Posted: Wed 5th Mar 2014
Half-a-million new businesses are forming each year in the UK and whilst many of these entrepreneurs have brilliant business ideas and acumen - a high proportion do not have the coding skills they need to take their business forward.
We have three tech experts joining us at our Finding a Developer event on March 13th - and they've shared a taster of how small businesses can find the best developer for their needs.
1) Prioritise your wish-list
Hayley Conick, Country Manager of Elance, says: "The very first question you need to ask yourself when looking for a developer is, quite simply, 'what exactly do I need them to do?'
"The more clearly you can define this the easier the process will be. Take the time to work out exactly what you need, using examples from other sites where relevant. If you have an existing site, note where you are having issues currently. Prioritise your wish-list into 'must-haves' and 'nice-to haves'.
"Most developers will specialise in one area so defining exactly what you want done upfront will help shape the profile of the developer you need and minimise the risk of 'scope-creep'."
2) Treat it like dating
"It can be difficult at first, but after some research I don't think anyone has too much trouble finding prospective developers; the trouble is finding the right developer", says Rob Calvert, founder of Click.
"It's difficult to give broad-brush advice on technical requirements - I suggest getting impartial, expert advice for that - but when it comes to finding someone who'll fit your company, it's simple: treat it like dating.
"What do I mean by that? Well, for example, I imagine you don't propose to everyone you've met for a couple of hours, and the same applies here - so go on a few dates first (i.e. do a small project together or employ someone on a trial period). Yes, you may end up losing that initial time and money you've invested, but the risk is worth it to avoid jumping straight into what could be a damaging long-term relationship."
3) Don't have half-baked ideas
Wordpress developer Keith Devon says his top tip would be to know what you want before you approach a developer.
"Too many people approach developers with half-baked ideas, expecting the developers to flesh out all the 'details'. Lack of thought and preparation won't make a developer enthusiastic about a project."