In our last post you could read about remote work from a point of view of an employee. How about business to business relations in an aspect of remote work? What’s the thing with hiring a dev company from a foreign country? How a dev company can prove it’s credibility to attract clients from abroad?
Before signing a contract
Since you and your potential dev team live too far away to meet and get to know each other, it’s vital that before signing a contract you have proves that the team is worth your time and money. How?
The first step is to check if the company is trustworthy. Verify if they’re transparent with where the company is based and how many people they hire. Also, look at their portfolio and references. Even if few screenshots and few sentences flattering the company doesn’t seem legit to you, you can always email the client or the company and clear up your doubts by simply asking them about their collaboration. It’s really that easy.
What also may help is if they’re active members of tech community - maybe they visit city you live in for conferences, meetups or whatsoever and they know people you may know as well. It would be great verification of who they are. Don’t forget about social media (like LinkedIn, Twitter) - very often you can find out there more about a person/company than from emails or a website.
Think of how much important to you is being in the same time zone as your dev team does. Remember that time difference may range from 1 hour to over 24 hours. It may be confusing to work with someone who’s a day ahead or who’s getting ready for his good night's sleep while you’re just waking up by a sunshine.
Organizing team work
If you like to have control over your projects you’re going to need few useful tools. First one is project management tool. It allows you observing real time progress of a project plus you can interact with your team assigning them tasks, replying to their questions, asking them questions and more. The tool we recommend is https://trello.com/ which we’re using ourselves. We like it so much we’re currently developing project management tool (http://srello.com/) which is integrated with Trello. Keep updated!
The second tool is time tracking programme. It allows you to analyze timesheets and create statistics about your project. Check how much time took each task, how much time did your team spend on fixing bugs or on communication. Basing on them you can change the way you work to maximize productivity. We recommend user friendly http://www.getharvest.com/. (It also has invoicing system).
The third tool is a communication tool. Remote working requires communication by the Internet (or by phone but you may find it quite expensive). Not all matters can be solved by emails that’s why many people and companies use programmes such Skype, Google Hangouts. It’s easy, convenient and if not free, definately cheaper than phone calls.
One last thing you’d probably want to make sure about is how often the company shares their work results. That’s why some companies offer their clients trials. At StartupWorks we have in our offer 14 days trial so you can give us a try and we’ll prove we’re worth your trust.
Although it’s not a tool this useful feature may protect you from making some bad decisions.
The thing about remote working is that you need to react promptly. Contact with the team should be quick and precise, just like a punch. If you don’t react on time on the ring - you lose. Here’s the same thing - if contact with a team you hire is not frequent and to the point, they make you wait for an email reply when you need it immediately, your project may fail.
Before signing any contract ask your lawyer to have a look at it. Make sure it protects your interests and covers all the matters that are important for the project’s success. Don’t sign anything without double check!
Process of choosing remote team is not that much different from hiring a company from your area. The biggest problem is you have limited options of meeting in person but with today’s technology nothing is impossible.