Freelancers vs Development Company: How not to be a Buridan’s Ass

IT news

2 years ago

"Buridan's ass is an illustration of a paradox in philosophy in the conception of free will."
Wikipedia
When you have money and a business idea, many freelancers and development companies pretend to be “the people you need” who are worth your funds and attention. The decision whom to hire could be quite a trial. We’ll try to show all the advantages and disadvantages of each option and to help you make the right decision according to your business needs. 

We have identified several key points you should keep in mind:

Skills and Expertise

Hiring a company means that you have a lot of employees with different skills and knowledge levels. You get a manager, a designer, a developer, and a tester. Single freelancer implies “all-in-one”. He might have a deep expertise in a certain but narrow field. A talented back-end developer is unlikely to be an outstanding designer unless he is an IT-Shiva with multiple arms. And if your project contains diverse tasks, one, even GODLIKE freelancer won’t be enough.
A company, in contrast, has worked on many types of projects and therefore has much bigger expertise with skilled experts ready to sort out any of your issues. 

Vision

The vision is the next evolutionary step of an idea. It’s the combination of app’s concept and strategic approach. Each of these moments should be thoroughly reviewed and documented appropriately at the very beginning in order to start the project successfully. If you can’t do this yourself, you need an expert, someone with a good portfolio and a great intuition.

According to this criteria, a freelancer could only be better if he is well-versed in what you need. Companies could provide you with a wider range of relevant examples.

Manageability

In case of hiring a development company, everything is just a piece of cake. You hire a company or a team, and there’ll be a manager to communicate with you and lead the team. This person will be responsible for all the organisation issues, so you are free to move your business forward. A freelancer is just one person. This means you’ll end up having to hire more freelancers who need to work together if the task implementation exceeds more than one person’s possibilities. On the other hand, a dedicated project manager will guide the work of the team and keep you up-to-date. Companies are fully responsible to create a working and tested app, so the advantages are obvious, aren’t they?

Costs

In business it’s all about money, right? And the main point here is that a freelancer is cheaper, while company’s services cost more. However, companies rates strongly depend on the region. Indians are famous for their immensely low-cost development services. Сompanies from Western Europe and the US will cost you a fortune so there is a reason to work with Eastern Europe. You can know how much does it cost to build website here. This region’s IT-industry is quickly evolving nowadays, so you can hire experienced and skilled developers for costs slightly higher than those in Asia. In the perspective, it's far better to find a reliable developer with medium prices, than accepting the cheapest offer. Сheap offer = cheap product; are you rich enough to waste your money? The axiom is that you have to pay for the quality.

Communication

When hiring a development company, you communicate with a highly organized structure having strong inner connections. You’ll be provided with all updates in time, so it is easy to monitor the working progress and make corrections. In case of a freelancer you communicate with him directly. If your project is small and you need only one specialist, the difference between a freelancer and a company would be insignificant, otherwise there will be separate freelancers you have to clear your concepts to. It is more precise but time-consuming option. Or it is possible to hire a project manager to deal with them, but why not order all-in-one by paying a company? All these creepy stories about “broken telephone” are in the past: modern level of project management and documentation allows avoiding all discrepancies and misunderstanding.

Quality

The question of quality is really controversial and ambiguous. If other conditions are on an equal level, both a company and a freelancer are able to meet your requirements. However, a company has an undoubted advantage: you can hire QA testers which will guarantee the quality level. Better pay and sleep well, than face the need to rework and still spend money and time. 

Security

Taking into account the realities of our today’s life, where software is almost everywhere around us, and step-by-step inside us, you should think about security. First of all, the software security, that should be scrupulously thought-out, implemented and tested. The faster world of software evolves, the harder it becomes to meet security requirements, due to new vulnerabilities that appear. Only offline that you could feel safe, otherwise you need protection. A single freelancer even theoretically is unable to provide the necessary level of security, while companies understand that their reputation and the client’s safety are at stake. By the way, working with a freelancer, there is a certain risk that something weird might happen, like blocking the site he developed for you, just because he suddenly decided that you haven’t paid him enough. Sounds absurd, but there are some real cases, so why take the risk?

Deadlines

Companies have a logical fear of failure, since it could endanger their contracts, reputation and, subsequently, trustworthy relation with clients. Therefore, they are doing their best to meet the deadline. Any unforeseen obstacles can be avoided, a sick employee can be replaced by another, there are senior developers ready to provide assistance anytime, so you basically feel a solid backing. If a freelancer faces any troubles, your project could suffer from this. 

Support

Companies usually have a dedicated client and post-launch support. All your complaints and queries will be heard and taken care of. All the issues that may occur after the project deployment will be handled. The majority of development companies have a long warranty period, so there won’t be any reasons to worry about. However, freelancer, even the most talented, won’t be able to provide such full-scale services.

Summary

It is obvious that a software development company leaves almost no chance to a freelancer as a rival.  The only freelancer’s advantage is lower price. Considering the costs of hiring American or Western European company, the optimal solution will be to hire an offshore development team, which will provide you with top quality solutions for a reasonable price.

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