Someday, you may have an idea to launch a next-generation mobile experience that will make you famous. You’ll need to find an app developer to build an app. But how should you do that?

You may start by searching on Google, “who can develop my app idea?” or “outsourcing mobile app development.” You will certainly want to build your app fast and keep the quality high and the costs low. But what if are you still unsure how to outsource mobile app development?

Below, you’ll find tips on how to hire a mobile app development outsourcing company and make an MVP with an outsourced software development team. In this article, we also discuss common mistakes when outsourcing the development team and how to avoid them.

Let’s dive right in!

Define Your Business Needs

Before you look for app development options and send “I want to develop an app” offers, prepare a complete definition of your project. This will help you specify requirements to outsource developers. Here are some questions to consider:

  • What specific business challenge would you like to solve?
  • Is your app idea clearly outlined?
  • Are all mobile app features and functions defined? Which standout features are required? Which additional features do you need? Is it going to be an MVP or a full-feature app?
  • What platforms will it be based on? Do you want a native or a hybrid app?
  • Will your app be free or paid? What is your app monetization strategy?
  • Should you outsource development or hire an in-house team?
  • Should you hire a freelancer or go with a company?
  • What is your budget?

Start Searching for a Potential App Development Team

Next, you should figure out what type of outsourcing mobile application development team you need. Should you go for an onshore, nearshore, or offshore team? The main difference lies in the geographical distance between you and your outsourcing service vendor. Your choice will depend mainly on your requirements and definitely your budget.

App Development Team

Make a List of Candidates and Analyze Them

Mobile app development is a long process, so look for a reliable developer. Check the developers’ track records, contact details, and technical skills.

Define the following:

  • Do they have specific expertise, for instance with outsourcing Android development?
  • How will you communicate? Would you rather correspond over Slack, Zoom, or email?
  • How will you share documents—via Dropbox or Google Drive? Will you use Jira or something else to interact and submit requirements?
  • What is the difference in time zones? Could you have a meeting at any time?

Check Portfolios and Communicate with Previous Clients

Before filling in contact forms on app development companies’ websites, go through their portfolios, and look for experience related to your app development project. Verify their clients’ reviews and the duration of their experiences. You can also request a list of main clients to study their websites or apps.

Check the Team Size and Structure

Ask about the company’s development pool size and specify team members’ seniority level. Determine the amount of time the company would need to scale up the team assigned to your project.

Pay Attention to the Technology Stack

Identify what technologies the company is specialized in. If you are not sure what technology would fit your app, review their website or read their blog to see what they recommend. Also, do not hesitate to ask. A good app development vendor will recommend the best option for your project.

Select a Service Model

To ensure that you’re hiring the best outsourcing app developer for your project, consider another vital aspect—choosing a service model. There are three main options: project-based, dedicated teams, and outstaff working models.

Choose a Payment Model

Choosing from among fixed price or time and material payment models can be tricky. It is crucial to consider all the benefits and drawbacks of each model.

Collaborate with Your Developer

Communication is an essential issue, especially when it comes to outsourcing app development. Strong communication enables you to efficiently maintain a smooth development process. You will also need to choose the channels through which you’re going to communicate.

Ask Questions

Asking questions is key in offshore app development. You may ask the developer anything and everything related to your project. If a developer dodges a question, it can be a red flag.

Request a Project Plan

A project timeline allows you to boost the development process by dividing it into pieces. This helps reduce mistakes and prevent missed steps. If you’re not ready to provide developers with a project plan, you may ask them for one.

Where to Outsource App Development?

There are many ways to find and hire mobile app developers. Here are the most reasonable sources for finding app developers:

  • References from your neighborhood. Start your research with referrals from your neighbors, friends, and colleagues.
  • Job portals. You can also check well-known portals like Monster.com, Dice.com, and Glassdoor.com.
  • Freelance websites.  If you need to outsource a developer with particular skills, you can search for an app developer through freelance sites like LinkedIn, Indeed, UpworkPeople Per Hour, AngelList, Guru, and Behance. Note, however, that freelancers may have the necessary skills, but they don’t have an established business. Freelancers are self-employed but some of them have a full-time job, and their job workload can influence your project quality.

upwork page

clutch page

  • Design networks. Design communities such as Behance, Awwwards, or Dribble are also a good option for finding an outsourcing team.
  • Tech blogs. Glance through mobile app development companies’ blog posts to determine whether the companies’ expertise fits your project idea.

tech blog

  • Social media to hire an app developer. LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter enable direct communication with experienced candidates.

Where to Find iOS and Android App Programmers

iOS Developer for Hire

Hire an iOS developer utilizing specialized sources like:

Android Developer for Hire

You can hire Android app developers on Upwork. Additionally, you can find developers through the following forums:

Proof of the Outsourcing App Development Company’s Expertise

A crucial issue in app development is to identify a reliable development team in the early stages of your project. We highly recommend you run a rapid eye over the company’s portfolio and pay attention to the following points:

  1. Recent mobile app development projects. Make sure that the company has completed recent app development projects related to yours.
  2. Pay attention to the technology stack. Make sure it will meet your company’s needs. Java, JavaScript, C#, Unity, React, Python, or PHP—which of these do they suggest for your app?
  3. Mobile app types they focus on. Find out whether the outsourcing team has ever worked on a project for an industry related to yours.
  4. Previous clients. Get references from clients who have had work completed that is similar to the mobile app project you have in mind.
  5. Time for the team’s scaling up. Ask about the whole team size and the number of projects they’re working on. If you decide to scale-up the project team, it would be good to have available developers able to join your app development project.

After the search is done, you will come up with a short list of app development companies and proceed to negotiation.

Choose the Best Organizational Model: Project-Based or Team-Based

Since you’ve decided to hire an outsourcing app developer, you will need to consider many details, including the working model. So, would you rather your team focus on one thing at a time until it’s done, or each person has a different role and complete their specific task? Let’s look at the different aspects of the following working models.

Project-Based

A project-based business model suits start-ups that do not have their own development team or lack project management experience.

Dedicated Team

If your midsize team needs assistance implementing part of a project or complex functionality, outsourcing a dedicated team may be your choice.

Outstaff or Extended team

The outstaff model is the best option for mid-sized companies or enterprises that need to hire a developer while staying under budget. It is ideal if your own employee can lead and monitor outstaffed programmers from a technical management position. It may seem like you will have a lot of extra responsibilities, but outstaffing is the most affordable model.

Model Your responsibility Vendor responsibility
Project-Based
  • Defined requirements your app must match
  • Responsible for technologies and tools used for the project
Dedicated team
  • Product or project management decisions
  • Project roadmap control
  • Higher-level project management
  • Task assignment
  • Team leaders
  • Project management
  • Task schedule
  • Project status
Outstaff /Extended team
  • Working process control
  • Project management
  • Vacation control
  • Working time regulation
  • In-team promotion
  • Salaries and payments
  • Team motivation
  • Provide outsourced developers

Which Payment Model Should You Choose for Your Project?

If you decide to outsource app developers under the outstaff model, choosing the most suitable outsourcing pricing model can be difficult. It is crucial to take a closer look at all the advantages and disadvantages of each model and how they might match your project. In this section, we will analyze the use cases and the pros and cons of the time and materials versus the fixed-price model for software projects.

Fixed-Price Model

The fixed-price payment model can be adopted when requirements, terms, and prices are highly predictable. In this case, you should be able to share your vision with developers to ensure appropriate outcomes.

fixed-price model

Time and Materials Pricing Model

The time and materials model involves a pay-as-you-go pricing model. You should start with a set of goals, clear specifications, and an approximate estimation. All these components can be modified during the project if required. You will pay for the time in hours spent on your project, plus the cost of materials.

Time and materials model

How Much Does It Cost To Outsource App Development

Now, let’s consider how much it will cost to hire outsourcing app developers. Geographic location, app complexity, and local market conditions can affect the cost of making a mobile application. Depending on the location of your app development team and the complexity of your app, the cost to build a mobile app may range from $25k to $250k.

Another factor is the complexity of the mobile app. Below you will find out how much app costs to make approximately:

Here are some average development cost estimates for the most popular types of apps:

  • Real estate app — $12,000 — $15,000
  • Banking/payment app — $40.000 — $70.000
  • Messaging app like Slack — $50.000 — $285,000
  • Dating app like Tinder — $50,000–$80,000
  • Social media app — $25.000 — $450.000
  • Food delivery app like GrubHub — $150.000 — $450.000
  • Chat app like Discord — $100,000 — $280,000
  • Travel guide app — $25.000 — $50.000
  • Taxi app like Uber — $60,000 — $100,000
  • Marketplace app MVP — $60,000 — $250,000
  • iPad drawing app like Procreate — $50,000–$150,000
  • Personal trainer and tracker app — $50.000 — $250,000
  • AR furniture app like IKEA Place — $70,000 — $150,000
  • Grocery delivery app like Instacart — $65,000 — $150,000
  • Food delivery app like Postmates — $80,000— $250,000

Please note, these are approximate figures for making a mobile app and the price cannot be accurately determined without specifications.

So, how much does app outsourcing cost? You will also need to consider the average hourly rates of iPhone and Android developers.

iOS/Android App Development Costs and Hourly Rates

Now you need to narrow down the region of reliable software companies to help you grow your idea into an effective product. Google searches such as “mobile development company USA” or “outsourcing app company Europe” may come in handy at this point, but it would probably be a tiring exercise. Instead, let’s consider the following table:

Region iOS platform  ($/hour) Android platform  ($/hour)
North America 150 170
Australia 110 110
UK 70 70
South America 50 40
Eastern Europe 35 35
India 20 25
Indonesia 11 12

Cost of a Developer Team to Create an App

Of course, you may hire one developer to build and publish your app. However, to provide a better user experience and the highest app quality, your application should be developed by a team. A development team can make the process much faster and produce higher quality work.

You should also note, the more complex your application will be, the more people will be involved in the development process.

Developer Team

In the table below, you will discover the duties and rates of development team members.

Team member Duties United States Latin America Eastern Europe Asia
Business Analyst Assists by identifying tech and business requirements before proceeding with development costs. $110 – $205 $45 – $55 $25 – $30 $15 – $25
Project manager Responsible for the successful initiation, planning, design, fulfillment, monitoring, controlling, and closure of a project. Clears up misunderstandings within the team to avoid pitfalls and ensure that deadlines are met. $135 – $240 $55 – $70 $30 – $40 $15 – $35
UI/UX designer Responsible for the design and implementation of all user digital experiences. $80 – $165 $40 – $50 $25- $30 $10 – $25
Mobile app engineer Develops and publishes mobile applications, adhering to all the peculiarities described in the specification. $100 – $165 $35 – $65 $21 – $49 $15 – $35
Back-end developer Responsible for server-side app logic as well as the integration of the front-end elements. $120 – $155 $60 – $80 $21 – $49 $15 – $35
QA engineer Monitors the application’s stability. Performs regression, load, smoke, and other types of tests. Ensures that UI and app components comply with the specification. $80 – $170 $30 – $50 $21 – $35 $10 – $20