What’s The Value Of A Software Development Marketplace?
I want to get a little personal with our blog readers this week because I’ve been experiencing the same pain point in my personal life that people often go through before they come to Ekipa – the dilemma of whether to work with a service like our software development marketplace, or to just do everything myself. Five years ago, I thought that that was the answer – and instead of working on my own projects, I spent my time berating myself for not building in enough time to get my high impact, urgent work done. Thankfully, I’ve since learned that I can release an enormous amount of my own potential by working with the right service providers.
If you’re not used to using Ekipa’s gateway to software development outsourcing and you’re learning about what we do, you might rightly ask yourself the following:
Can’t I just do this myself?
Let me share a personal story with you. I live in Turkey, my partner is Turkish and his niece was coming to stay at our house. Readers from other countries need to know that if cleanliness is important in Turkish culture, then my partner’s family places it on a pedestal. Now, I serve Ekipa as CMO, and I also do strategy and marketing for our Turkish textile business, which means that I’ve always got plenty to do. My partner does too, so cleaning often gets neglected at our house in favor of work. Seven days a week, we’re both pursuing our dreams, from 9:00am until midnight… and last week, the house was filthy and his niece would have been extremely uncomfortable staying with us.
Couldn’t we have put everything on hold to scrub down the house for eight hours?
It’s true that we both could have. But in those eight hours, I’d be missing countless opportunities to grow Ekipa. My partner would have been missing important sales, relationship building, and supply procurement at our retail business. So instead we treated ourselves to cleaning services, and for the equivalent of about US $45 we hired two local residents to come and make our house shine. We got to focus on activities that generated enormous value for us. The people we worked with got a great deal for their time as well. We were both relieved and happy with the results, and his niece is having a great time here so far.
Ekipa offers the same time saving benefit to busy CEOs and project managers. It’s true that anyone can invest their own time in doing what we do – but the weeks or months it might take to find the right match can also represent hundreds of lost opportunities to grow your own business.
Let’s examine the key areas where Ekipa helps you focus more on your core business.
We Find The Best Team For Your Project
Normally, the process of finding the right outsourced team for a software development project can take days, if not weeks. As a client, you have to invest time and energy in creating a project spec, contacting potential providers, going back and forth on proposals, verifying their competence, and even then there may be a question of whether they’re really the right team for you – all before beginning the project. I can speak from personal experience that the process can easily take ten to twenty hours minimum between reading proposals, scheduling interviews, and a dozen other sundry tasks.
What else could you do for your business, within your core skills, with those twenty hours?
Ekipa handles this process for you in a variety of ways. First, we pre-screen all our provider teams and make sure they’re top notch by examining all examples of their previous work. We do due diligence with their references and in some cases, travel to their offices to see how they work. Second, we handle the screening process for our clients and groom proposals until they’re perfect for each client’s custom needs. By the time we present a careful selection of teams for our clients to choose from, we know they’re going to meet the talent profile they need, do awesome work on time, and build great things within each client’s budget. The client, meanwhile, frees up hours of their time to focus on growing their business.
We’re a Safeguard for Project Completion
We keep client funds in escrow until projects are completed to the client’s specifications. Escrow is important for both the provider’s peace of mind and for the client’s satisfaction. On the provider’s side, they want assurances that they’ll be paid for their hard work – so many remote development teams have been shortchanged by clients who don’t pay once their work has been completed that it’s hard to feel truly motivated in a new working relationship without escrow protection. On the client’s side, there are also plenty of cases of people who were burned by paying someone without the work actually getting done. Ekipa’s escrow solution circumvents this issue for both clients and providers.
We Facilitate Communication
One of the biggest issues that companies take with remote development outsourcing is communication. Ekipa bridges the barriers between teams in different countries and cultures by translating client expectations into tasks and milestones that are easy for the provider to understand. We also make sure that what the provider needs and wants doesn’t get lost in the process of communicating between different cultures.
This might sound easy until you consider how intercultural expectations profoundly effect communications between teams. As an American-born professional who’s lived in South America, Europe, and now the Middle East, I can personally attest to this. My own communication style is something between American and Latin American – passionate, loquacious, but very direct. But in working with other cultures, sometimes I’ve found out that problems were festering for weeks because the other person didn’t consider it their place to criticize me. I didn’t know I should have proactively reached out for feedback. In other cases, I’ve been confronted with extremely subtle feedback that I didn’t even realize was constructive criticism. I could have saved myself hours of lost time and working relationships if I had had someone helping me who knew how to listen.
We Save You Time With Ready-to-Use Teams
Even after remote entrepreneurs filter through hundreds of resumes, conduct extensive interviews, and patch together a mishmash of freelancers from countries around the world, there’s an extremely important human element for effective work that’s missing: a cohesive team. That elusive quality of cohesion can only be established over time, through repeated experiences of working together. If your project needs to be completed fast, and within your budget, the twin factors of time and money create pressure that doesn’t help a newly assembled team come together.
Ekipa solves this by matching our clients with teams that already know how to work together smoothly. They’ve got their own leadership structure, and their own process of translating goals into tasks. Again, you could spend hours of your own time doing all of this for them. For busy entrepreneurs and project managers, the question is how much more value you could get out of all that time by doing something else in your business.
We Help Your Company Succeed
As CMO, one of the most rewarding activities for me is following up with clients after their projects are finished. We’ve had some really interesting clients who do awesome work, and I’m always happy to help them generate more buzz for their business in my free time – just because I like to!
Everyone on our team has the same attitude – this extends from myself, to Piotr our CTO, to our CEO Hugo as well. I strive daily to cultivate the same attitude on our marketing team – we create value for our clients, internally on our own team, and for our own careers, by helping each other. Our approach to fulfilling client needs is customized for each person’s needs, and is as hands-on as they require.
Given enough time and money, everyone can do everything themselves – but we don’t, because people accomplish much more by specializing in their strengths and then working together to achieve their individual goals. It’s why most people don’t weave their own clothes, mill their own paper, or code their own word processing software. Instead we buy clothes from retailers, order paper online, and pay for software – and then use all that time we’ve saved to bring our dreams to life. Reach out and we’d be happy to share how our strengths in software development outsourcing can help you create more value in your business.
Jennifer is Ekipa.co's CMO. When she's not helping people learn how Ekipa can match them with the right software development team anywhere in the world, you can find her running, dancing Argentine Tango, or relaxing with her partner, their two dogs, and one very fat cat.
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