How to Hire And Work With App Agencies

How to Hire And Work With App Agencies
Embark on a successful mobile app development journey with this guide from NineTwoThree Studio and the questions to ask potential app agencies.

Embarking on the development of a mobile application is an exciting journey filled with countless opportunities for innovation and success. However, the crucial factor in this journey is the choice of the right app development agency. It can be a game-changer in determining the overall success of your app.

Each section of this guide is designed to equip you with the necessary tools and understanding to navigate the sometimes complex terrain of working with app agencies. 

Whether you're a start-up venturing into your first app or a well-established company looking to expand your mobile presence, this guide offers practical advice and actionable steps for a productive partnership with your app agency.

The Interview Process

Questions to Ask Potential Agencies

In your pursuit of finding the right app agency, the interview process is a crucial step. This is your opportunity to delve deeper into understanding the agency's expertise, resources, and overall capabilities. By asking the right questions, you can uncover critical insights that help you make an informed decision.

At NineTwoThree, we would recommend the following:

  • What are your experiences in developing similar apps?
  • Can you provide client references or case studies?
  • What is your development process, from ideation to launch and maintenance?
  • How do you handle project management and client communications?
  • How do you ensure the app's quality and security?

So now you know the questions to ask – but what should you be on the lookout for?

Red Flags to Watch Out for

While the prospect of hiring an app agency can be exciting, it's equally important to remain vigilant for any signs that may indicate potential issues. Recognizing these red flags early in the hiring process can save you from unnecessary hassles and poor results down the line. Some red flags include:

  • Lack of transparency or unwillingness to share previous work
  • Absence of a clear workflow or development methodology
  • Neglecting to consider user experience and interface design importance
  • Offering unrealistically low quotes or promises of rapid development

It’s also vital to ensure that the agency’s culture aligns with yours to avoid any further issues.

How to Determine if the Agency's Culture Aligns with Yours

Understanding the cultural fit between your organization and the prospective app agency is a key determinant of a successful partnership. A harmonious culture fosters improved communication, a stronger working relationship, and ultimately, better results.

Every agency operates under a set of core values that guide their behavior, decisions, and interactions. These values can range from a commitment to innovation, dedication to customer service, and fostering creativity, to prioritizing transparency. By discussing these values during the interview process, you can gain insights into whether they align with your own company's ethos. If there is a strong alignment in values, it will be easier to work towards a common goal, and any disagreements or challenges that arise will be more easily managed.

The Proposal and Quote

An app agency's proposal and quote serve as a roadmap for your app development journey, outlining the planned activities, timelines, and associated costs. Understanding this document in depth can help align your expectations and prevent potential misunderstandings. Let's delve into the different aspects:

Understanding the Proposal and Quote

The proposal and quote provide a comprehensive view of your project, breaking down the tasks involved, estimated time frames, and associated costs. It is crucial to understand each item and its relevance to your app's success.

Each task should be clearly defined, showing its role in the overall project. Time frames should be realistic and align with your expected project deadlines. The pricing should be transparent, detailing what each cost pertains to, whether it's design, development, testing, or project management.

Ask questions if something is unclear. The agency should be able to justify each item's necessity and how it contributes to the final product.

Identifying Hidden Costs

While the initial quote might seem comprehensive, there could be hidden costs not included. These might pertain to essential aspects of app development such as testing, maintenance, or post-launch support.

It's crucial to discuss these potential costs upfront. Understanding the complete cost picture can prevent unwanted surprises down the line and help you budget accurately. Always ensure that the quote includes all aspects of the project, from inception to post-launch.

Negotiating the Terms and Price

Negotiation is a key part of the process when dealing with proposals and quotes. Remember, it's not just about price; terms are equally important.

While it's entirely appropriate to negotiate price, don't overlook aspects such as project timeline, deliverables, and payment schedules. For example, if the proposed timeline doesn't match your expectations, negotiate a more suitable schedule. If the deliverables are too vague, ask for more specifics. And if the payment terms are front-loaded, consider asking for a more balanced schedule.

Starting with a Small Project

An effective way to assess an agency's capabilities, work quality, and overall process is to initially engage them on a small project. This serves as a low-risk litmus test for your future collaboration.

By starting small, you can observe their project management style, communication efficiency, timeliness, and quality of output. It provides valuable insights into what you can expect when you eventually entrust them with larger, more complex projects.

A successful small project can lay a solid foundation for a long-term partnership, whereas a less-than-satisfactory experience might suggest the need to reconsider your choice of agency.

Legalities and Contracts

Addressing the legal aspects when hiring an app agency is a non-negotiable step. Contracts protect both parties, ensuring that everyone understands their obligations and rights. 

Important Clauses in a Contract

A contract should act as a comprehensive guide for the working relationship between you and the agency. Key clauses to pay attention to include:

Project Scope

This should outline the entirety of the work to be done, including all the features and functionalities that the app will have. Ensure this section is detailed to avoid disputes later.


This section should specify what the agency is expected to deliver and when. This could include design documents, code, test plans, and the completed app.


The contract should include a timeline indicating when each phase of the project should be completed. This helps in managing expectations and tracking progress.

Payment Terms

This clause stipulates the amount to be paid, the payment structure, and the schedule of payments. It might also include conditions for additional payments for extra work outside the agreed-upon scope.


This section is important to protect sensitive business information that will be shared with the agency during the project. The agency should agree to not disclose any confidential information.

Intellectual Property Rights

One of the essential parts of any app development contract is the section on intellectual property (IP) rights. The IP rights clause determines who owns the final product, including the code, design, and any content created during the development process. As the client, you should typically be the owner of these rights.

Your contract should explicitly state that you will own the IP rights to the app upon completion and payment of the project. This is crucial as it protects your interests, ensuring that you can freely use, modify, distribute, or sell the app as you see fit.

Ensure that you understand this section of the contract thoroughly. If the language isn't clear, consider seeking legal advice to avoid potential misunderstandings or disputes in the future.

Non-Disclosure Agreements

In the course of app development, you may have to share sensitive information with the agency. To protect this information from unauthorized use or disclosure, a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) should be put in place.

An NDA is a legal contract that outlines the information to be shared and stipulates that the agency must keep it confidential. Make sure your agency is willing to sign an NDA and that they fully understand and respect its terms. The NDA should clearly define what is considered confidential information, the responsibilities of the receiving party, the duration of the confidentiality obligation, and penalties for breach of the agreement.

Terms and Termination Conditions

Despite best intentions and careful planning, circumstances may arise that necessitate the termination of the contract. To prepare for such situations, your contract should outline the conditions under which the contract can be terminated by either party.

Common termination conditions include missed deadlines, subpar work, non-payment, or other breaches of the agreement. The contract should also outline the notice period required for termination and the process for handling any work or payments in progress at the time of termination.

Being clear about these conditions from the outset helps to prevent disputes down the line and provides a clear exit strategy should the partnership not work out as planned.

Working with the Chosen Agency

After finalizing the proposal, contract, and legalities, the real work of creating your app begins. At NineTwoThree, we help clients understand expectations and timelines, communicate regularly, and handle any issues that may arise.

Setting Clear Expectations and Timelines

The first step to a successful collaboration is setting clear expectations. Provide the agency with a detailed project brief that outlines what you hope to achieve with the app. This includes its purpose, the functionality you need, your target audience, and any design preferences you might have.

In addition to defining your objectives, you also need to establish mutually agreed timelines. This will set a roadmap for your project, providing structure and deadlines that will help keep things on track. The timeline should be realistic, taking into account the complexity of the app, the agency's resources, and your own deadlines.

The Importance of Regular Communication

Communication is the backbone of any successful collaboration. With regular and open communication, you can stay updated on the project's progress, resolve issues promptly, and make informed decisions.

Develop a communication plan that outlines the frequency of updates (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly), the medium (email, video calls, in-person meetings), and who will be your point of contact within the agency. Also, agree on a reporting structure that ensures you get the information you need to track progress effectively and establish an escalation process for any issues or concerns that might arise.

How to Handle Problems and Issues

Even with the best planning, problems can arise. How you handle these can significantly impact the success of your project.

When issues come up, address them promptly and constructively. Maintain open lines of communication with the agency and discuss the problem in detail. Be solution-oriented - instead of focusing on blame, work together to find a resolution.

Be prepared to re-evaluate and adjust your strategies if necessary. If a particular feature is taking longer to develop than expected, for example, you might need to reprioritize, delay less critical features, or allocate additional resources to stay on track.

Working With NineTwoThree Studio

When it comes to choosing a mobile app development agency, you want a partner that combines experience, expertise, and a proven track record of success. This is where NineTwoThree Studio stands out.

NineTwoThree Studio boasts 11 years of delivering top-tier mobile app development services for both iOS and Android platforms. Over a decade in the industry has equipped us with invaluable insights, technical expertise, and a deep understanding of what it takes to create an app that resonates with users and stands out in today's competitive marketplace.

Ready to bring your mobile app vision to life? Trust the expertise, experience, and proven success of NineTwoThree Studio. Contact us today to get started on your journey to creating a revenue-generating mobile app.

NineTwoThree Staff
NineTwoThree Staff
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