When and How to Start Talking to Developers

Written by
Rob Bentley

Originally Published on December 22, 2023
Republished on July 1, 2023

A common theme voiced by teams building digital products for the first time is uncertainty about when they should start engaging with development teams about building a mobile app, custom software, or digital tool for their business.

It’s Never Too Early

Most of the clients we work with at JMG don't have someone on board with a technical background.

They often don’t know what technology stack they need to build in to best support their growth.

They don’t know what to expect from the development process, nor do they have a solid understanding of how much their digital tool will cost to build and maintain.

Because of this, our team at JMG often fills the role of this technical person, acting as a true tech partner from beginning to end. (Just kidding, development never really “ends.”)

A partnership like this involves a lot of trust, and it’s never too early to start establishing that trust with potential development teams.

So, how do you find a digital product agency you can trust?

Start With a Prototype

One way is to start engaging with developers about building a prototype. Even if the full budget for your project isn't available or determined, budgeting some money for a clickable prototype is a valuable way to gain insight into what it’s like to work with a particular development team before partnering with them on a lengthy expenditure.

Pay attention to:

  • How often they give you updates
  • The tools they use for organization and communication
  • How well their team interacts with yours
  • Whether they deliver on their promises and meet your goals

This is just the start of things to know about a development team before working with them for the long haul. Visit our Resource Page to download the full list.

Build Connections

What if your business’s app or software is a future consideration and not something you need right now?

You can still start reaching out to build up those connections. Third-party review sites like Clutch can be a good place to start for pulling together a list, along with asking your network if they have worked with anyone they would recommend.

If a developer is put off by you reaching out when you don’t have a project ready to go, then they may not be the best fit. Most development teams would be happy to give you 15 minutes of their time to get connected and answer any questions you have.


Ready to have another connection in your back pocket? Fill out our contact form or schedule a casual chat with us.

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