In today’s era of venture-backed unicorns, hundreds of most promising startups are launching every day worldwide. You might have come across numerous startup success stories on online and offline media. But do you know what?
Most startups do not succeed. Studies show that 70% of startups can’t make it. Top reasons include lack of market demand, insufficient financial resources, severe competition, poor product, and wrong team or lack of expertise, which force them to shut down within four years of their launch. Due to limited budget, pioneer team members usually end up wearing several hats at the same time, which is one of the recipes for startup failure.
So, what makes startups successful? That’s market experience, product knowledge, and industry skills. Successful startups have always focused on developing products, determining market needs together with profitable business models, growth plans, hiring experts, and using advanced tools to win over emerging markets.
Accordingly, having a breakthrough idea is not enough in today’s competitive world; executing your idea into a winning digital product matters even more. The very trait that helps you develop a minimal viable product (MVP) for your startup survival is a core team of highly qualified, experienced, and talented developers.
Needless to say, there is no room for any experimentation at the early stage of your startup. You have to be selective in each hiring aspect to bring the most value to your product, as the candidates you select for your product can either make a great product or break your business.
You have to turn things up a notch and employ team members utilizing various hiring options such as hiring in-house developers, hiring outsourcing developers using a team extension model, or a dedicated team model. Each hiring model works best for startups; the only difference is costs, the way of employment, and the approach to share and manage responsibilities.
Opting for outsourcing startup product development can offer hefty benefits and flexibility to your startup. The same thing we are going to discuss today. I will walk you through how a startup can take advantage of a team extension model and maximize returns in the longer run. You will also learn the step-by-step process of hiring talent to augment your existing team and key factors to consider while hiring suitable candidates for your startup. So, let’s get started.
Team Extension Model for Your Startup
Simply put, the team extension model is one such hiring model that supplements your in-house operational and existing team with vetted developers, engineers, or any other subject matter experts from top outsourcing software development companies. It is also known as the staff augmentation model.
It strategically targets specific skills you need for developing your startup product and helps you close the skill gap efficiently while minimizing the cost. In the pre-Covid era, it was challenging for businesses to work with an extended team, but now, everyone is accustomed to online collaboration, video calls, and chat, enabling them to work with any team members working from all corners of the world.
The team extension model works the same as your existing in-house team – from reporting to the same people, sharing similar goals, working on the same project management tools, to writing clean and reusable code for your project.
You can get your work accomplished with the help of highly skilled experts such as top app developers, programmers, designers, quality analysts, consultants, project managers, business analysts, team leaders, and other most in-demand technology specialists for your specific needs.
With this model, you can quickly deal with unexpected market changes and reap the following benefits:
- Opportunity to hire top professionals with the right expertise and industry-specific approaches required for your project
- Rely on the latest tools, libraries, frameworks, architecture, all form factors, and other technologies to manage your project smoothly
- Expand your startups’ production as well as workforce technical capacities the way you want
- Scope of working with flexible teams by hiring professionals for short-term or long-term goals
- Get rid of the tiresome process of finding and hiring developers, eliminate recruitment as well as infrastructure costs, and focus on other important business activities
- Articulate your startup project by quickly setting up an extended team with immediate effects and continue operations with more transparency throughout the product development lifecycle
In short, the idea here is to extend your core team of developers and share the tasks, responsibilities and manage the startup product development project seamlessly by partnering with outsourcing IT companies while saving the costs and filling the skill gaps. For more details, you can read our previous blog on team augmentation.
The process of building a digital product from the ground up level is not an easy task. As a startup founder, you have to go through so many product development phases right from planning, designing, organizing resources, handling sales and marketing, building a great work culture, dealing with thousands of challenges at multiple levels, and whatnot that enables you to accelerate growth.
A team extension model might be the perfect hiring solution, especially when you want rapid product development, implementation, and swifter time-to-market. Using this model, how you can upgrade your IT area for higher market share, revenue, and sales, let us understand.
How Team Extension Services Can Strengthen Your Startup’s IT Area
As a startup, you can strengthen your IT area with valuable, visible, and measurable results utilizing the most famous team extension model. It makes it easy to scale up your business with flexibility, agility, security and speed up your response time to business challenges. Let us see how you can transform your IT area using team extension.
You can implement a team extension model with immediate effects even for your ongoing project and make the onboarding process of dedicated developers hassle-free and more effective. Many outsourcing IT companies use Agile methodologies throughout the product development lifecycle, including the recruitment cycle. They help you establish the onboarding process consisting of understanding the internal work process, reporting process, work collaboration methods, and work culture in such a way that allows you to bring the most value to your startup while enhancing the experience of candidates to work with your in-house team.
Empower Team Members
Utilizing the staff augmentation services, the experts of outsourcing companies can help your existing team enhance their technical expertise, gain knowledge related to project management tools, manage workflows, and help strengthen your team.
Enhance the Way of Working
You can establish a comfortable way of working with your remote team as well as your in-house team. The experts you hire can help you operate in the most appropriate way while making the communication transparent with each team member and enhancing your teams’ performance.
Grow Your Startup Product Development Team
You can scale your existing work model and extend the team with the required key competencies. With the team extension model, you can have on-demand access to dedicated developers, accelerate your work process, increase productivity and the level of value contribution.
Utilize the Full Spectrum of Tech Stack
You can take advantage of the latest tools, libraries, frameworks, architecture, all form factors, and other most in-demand technologies. You do not need to spend extra to use the trending tech stacks for your project. IT outsourcing companies are fully equipped with the latest technologies and tools and allow you to use the same.
Notably, ambitious startups seeking to close the skill gaps can prioritize fast time to market with a perfect outsourced team. But the question is, how can they set up an extended team? Here’s the answer.
How Startup Founders Can Set Up An Extended Team
You need to follow the below-mentioned steps to set up an extended team as soon as possible to complete your startup product development project successfully.
Step 1: Define the Requirements
In the first place, you should have a well-defined project scope with expected outcomes, goals, etc. This helps you identify the skill gap in your team and define the main expertise you need for your project. You can decide which skills you should source externally based on requirement analysis.
Step 2: Contact Outsourcing company
Look for a reliable team extension service provider in the market. Get in touch with the best service provider having domain knowledge, technical expertise, and a pool of top tech talent to develop a successful and bug-free startup product aligned with your goals. You can become a partner with a suitable service provider and transfer the knowledge related to your project, such as project roadmap, test cases, user stories, technical documentation, etc.
Step 3: Screen candidates
Considering your hiring needs, your selected extended team provider will carry out research to find and hire dedicated developers of your requirements. They will take care of the entire recruitment cycle and share the profiles of suitable candidates. You can personally contact the best candidates, analyze their expertise, and choose the ones you consider the most suitable dedicated developers for hire.
Step 4: Team onboarding
The extended development team you hire for your startup needs to follow your internal process, roles and responsibilities within a team. With a simplified onboarding process, you can help your extended team understand your work practices and methodologies to connect your teams.
Step 5: On-demand Scaling
Once you get started with the team extension model, you can extend your team on-demand or dissolve it if you no longer need it. With the help of your selected outsourcing partner, you can hire dedicated team members to perform specific tasks or solve any unexpected problem or say implement particular features for your product with immediate effects. You can also discontinue your contract with the hiring service provider if you do not want a specific tech talent in your team while continuing work with the rest of the team members.
Going further, one of the most important aspects you can not ignore while hiring tech talent for your startup is evaluating their must-have skills needed to develop a cutting-edge product.
How to Evaluate Technical Talent Shortlisted for Your Startup
It is important to hire the right person having proficiency in essential tech stacks and first-hand experience to build a digital product for your startup. You need to evaluate a particular set of skills while hiring developers for your startup. Here’s the list of a few pointers which you can consider to assess skills:
- Expertise with data structures and algorithms
- Knowledge of using IDEs (Integrated Development Environment) such as Android Studio and IntelliJ IDEA
- Knowledge of backend computing concepts like framework, data management, hardware integration, etc.
- Familiarity with product design concepts like MaterialU, Apple Human Interface Guidelines, etc.
- Basics of testing
- Knowledge of code version control tools like Git, Mercurial, SVN, etc.
- Prior experience in working with third-party platforms, tools, libraries, etc.
- Must have soft skills like communication, teamwork, time management, critical thinking, analytical skills, problem-solving, etc.
- Adaptability and passion for continuous learning
- And other technical skills needed for your startup product development.
In short, you can have an on-demand dream team having mastery in particular skill sets for your startup product and flourish in the market. However, you need to do a little bit of homework before partnering with a reliable team extension service provider. Let us see a few things you need to consider before selecting your team extension partner.
Things to Consider Before Selecting an IT outsourcing Company for Your Startup
Today’s new-age startup founders believe in delivering innovative customer services to their target audience by building a scalable, feature-rich, user-friendly, and secure product in a cost-effective way. Partnering with an experienced team extension service provider plays a major role in accelerating your startup’s pace and achieving a competitive edge.
That’s why selecting the right outsourcing partner is of utmost importance. It requires a careful analysis of many factors as mentioned below:
- Be clear with your outsourcing requirements, define your project scope, list down the needed skills, and prepare a job description of each role before you start outsourcing.
- Set your budget and have a financial plan for at least one or two years to build on-demand teams before approaching a technological partner.
- Always check whether the outsourcing company has experience in relevant IT areas. Also, check their work portfolios, tech stacks being used, and client testimonials.
- Understand company culture, find information of their background, management team, clients, etc., on their website. Assess infrastructure and data management as well to ensure the selected pick is reliable.
- Inquire vendor’s pricing structure and compare with other service providers and recognize a provider with a transparent pricing offer.
- Analyze a partner’s pace of delivering qualitative work on a stipulated time frame, know their communication methods before, during, and after the project.
- Make sure there is no ambiguity regarding project work, quality, and timelines. Ensure essential details such as protecting your concept and intellectual assets are written in the contract.
- Determine the provider you have selected is adaptable to comprehend your product development issues and helps you with a suitable solution or answer.
- Analyze whether the selected vendor has highly skilled and experienced resources with key competencies to complete your project effectively.
- Make sure they are capable of working in hostile environments and have a particular emergency plan to keep the project running smoothly in unexpected situations.
I hope the above shared key factors will help you make the right decision regarding IT outsourcing for your startup.
Let’s Sum it up
With growing competition, startups can indeed rely on the team extension service provider to develop a winning product and become a profit-spinning venture in the least possible time. You can have immediate access to a vast tech talent pool, make things productive, get relief from infrastructure and administrative burden, unlock full flexibility in scaling your team, and speed up the product development process while minimizing associated risks. Besides, you can concentrate on important tasks that help grow your startup at an accelerating rate. Thus, taking advantage of team extension can add meaningful value and capabilities to your core startup team.
Whether you want to bring your unique idea to life or seek to build a digital product from scratch, our team of experts is here to help you throughout the process. Get in touch with us to hire dedicated developers via a team extension model for your startup.
Nitin Lahoti is the Co-Founder and Director at Mobisoft Infotech. He has 15 years of experience in Design, Business Development and Startups. His expertise is in Product Ideation, UX/UI design, Startup consulting and mentoring. He prefers business readings and loves traveling.