I stopped looking for clients. Now, I look for partners!
Here is why:
During the past years, I learned the hard way, that searching only for clients for my business didn’t make any sense.
It was just a fragile relationship, I was constantly going the extra mile for them, a true business partner. However, I realized that I was alone on that page.
That when it hit me, whatever I was doing, it wasn’t valuable to them. I tried to understand if I was doing my job wrong or if I was targeting the wrong profile.
I truly believed that I was on my right path, I reckon that my professionals core values just weren’t lined up to my target clients profile at that point.
So, I learned to behave differently, I started searching for clients-partners, a different profile, a client-partner that I would be able to make part of their strategy.
Yes, I intended to be that important to them, I wanted to make a difference in their business, more important, to make a difference to their customers.
Nowadays, I work with software development, serving clients-partners through exclusively dedicated squads. The core value, to be aligned to the clients strategy, naturally flows within the teams, it just couldn’t be different.
It doesn’t matter where I work, to be part of the client’s vision of the future is the main target.
Being a true partner
In my point of view, software development companies are strategic allies to their client-partners, being responsible to raise productivity and quality improvement to their projects.
Client-partners should be focussing on their core business, increasing sales, profits and customer retention.
Software development companies can go the extra mile for their client-partners, and not only offer cost reduction in labour – that should be just a plus at the end.
When working with a client-partner, I always look to understand what their needs are, and more importantly, if the solution discussed is really going to solve them.
Are the proposed solutions capable to impact their final customers? Will it increase revenue, profit or even decrease costs? Will it bring a competitive edge to the client-partner into their own market?
If the solutions I work on does not make a difference, I am not being valuable to the client, therefore, to be eventually dismissed will be just a predictable consequence.
How to identify good partners?
While searching for a client-partner, I must dig a little deeper to identify true client-partners and answers a few questions to myself.
- Are they seeking quality over cost reduction?
- Do they measure development productivity hours?
- How about rework hours and its impact?
- Is the deadline more important than the decrease in cost?
Usually, when a company does not measure those KPI inside their business, they hardly will value those aspects of their software development partner. A conflict will be eminent, I will be working hard to hand on-time valuable deliveries while the client would be expecting cost reduction as the main result.
When it comes to re-work, I like to take extra care, especially when I hear “It just a little problem, easy fix” it usually gives me the goosebumps. How big was the impact to the company business, was it that little?
Sometimes a small bug can bring huge negative impacts to the business, imagine if you are a digital bank processing millions of wire transactions?
At DB1 Global Software, a fast-growing software development company, we do not accept more than 5% of rework hours and I proudly say that last year’s rework rate stayed at 1,25%.
In addition, it is also measured the critical impact of that 1,25% on our client-partner business and actions were taken place to overcome negative impacts, no matter what.
Immersion, Immersion & Immersion
I believe it does not matter if the software development partner is local, nearshore or offshore, but how the immersion is done. This stage is critical and vital to the project development, it is when the DNA and business rules of the client-partner are passed on.
In order to be part of their strategy, immersion plays a key role. In addition, during this process, people behind the companies get to know each other, culture barries start to fall apart and strong engagement has its first steps taken. If the business relationship is based on openness and valuable on-time deliveries, you are on the right track!
Surely the location brings pros and cons to the project.
Look for a software development partner focused on bringing value to your company’s customer. That would be the real deal, a company that works through technology to bring success to your business.
However, I do have a few tips when looking for a software development company:
- Openness and high control level through real-time KPIs are gold! You want to be able to control and follow the on-going project, but not to manage the IT team.
- Scalable and down-size IT squads. Give the speed that your project needs, there is always a time to go hard or take it easy.
- Teams expertise in several technologies. Why worry about your teams expertise, when you can focus on your core business.
- Re-work high control – you should not pay for someone’s mistake, simple as that.
It is important to consider a few extra points that might bring advantages or not when choosing your software development partner.
- Geographical location
- Certifications & Qualification
- Service costs
- Culture similarity
- Time zone
At the end of the day, it does not matter if I work at a software development company or an advertising agency, I will always target a partnership, getting to know who is behind every company. It just fell right to help shape the future, working in a place where we share the same core values.
If you are looking for a software development partner, welcome to DB1 Global Software.
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About the author
Wagner Lopes coordinates DB1 Global Software international expansion, working mainly on software development projects. A FinTech enthusiast at heart.