4 ways to prepare before reaching out to developer !!

 

The time before starting your own company or launching your product is the most exciting time. Here you spend hours doing research, you keep reading about the competitors, have a lot of new ideas, there is motivational content all around you, and you feel all ready to start building your website or mobile application. You want to get your idea developed, become the next Steve Jobs and build a brand like Apple. And you very well shall become that if you plan it properly and avoid the cliche mistakes.

 

One such mistake is made by the founders while they are getting their application made. It is being unprepared and keeping the scope of assumption on what you want to get build. What may be an assumption for you may not be such an obvious assumption for your technical partner. Hence things can get nasty. At Graffersid, we spend initial 14 days only researching and documenting the client’s market’s tech domain and finalizing the features.

 

Don’t wear sneakers for a morning walk; Difference between Development Preparation and Business Preparations

 

Your market research, competitor analysis, business model planning and your launch planning are the preparation on how you would run your startup. But your product preparations are different, the same amount of effort goes into finalizing how your needs to be built. Although, it is your tech partners role to guide you, however, companies in today’s highly competitive market may not dedicate so much time. Therefore, it is better to spend some extra days making a written document of everything that you desire.

 

And NO, I don’t mean you become a geek or a coder, all you need to do is make a detailed document on how things will work on your website or mobile application, a couple of documents mentioning the list of features with the URLs, and a list of competitors. Now let’s discuss this in detail to understand how it can be useful and what things should you take care of while creating it. Below I will also explain how is your competitor analysis different than your Technical Competitor analysis.

 

 

When you prepare for a WAR, it is better to know your enemy

 

This list will be the foundation of your preparation and will act as the backbone for your other documents. Let’s say you are making a grocery application for Indian Market, try to find out other competitors in this domain. In this case, the Competitors could include Groffers, BigBasket, Nature’s Basket, all these are your Indian competitors in the e-commerce segment. While creating a market competitor analysis you might also include, Kirana Stores, Walmart, etc. which are your offline competitors, however, they may not be required for the Technical Competitor analysis.

 

Break your competitors in 3 to 4 segments:

 

  • Local competitors:
  • Local competitors are the other startups in your city or state but haven’t expanded much in other parts of the country. For example: OnDoors (Bhopal based e-store), O2Onow (Hyderabad based e-store), ShopKirana (Indore based e-store).

     

  • Across country competitors,
  • There are the famous startups that you know of like Groffers, BigBasket, Beelivery, etc.

  • International competitors,
  • International competitors could be startups who are operating in multiple countries or could simply be successful starts in any specific country. Example: InstaCart, Shipt

  • Unspecific Competitors
  • There competitors are the once who are more diversified. They operate in multiple domains including your domain. Example: Amazon, UberEats, Flipkart.

     

 

This particular document will come in handy for gathering new ideas in which mobile app could be used to generate additional business and attract more customers. If technology is used properly it could save you 30% of the marketing cost. Let’s see what all information can get out of a list of competitors that we have just created.

 

 

Finalizing feature is like a girl in a mall to buy 1 dress (Sounds easy ?) :

Features are the most important part of the application, it could be the deciding factor on how users would use your product. Even if you make the most beautiful product in the world but the user does not have the required functionality to reach to his end result, it is very likely that he won’t use your product twice. Moreover, it is better to discover all the required features before-hand because adding a new feature in development phase or after the product is built could take significant efforts and delay the release of your product.

 

Make a list of all the features:

 

The most common features are the most likely ones to be missed out. It could prove to be disastrous in the later stages of the development. Hence, list down everything you see in any of the competitor’s application. Things even as small as login button, cart option on the left top corner, etc. There are 2 reasons for doing such a tedious work.

 

  1. Discovery and Finalisation of Features:
  2. When you have a detailed list of all the features that currently exist in the particular domain, it becomes easier to discover new features which could help your end users. You can find interesting combinations of features which could dramatically improve the UX. 

     

  3. Ease of explaining:
  4. When you share this document with your IT partner, it would be easier for them to understand your idea in depth. Moreover, it would also reduce the chances of confusion and assumptions.  This would help you in reducing the time for getting the work started. And, ensuring that the development goes smoothly without any surprises.

 

Your product is like your health and your documents are like the gym:

If you don’t go to the gym you won’t die, at least not immediately, but if you do go to the gym you surely live more healthy and longer. Once your list of features is ready, you can now start to analyze which are the absolutely necessary and which features are just and overheads. As a new product in the market, you don’t want to be too bulky or tough to understand. So try to keep the UI very simple and self-explanatory. Have only those features which are necessary and highlight your USP maximum.

 Create a flow diagram for all types of users, as the last step, create a separate excel sheet document with all the types of user roles written on top and all the final features on the left. While noting the feature make sure you write them down in the flow they occur. Like,

 

  1. Signup 
  2. Login
  3. OTP
  4. Profile
  5. Product Discovery
  6. Categories
  7. Search, etc.

 

The reason to write it in a flow is so that you don’t miss any point and the reader of the document can understand your mindset towards the application.

 

Beneath each user role writes in detail about the information required and the next possible actions he could take from his current stance. Mention it in as detail as possible, to a level that you never have to use “ETC.” in the complete document. Moreover, try to also depict how an action of one user role affects the other user roles. For ex: if the delivery boy is out for delivery then all the other users will receive a notification about the same.

Conclusion

 

Do this and you would reduce the chances of entering into dispute by 80%. For all future reference, you can refer to this document as the agreed deliverables. It does take some time and lot of efforts but then again the startup is your dream it is completely worth every second invested. Wish you all the best, hope you have a great experience and build some beautiful products. Achieve all the success you deserve.

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5 Non-Technical Ways To Test Tech Company to build your product!!

The fun of Entrepreneurship is in the journey we endure.

I have been in the IT industry for quite some time now and have worked with more than a dozen of IT companies. Hence, I had the privilege to watch how things work from the other side of the phone. Consider this article as the magician trying to reveal his tricks. Website and Mobile Application is the necessity in today’s world, however, finding the right tech team could prove to be rather challenging for founders.

I have sent the project complete before time and I have seen the 2-month projects take a year to complete. Trust me, a single-company-fits-all model doesn’t work in IT. For every need, the right fit for the IT company “may” vary. Majorly, because of company’s past experience, current state or because of the founder’s position. Nonetheless, there are ways to help you figure out if the company you are planning to hire is the right for your idea or not.

Below mentioned 5 points are completely non-technical way of finding out if the particular IT company is the right fit for you and your idea or not.

Hire a company based on the person you are interacting with not on the company image that you carry:

It is probably the most important part for you to understand.

Your manager/POC is the person you will be interacting with for the rest of the project so make sure to go ahead only if you like his way of working OR request the higher management for change of manager.

It does not matter how great the company is or what all have they achieved. Your project will be handled by a handful of them, not all. If those handfuls don’t give you the right feel then chances are high that you will end up being unsatisfied.

Filtering the companies on the basis of their reputation may be a good initial filter. Nonetheless, in order to finalize the company from a list of final 5 filtered IT companies you have to focus more on the minute details then the IT company’s reputation.

Does your Manager understands your idea? :

Let’s say you liked your Manager/POC, he is hilarious and connects really well with you  BUT  does he connects equally well with your project idea?

Do these things intentionally:
    • Don’t give the complete detail on the first go:

Give the top level information about your idea to the manager. Over the period of time, you would have definitely spotted some loop-holes. You might even be confused about some technical work-flow of a functionality. And, if the company is the right fit for you, your manager should be able to solve it for you. BUT, you need not tell him about your research. Let your manager figure out what is missing and come back to you. It will show how experienced he is and how well does he understand your idea.

    • Hide the critical/tricky points:

The minute technicalities are the crux of any IT project. And every good company would ask you a thousand questions before sending you the quote. There must be some feature with alternate effects or some tricky condition which you might have spotted. Now is the chance for your manager to prove his mettle.

You probably would have to indulge in lot more calls and would have to do multiple explanations of the same point. Just be patient to see if he is able to figure it out, however, if he can’t you better be rethinking your options.

It is better to spend some time making the right decision than to rush into starting the project with the wrong IT partner and then regret the decision after having spent few months and your hard earned money

    • His suggestions will be your guiding angel:

One thing that comes naturally with experience to project manager is the market visibility for the latest trend. The sign to see if the company takes your startup as their own baby or not is the number of questions they ask and the suggestions they come up with. A good company would ask for a reason behind every functionality. Moreover, they would even come up with some new features that you wouldn’t have thought of.
Your Manager should pro-actively come up with the innovative trends and features that will enhance your idea’s effectiveness.

What the company has done in past is good but what can they do for you is what really matters.

The first thing any company shares with you is their portfolio (a lot of time, fake and irrelevant). Kudos to the company for doing a good job in the past, then again lot of things matter:

  • Maybe that rockstar developer/manager has left,
  • Maybe it was long back,
  • Maybe the technology was not as good,

Just a “Maybe” who knows what all has changed since the time they did the project in their portfolio. Nonetheless, what matters is what can they do now.

Don’t make your decision be completely based on the past of the company. Try to find their current stage and usefulness. Ask the company to find some reference websites and features that they would like to incorporate into your website. Take at least 2 weeks time before finalizing a deal or making any commitments.

Are they meeting the deadlines for meeting, documentation, reverts?

Timely delivery is a more like a habit rather than a process if they are obedient from day one they will keep their promise and stay true to their words. Intentionally, set more meetings by specifying a particular time. Give then some task and confirm a date by which they would return back to you.

A more concrete way would be to give them a small paid part of your project like documentation, wireframing, designing or any anything else. This would put their claims to a good test. Moreover, you would also be sure of the quality of their work. This will help you in setting up the right expectations.

What tools do they use for Project Management.

Transparency and daily status updates are a very important part of the client to track and manage the projects. And a good company will facilitate its client with ways to easily manage and track the project remotely. Imagine the pain or insecurity of not knowing the current stage of the work or having to do multiple emails to ask your manager about the current stage. </br />

Some good tools for non-techs are BaseCamp, and Zoho

Hope this article helps you in finding the right fit IT partner for your idea. The idea for the founders is like their baby and it deserves to be treated with equal care.

All the best, let’s improve the startup success rate by making more informed decisions

Graffersid IT Consultancy

IT Consultancy

If you had a bakery shop, would you serve the same piece of cake again and again to every client? Apparently, a big NO. You would first find their flavor and then serve accordingly.

Our approach exhibits the same formulae. We aid our clients by appreciating their vision and delivering the best possible outcome by reckoning the target audience and their usage behavior.

Why are we needed?

    • Technology selection:

      Technology is like maths, for every problem there are a hell lot of solutions to reach the desired result and the best solution varies person to person based on his or her approach. It is like a maze to choose the right technology from the available 1000+ languages in the market.

      We have delivered 100+ projects and are well aware of what technology is required at what phase for a company.

      You might say: So what ! even the companies we deal with gives us these suggestions.

    • Companies generally sell what they have, not what is right for you:

      Most of the initial Entrepreneurs don’t even need a full-fledged website to be built from scratch. And for some the basic technology like WordPress, PHP, etc. are a disaster if chosen.

      In every couple of months, there is a new technology in the market and yet the IT vendors choose ages-old technology and frameworks. You deserve, if not the latest then, at least a stable, more advanced sophisticated language to work with.
      And NO, it doesn’t cost anything extra. It is just an excuse that many vendors use to discourage the clients since vendors have not upgraded themselves.

      An aware choose could help deliver a great product with seamless user experience.

    • Timely delivery:

      For an Entrepreneur, the most crucial thing is time as they have commitments to the market, investors, plans, and targets but technical people are a bit tough to handle and maintain as they can easily sway you with the technicalities.

      Lot of times they are genuinely stuck with some unexpected occurrence of the event or an unidentified error.

      In either of the above case, with our experience and vast network in the IT field, we ensure timely delivery and take care of all the discussions and issues.
      The process we maintain is mentioned at the last for better understanding the actionable.

    • Variable Cost:

      There are no labels in this industry. Did you know, you can save 50% of your cost and can look/feel the product even before it is built if you are able to find a company who has “genuinely” done similar work in past.

      We have fixed minimal charges based on the requirement, hence our sole aim is to deliver you the best quality at the right price and time.

    • Truth:

      People often use fake portfolios and persuade clients for a domain of their comfort. To tell you a short story, I had a requirement for an angular based project and was searching for a team with similar experience, one of the vendors sent me a core javascript website claiming to be built on angular (never is the lifetime is it possible).

      By getting involved only as a Technical Project Manager (no in-house development service) we can give you unbiased services and take care of the technicalities.

    • Saving Time/ Single post of contact :

      Taking follow-ups, mostly a single company does not have expertise in all the domains (although everyone claims) like Graphic Designing, Project Analysis, Development, testing etc.

      Finding, hiring and managing different companies is a huge task, for us, it is not, we have been doing this for years and know where to look for.

      You only have to interact with us while we handle all the headache and deliver you the quality from the right sources on time.

What is unique about us?

    • A deep market research to understand the target audience and their behavior patterns which enables us to build a product more relevant, familiar and user friendly products. (criteria for research is mentioned below)
    • We have an end to end service for startups from building idea to go-to-market strategy (sales).
      80% of our clients stay back after completing their development requirement to acquire initial clients and build the traction in different markets around the globe.
    • We have produced some phenomenal results in sales that we are proud of (you can read them in portfolio section soon ).

How do we do, what we do?


User experience and the right feature are the heart of any product, the preference for feature and ease-of-use (user experience) changes from geography to age group to domains of your target audience.

It is a serious matter of concern for us that you get the technicalities. However, we value your agony. Not every person understands the technical elements as easily as the others. So we just pull out the tooth that aches and fit something comfortable.

Our approach is very sophisticated. Your suggestions and viewpoints are what we use as the guiding light while finding the best route.

Approach:

  1. Documentation
    • Minimal time investment on handover to people in different role.
    • Reducing the scope of misinterpretation.

    Planting a document is just not enough when it comes to the web and app development, at the time when lots of minor details are concerned.

  2. Charts:
    • Flow charts:
      This shows how the action map will look in the entire project. All the possible results are to be cover in this chart.
    • User Case Diagram:
      Listing multiple users of an application and the level of power (accessibility) they have to interact with the portal.
    • Activity Diagram:
      A bit more technical, this diagram shows every possible activity a user can perform and its effect on different layers of the application.
    • State Diagram:
      This may come later as it is super technical.
  3. Market Research (Don’t serve same Ice-Cream to every customer, pick the taste):
    • Demography of users.
    • Age category of users.
    • Country and preferred language.
    • Finding independent popular apps which cover a specific functionality like: Chatting, listing, profiles, bookings, payments and so on.
  4. Decision phase:
    • Finalizing the right technology stack
    • Deciding the budget for complete project
  5. Project Management (Single Point of Contact):
  6. We use Project Management tools like Basecamp to manage the complete project with our remote team.

    From here on we handle the transparency, Designing, Development, follow-ups, timely delivery, and all the project related management. While for clients it is only us who are answerable, hence maintaining a single point of contact.

    We have a network of tried and tested 100+ companies across the globe for different budgets and requirements.

    Many a time a single company may not be the best option for the complete development. Finding a single good company is a huge problem, finding 2 is like a suicide. But then that is what we are here for.

    • Graphic designing:
      • Wireframing:

        It is a rough diagram black and white diagram to understand the placement of different things on each screen, which a user can see and interact.
      • Designing the screens of the application:
        Color filling stage of the development. Text, images, icons, and screens are filled with beautiful colors and style to make it engaging and attractive.
      • Prototype:
        Before starting a development we wanted to have the exact experience on how would our application feel like once it is created.
        You can actually click and see the transition from one screen to another.
    • Selecting a Development Team
    • Through tesing of the deliverables before it reaches you.

Process:

  • Daily status reports,
  • 1 weekly demo call to check the progress,
  • Locking of wireframes before starting designing,
  • Development starts only after complete sign-off of screen designs,
  • Single repository is maintained for all documents and file sharing,
  • Complete code sync at GitHub (cloud).

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