10 Steps to Choosing The Right Mobile App Development Company For Startups

Building a mobile app lets you engage and sell to customers more easily. But most startups don’t know how and where to start. Not all founders are adept developers, and even if they are, their time is better spent growing their business.

That’s why collaborating with an app development partner is better. The question is, how do you find one who understands your requirements and can deliver what they promise?

I’m Stan Burenko, Head of Business Development at Uptech. Uptech is an app development company that helps startups bring their ideas to life. For the past 8 years, we’ve built successful apps for 150+ startups worldwide.

In this guide, I’ll show you how to choose a mobile app development company. Specifically, I’ll explain:

  • How to assess potential app development partners.
  • Why it’s important for them to align with your visions.
  • How to ensure successful apps with a consultative approach.

Let’s start.

How Developing Mobile Apps Can Boost Your Business

Consumers are shifting away from desktops to mobile to access information, purchase products, and engage with brands. In 2023, more than 257 billion apps were installed by mobile users worldwide, and in-app spending amounted to $171 billion dollars.

Despite being hampered by the global pandemic, mobile app users continue to grow. In the US, more than 110 million users downloaded apps for video, navigation, social networking, and other purposes in 2023.

For founders, mobile apps can catalyze business growth. According to a survey, consumers spend 88% of their time on apps rather than websites. If you want to connect with your audience, you need an app that they can access anytime.

Releasing mobile apps helps you to improve brand visibility and market more efficiently. Mobile apps put your brand on the user’s smartphone, which they interact with daily. It’s also easier to send targeted marketing offers that catch their attention.

For example, Dollar Shave Club engages its customers by sending tailored recommendations based on each app user’s profile. It also provides seamless access to shopping, content, and other helpful features, which earned the US personal grooming company the 2017 Webby Award.

mobile app development services

How to Choose the Right Mobile App Development Company: 10 Key Steps

If you search for ‘app development companies’ on Google, you will find dozens, if not hundreds, of results. Unless you know what to look for, finding the best app developer for your startup is almost impossible. So, here’s what you should do.

how to choose mobile app development company

Step 1. Determine your mobile app development requirements

Before you hire any app developers, list down your app requirements. Without precise requirements, app developers cannot fully understand your needs. This can lead to project delays, cost overruns, or a bad product-market fit.

So, take some time to ask probing questions like these:

  • Why do you need a mobile app?
  • Do you want to generate more leads for your marketing campaign?
  • Or are you building a startup that revolves around the app?

It’s also important to specify the type of mobile app you want to build. Popular categories of mobile apps include:

  • Fintech;
  • Healthcare;
  • Social network;
  • Retail;
  • Entertainment.

Then, decide if you want to build a native app or a web app. Native apps offer better performance but are more expensive to build. Meanwhile, web apps are cheaper and faster to develop, but there are limits to what they can do. You can learn more about native apps and web apps here.

We gathered the best practices to create a list of your software development requirements in one template.

Get a free Software Requirements Specification (SRS) template created by our team.

Step 2: Search for mobile app development companies

After identifying your app requirements, search for potential app development vendors. These are good places to start.

  • Google. Try searching ‘best app development companies’, and you’ll get lots of hits.
  • LinkedIn. You can use the platform’s advanced search tool to browse and filter development companies by location and industry.
  • Clutch. This platform lists software development firms, hourly rates, specialization, and reviews.
  • Trade events. Attend tech conferences, networking events, and other industry events to connect with app developers.
  • Referrals. Ask around amongst your professional network. A fellow founder might have good results with a developer and could share their contact.

List down candidates with relevant skills, services and experience you seek.

Step 3: Consider budget and value for money

Some founders are bootstrapping their startups. Others might have secured some funding. Either way, it’s important to balance quality and affordability when selecting an app development company.

The cheapest developer in town often produces great results. That said, it’s possible to engage high-quality developers without stretching your budget with the right collaboration model.

For example, Uptech offers several outsourcing models to startups operating on different budgets. We can assign a dedicated team to startups wanting to scale their development or bill on time and material used in the project. Here’s more about our collaboration models.

Step 4: Analyze the company’s reputation and client feedback

Can the app development company deliver exceptional results? That’s one question you need to answer before proceeding. Otherwise, you might end up in a bad collaboration with an equally bad outcome.

So, do your due diligence by checking how other clients feel after working with the company. Visit independent portals like Clutch, GoodFirms, and G2 to get unbiased reviews and testimonials. From those reviews, you can learn about the company’s commitment to results, communication, support, and other qualities.

Step 5: Evaluate portfolios, skills, and specializations

When choosing an app development company, it’s better to find one that has done a similar project. And that means assessing their:

  • Past worksж
  • Industryж
  • Tech stackж
  • Years of experienceж
  • Customer reviews.
how to choose mobile app development company

An experienced developer with a practical understanding of your industry will get your product to the market faster and with fewer issues. If you want to build a P2P payment app, partnering with a developer who has done several Finеech projects is better than working with a зroptech developer.

Alternatively, you can partner with an app development company with experience spanning across several industries. For example, Uptech is not only skilled in developing fintech apps, but also has a solid track record in healthcare, social media, retail, and other industries.

Check our industries page to learn more.

Step 6: Assess their app development process

You want to get your product to the market quickly. But the development process, or lack of, might stand in the way.

To create a market-fitting app, developers start with a discovery phase. Determine if the app developer has a framework for surveying users and applying their feedback when creating technical requirements.

Then, ensure the candidate has ways to adapt to the fast-paced and evolving requirements of startups. At Uptech, we base our development efforts on the Agile principle. It lets our software engineers work in short cycles to implement changes, test them, and release updates.

A good developer also considers UI/UX best practices before starting development work. They visualize the customer journey, accessibility, style consistency, and other UI/UX elements to create an engaging app.

Another important factor to consider is quality assurance. All apps must undergo testing throughout the entire development stage to ensure they’re functional, secure, and compliant.

how to choose mobile app development company

Step 7: Align with your vision

Finding a software development vendor that builds the app strictly according to your requirements isn’t enough. You need a partner who understands your vision and can guide you through the challenges.

This means considering the long-term implications of your app. A developer who shares your vision would plan for scalability and relevance. For example, generative AI is becoming a mainstream technology, and it will likely transform how users solve their problems in your industry.

Therefore, it’s better to collaborate with a development company capable of fulfilling your vision with available technologies and knowledge.

Step 8: Look for a consultative and collaborative approach

Partnering with a developer who genuinely has your interest in mind helps you avoid known pitfalls. They’ll advise you and provide insights so that you can increase your app’s success rate.

For example, you want to build a healthcare app for the US market. However, there are many challenges, such as HIPAA compliance, data security, and user preferences, that you may not be aware of.

Sometimes, an idea can’t take off because there is a lack of demand. As the founder, you might need help validating your ideas before investing more time and money in them. And that’s where close collaboration with the developer helps.  

Yaza, for example, was meant to be a social app. However, our team thoroughly discussed it with Yaza’s founders and found that it’s better suited for real estate. That’s how we align our effort with our client’s goals.

Step 9: Check their post-launch support and maintenance

After launching your app, you need post-release support to ensure it operates reliably. It’s not uncommon for bugs and technical issues to manifest during this stage.

Unless you have an internal support team, look for development companies that can support your startup during this critical stage. Discuss the commitment you expect from the developers and sign a service legal agreement with them.

We offer a support contract, during which our team is always ready to make small regular changes to your project in response to user feedback, platform updates, or force-major events. Learn more about the full list of mobile app development services we offer.

Step 10: Consultation and Final Evaluation

Before finalizing the collaboration with an external development team, hold a face-to-face meeting. Getting to know the developers better helps you to identify possible collaboration challenges and decide if they’re the right fit.

For example, a developer might seem promising but cannot converse in your language. If that’s the case, it’s better to find a development company that shares your language and culture. Most clients from Western countries outsource to app developers in Ukraine because of our similarities.

app development company

Benefits of Hiring a Mobile App Development Company

Outsourcing mobile app development to a software development vendor instead of hiring in-house offers several advantages.

Access to experience and expertise

Tech latent shortage is affecting major economies, with the US expected to face difficulties filling 6 million positions by 2030. Engaging an app development company, particularly from popular outsourcing destinations like Ukraine, provides access to a vast pool of talented app specialists. Thanks to its robust STEM education system, Ukraine has continuously produced exceptional tech talents, allowing companies like Uptech to serve international clients.

Improve cost-efficiency and resource allocation

You can reduce mobile app development costs by contracting a mobile development company. Instead of paying salaries, workspace rental, software licenses, and other recruitment costs, you pay the software vendor an agreed amount. This frees you from long-term financial commitment and allows you to channel your budget to other teams.

Focus on key business activities

Some founders are tempted to build their own apps. But doing so will divert their attention from other business areas. For example, marketing, fundraising, branding, and customer engagement are key factors to a successful startup.

Get tailored solutions for your business

An experienced app development company understands the different facets of your business and can create a fitting app. They consider your user needs, challenges, compliance, business objectives, and other factors to help you compete in crowded marketplaces.

Integrate your app with the latest technologies

Startups must keep pace with emerging technologies and apply them to improve their apps. Rather than upskilling in-house teams, collaborating with expert app developers is more cost-effective and faster. For example, Hamlet AI worked with our generative AI specialists to build an AI-powered text summarizer.

Why Uptech Is a Great Option When Choosing a Mobile App Development Company

Startups globally chose Uptech as their app development partner for several reasons.

  • Uptech is a client-centric development team. We focus on your business needs and what your users want when developing apps.
  • Our team doesn’t only write code. We share and believe in the vision of every founder who reaches out to us. That allows us to create apps that are truly helpful to their customers.
  • We’re mindful of your timeline, cost, and resources. For years, Uptech has helped startups compete by validating their ideas quickly with cost-friendly MVPs.
  • Our developers are experienced in developing native, web, and cross-platform apps. We also help our clients build backend services, databases, and other software components Check out our full range of services here.
  • You can rely on our team to provide continuous post-release support. Our developers can also help you scale your app to accommodate user growth and future expansion.

Let’s take a look at several apps we’ve built for our startup clients.


Nomad is a real estate app that simplifies property buying and selling in the Middle East. When Nomad’s founder contacted us, they had an idea and needed a development team to build it from scratch.

how to choose mobile app development company

In this project, we started with a discovery phase to survey the target audience. Then, we move quickly and in short cycles to build the MVP. We paid attention to UI/UX and ensured a seamless customer journey. When released, the app was well-received by users, particularly for its unconventional approach to real estate buying.


Eatable is a ghost kitchen app that enables restaurant operators to take orders online and deliver food to customers. In order to scale its business model, Eatable must revamp its existing workflow, particularly how it allows restaurants to upload their menus manually.

how to choose mobile app development company

Through the discovery phase with EaTable, we identified key challenges and user needs. Then, we developed a menu management system that allowed restaurants to add and edit their menu in simple steps. This feature saved the restaurant owners time and turned EaTable into an attractive dark kitchen solution.


Yaza, a US startup, wanted an app that helps users capture and share experiences they enjoy on a virtual map. But whether the idea is feasible remains unknown. As we commenced the project, the first thing we did was validate their ideas by continuously engaging would-be users.

how to choose mobile app development company

Our effort helped Yaza realign its initial vision, a social app, into a real estate virtual tour app. We found a strong demand for a video-sharing app in the property industry, so we proceeded to build an MVP, which Yaza successfully released.

How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Mobile Development Company

The cost to hire a mobile app development company might take you from $50,000 to $250,000. The exact fee you pay depends on the:

  • app's complexity;
  • developer’s experience;
  • developer's location.

For example, it’s cheaper to build a cross-platform mobile app than to build separate native apps for iOS and Android.

The fee that development companies charge is largely influenced by the hours spent building the app. If you hire an app development company from a region with a lower cost of living, you pay a lesser fee. Likewise, it’s more expensive to hire development teams from developed economies like the US, the UK, Western Europe, and Australia.

Here’s a brief comparison of the salaries that app developers draw in different countries.

Country/Region Hourly Rate
US $70-$200 / hour
Canada $50 - $150 / hour
Western Europe $45 - $90 /hour
Ukraine ~$50 /hour
India $25 - $40 /hour

mobile app development company


Building an app is a great way to increase sales, engage with customers and strengthen your brand. Yet, developing a reliable, functional and engaging app isn’t easily. Startups insisting on pursuing such projects in-house are often overwhelmed by the technicalities, cost and time involved.

Outsourcing to a reliable software vendor is often the better choice. I’ve explained how to choose the best app development company in this article. Besides expertise, you need a development team that truly understands your vision to build successful apps.

Finding an outsourced developer with a proven record is tough, but not impossible. We’ve built 150+ successful apps for startups worldwide, and we’re ready to do the same for you.

Schedule a call now.

Let’s build your next product! Share your idea or request a free consultation from us.