, do you need some support and advice to ensure you’re on the right track?
2. Work out your budget
It’s important to know what your budget is before you start working with a technical startup partner. You don’t want to get halfway through the app development process only to discover you’re running out of runway!
Work out how much you can afford, putting a little extra money aside for contingency. If you’re not sure, ask an accountant to help you determine how your finances are looking.
Remember to compare the price to what it would cost to hire an in-house developer. The initial outlay may seem like a lot, but it’s a more cost-effective process in the long run.
3. Read reviews
Look at impartial online reviews to see which technical startup partner is the best one out there — Clutch is a great place to start.
Alternatively, ask your network. Peers, investors, and other startups will be happy to recommend who they have worked with in the past.
4. Look at the experience
Some startup tech partners specialize in different industries and niches. It’s up to you to determine if you want to work with a specialist partner or someone more generalist.
Visit each prospective tech partner’s website and see:
- Who they have worked with in the past
- What tech stack do they use
- What awards, qualifications, and accreditations do they have
5. Create a shortlist
After you’ve carried out your research, you might have found one tech partner that you have your heart set on working with. However, it’s best to have a shortlist of five to ten.
It might be that the one you really want to partner with is out of your budget or is fully booked for the foreseeable future. Having a list of prospective partners means you can move quickly and make a decision faster.
6. Have a list of questions ready
The technical partner you choose can make or break your project, so it’s important to know you’ve made the right choice.
Create a list of questions to ask your prospective partner. These questions will give you a good starting point:
- Have you worked on projects similar to this one before? What was the outcome?
- What risks do you see happening, and what will you do to minimize them?
- How will you communicate progress with me?
- Who will be working on this project, and what experience do they have?
- What is your process if the direction of the project has to change suddenly?
- How will you be able to help once the project has been launched?
- What is your process in regards to testing and quality assurance?
- What is your approach towards security? Do you have any relevant qualifications or accreditations?
A good startup tech partner will have no issues answering any questions you have, either by email or video call.
If you’re not a developer, ask someone with experience if they can help you go over the answers you receive. They’ll be able to let you know if something isn’t viable or if the tech partner is trying to confuse you with jargon!
In summary: a reliable startup tech partner can take you places
Some startups like to keep everything in-house as they feel they can keep more control that way. However, working with a technical partner can save you time, and money and means you can launch ahead of your competitors. And that increases the chances of your startup being a success.
If Slack and Skype can work with a tech partner, you can too!
There are lots of technical startup partners out there, so you’re sure to find the right one for your needs. And of course, if you want to work with a partner that will drive results, keep reading…