Alex Periel , CBDO
Most startups nowadays turn to external consultants or high-level project managers to help with their growth and vital projects. But while it may be convenient for the startups to have this handy problem-solver on call, your perspective as a manager may vary.
That’s one of the reasons why turning to a tech vendor for help might be the best of both worlds, bringing your ideas and suggestions to life without all the effort falling on your shoulders. But while having others do your work is a sweet proposition, there are more reasons to work with tech vendors than just delegating.
For one, a tech vendor might just offer up a ready solution that will fit your needs, removing the need for a long development cycle. Even if your company of choice doesn’t already have the perfect solution, they’ll have experience in the field and the know-how to deliver optimized solutions.
While you’ll be offering business expertise, the tech vendor you pick will be putting your thoughts to work and showing you ways of making the technical side of the startup a growth booster. In addition, if the company you find has enough expert developers, like SysGears does, with its engineering-focused staff, they’ll be able to provide suggestions to optimize your initial pitches with their tech guru powers.
Having a tech vendor on your side means you’ll be free to do both business and deep tech consulting because there’s a fleet of devs on your side. You can set a direction, drawing the inspiration from your own business advising, and let the tech vendor choose the details or implement your ideas if they fit best. They’ll go in depth to deliver the kind of results that you want to see.
The importance of cooperation between you and the vendor cannot be understated as it informs the results you’ll get. In turn, your cooperation model depends on the type of vendor you choose. Let’s take a look at the top three options and the reasons to pick each of them.
There are literally millions of skilled developers and engineers out there and many of them are looking for freelance gigs. This is a great chance for an advisor to sweep up a few talented vendors and get them brainstorming and working on a project. After all, the first draw is apparent right away - huge talent pool.
What else makes freelancers a good choice for vendor cooperation? Well, most of them are enthusiastic to work and itching to find a challenging project. Most freelancers are experienced devs so they’ll be ready to tackle the tasks you throw at them. Of course, ‘most’ is an important distinction here. When working with freelancers, you run the risk of having to deal with a slow worker or one that might be inflating their skills just to get the job. That wouldn’t happen in a curated environment that you get when hiring a company.
There’s also the problem of freelancers not working as a singular unit. They’ll be spread all over the world and, chances are, they’ve never worked with each other before. In that case, it might actually be best to just hire a one-man ‘team’ for your needs, as long as you’re not looking at a huge project.
The last concern could actually be flipped to become an advantage. I’m talking about the lack of ‘cream of the crop’ freelancers on regular freelance platforms. The most valued of them are already snatched away by one company or another so you might have to settle for a dev that’s a level lower than most.
What’s the upside there? Well, having a less experienced dev means you can channel their skills into one particular field and purpose, moulding them to your needs. This way you get an expert-level employee that the startup might even want to take on full-time later. A good way to earn brownie points with companies is to suggest skilled workers and this is one option to do it.
Overall, if you don’t have huge projects or massive growth in mind and want just a few scattered specialists to deliver quality - freelancer vendors are a solid cooperation model. They might not provide much tech insight but they’ll get the job done and will likely be a very affordable option, perhaps the most budget-friendly among the core three.
Don’t want to chance it with freelancers and would rather get a squad of professionals to tackle things, albeit without hiring them on and taking up office space? It might be a good idea to go for the ‘distributed team’ model. It relies on a collective of experienced devs that might be spread all over the world but still familiar with each other.
Right away, you’re probably asking: they’re in different timezones? What if there’s an urgent issue that needs solving? Well, that’s why you’re working with a team. Someone should be available to do the work until others can chip in. It’s possible that just one dev won’t be able to pull the process along but, realistically speaking, you shouldn’t be too worried about timezones.
Truthfully, it’s hard to compare a distributed team’s quality of workflow to a team that’s placed in the same office. But, often enough, this will be a squad of people that have developed a rapport with each other, strong enough to at least officially collaborate on projects. It’s a bonus when it comes to brainstorming ideas and delivering on a tight deadline.
A distributed team might not be the best fit for a high-intensity project as the devs’ experience is likely not uniform and they might have trouble handling things on the fly. And expanding would be difficult as you can’t really introduce a fresh face into an established team that easily, especially in a remote-work environment.
One last big pro of the dedicated team approach is the fact that you’re the one in control. No need for an intermediary PM that you’d get when working with a tech vendor company. Of course, this can only count as a pro if you’re 100% certain you can handle both the business side of consulting and the technical advising part of it.
Whether you have an ambitious goal in mind or just want to bolster your business advice with some solid tech consulting, you’re going to need a tight-knit team of experts that have years of varied experience. Sounds like a big ask, to be honest, but it’s achievable through the last popular cooperation model - collaborating with a tech vendor company.
You can easily pick one to work with by looking at a company’s customer list, checking up on their projects, and looking at how long they’ve been providing services. It’s easy to confirm a company’s reputation so you’ll know exactly what you’re getting. Most good outsourcing companies will have plenty of projects that you can look at for examples and inspiration.
Of course, there’s more to a company than their years in the industry. By hiring on a company, you get a team of experts that have been working shoulder to shoulder and have been cherry-picked to fit the development process. That doesn’t come cheap, of course, the cost going toward having the whole squad running development for you and providing ideas and consulting to complement your own advising.
The big catch here is finding a company that has experience working with startups in your region. For example, SysGears has already cooperated with NYC-based companies and knows the typical flow inside out. A team that’s used to working with companies from a certain region might not be intuitive to the intricacies of the business in other regions.
To sum up, outsourcing companies are great for cases where you need a reliable tech vendor that will handle a major project and provide insight that only seasoned devs can bring. You can delegate control to the company’s PM or be more hands-on, expand your ambitions as the project moves along, or even launch a long-term partnership.
Now you can make an informed choice between cooperation models and head on to find the right vendor for you. Remember, that what you need is a vendor with years of experience, ongoing support, satisfied startups behind their belt, and enough resources to grow their capability to help you.
Finding a tech-oriented freelancer or a bunch of engineers from all over to handle implementation is not a bad choice. It’s really good to have an organized team that will not just blindly follow directions but offers better alternatives if needed and look at your issues from the perspective of a company that knows what startups needs.
SysGears is always ready to help you, offering our 10-year expertise and highly qualified engineers, which stood at the inception of the company and have been helming every single project here to guarantee quality and innovation.
If you’re looking for a reliable tech vendor that knows how to handle early-stage startups, SysGears is always ready to brainstorm the most suitable model and solutions for you. Sign up for a 30-minute session here.