Updated: March 20, 2022

How to handle your First Call with a Software Development Company

How to get Everything out of the First Call with a Software Development Company

You’ve realized your growing business needs automation, and you want to develop a system that will make your work —  and your customer experience — more efficient. You decide to take action and hire a developer to build a custom software for your business, and you start by scheduling calls with several software development companies to see what they suggest. Now, how do you prepare for that first call? And why do you need it at all?

First Goal of the Call: Learn What the Software Development Company Can Do for You

The process of creating custom software is similar to creating custom clothing. First, a client comes in to consult with the tailor. The tailor asks questions, draws a design for the desired suit, and measures the client. She will offer the client different fabrics, types of stitches, and button designs. She will ask when the client needs the suit ready and how much they are ready to spend. If the tailor thinks the client can buy this suit off the rack (and if she is ethical), she will suggest they go to the store instead of paying custom prices unnecessarily.

Similarly, your first call with the software development company is an opportunity for us to start understanding the issue you are trying to solve or the idea you are trying to get off the ground with custom software. We will ask detailed questions about your business, your current challenges, and any limitations you have to this project. We will then recommend you either buy off-the-shelf software, continue to work with us, or go to a different vendor who might be a better fit.

At Syberry, we pride ourselves on acting not just as vendors but trusted client advisors, and because custom software can be an expensive investment, we may recommend a suitable off-the-shelf solution to fit your needs. For example, small businesses sometimes come to us asking to build custom booking software for them. The best advice we can give in this situation is to look into off-the-shelf solutions for now. We advise it because custom software can be an expensive investment, and it makes more sense for small businesses to purchase one of the many quality booking software solutions on the market and spend the money they save developing the business instead.

By the end of the first call, we want to answer two questions with you:

  • Should we work together on your custom software?
  • If so, what are our next steps?

Preparing for the Call

To ensure your first call with the software development company is thorough, efficient, and effective, we recommend you prepare answers to our most frequently asked questions in advance.

What business issue do you want us to solve?

We want to make sure the custom software we build solves your unique issues. To help us evaluate your situation, we will need to ask several questions. What is the issue you want us to solve? How does this issue affect your business? What do you envision the solution looking like?

For example, our client Jane is the CEO of an education center. She wants to build an online portal with lectures and quizzes for the center's students. Here are the answers Jane prepared for our questions.

Our question Client's answer
What issue are you trying to solve with custom software? Right now, the teachers distribute quizzes to students on paper and read the lectures in class. They grade the paper quizzes and read the same lectures every day. Also, the students need to come to the physical class to receive knowledge.
How does this issue affect your business? The teachers spend half of their shifts grading the quizzes and reading the same lectures to different students. In addition, the number of students in the center is limited due to the size of the classes.
What do you envision the solution looking like? We want to have an online portal hosting both our students and teachers, making education accessible and efficient. The teachers will spend more time answering students' questions and creating new quizzes and lectures. Students will be able to study at our center from all over the US.

How do you envision your software? What functions should it perform?

A software development company will help you answer these questions as we move forward with the project. However, for the first call, we find it helpful to understand how you envision your future software. This information will tell us if we have the necessary expertise or team capacity for your project. It will help us to price your project, too.

To facilitate the software development process, prepare to answer the following questions:

  • What should the key features of your software be?
  • Will you need a mobile app?
  • Will your software integrate with other services?
  • How do you envision the rollout of your software?

These might not sound like urgent questions, but their answers will influence the development process substantially. For example, if you expect just 20 employees to use your system, we will use a smaller server to build the architecture for your project. If you then bring in 100 users to the application, it might crash.

Here is how the education center CEO, Jane, answered our questions. Remember that Jane is a professional teacher, not a technical specialist. We don’t expect our clients to be experts in software development—that’s our job!

Question Client's answer
Will your software integrate with other services? Yes. The students should be able to pay for the classes through our system.
Will you need a mobile app? Yes. The students should be able to watch lectures and complete quizzes on the phone.
What should be the key features of your software? Tracking students' progress, chatting with the teachers, watching and commenting on the lectures, and completing the quizzes.
How do you envision the rollout of your software? When we release our software, we want it to be used by the teachers, the students, and the administration. We expect 3 administrators, 10 teachers and 140 students to use the system at the time of launch.

At this point in development, the list of features can be as detailed or broad as you want. We will ask more questions on the topic as we move forward with the project. If you want to start compiling the list of features now, refer to our Employee Management System example to see what that might look like.

What is your ideal timeline for this project?

You may need a website for a conference coming up, or you might want to release your product at a certain time of year. Understanding your time constraints will help us identify which features and benefits to prioritize during the development process. For example, if you need the project sooner, we could make the team bigger. This will raise the expected investment into the project, but it will allow you to meet your deadline. If you do not have specific time constraints, we will optimize our resources differently, making the project a less expensive investment.

Remember that custom software is built in months, not days or weeks. If you need the software sooner, we suggest looking into off-the-shelf solutions.

What is your expected investment in this project?

We use your investment plan as a potential limiting factor. You might be able to invest a little every month, or you might have all the money now. Knowing how much and how soon you expect to invest will help us optimize your resources. For example, we might suggest concentrating on key features first in order to work within your budget.

Transparency is critical when we discuss the proposed investment into the software solution. You can rest assured that your project's price is not going to be the number you tell us. Instead, we’ll calculate the price of your project using engineers' estimations and our experience. To make meaningful suggestions, however, we need to understand your goals and limitations.

Generally, there are two approaches to pricing software development:

  • Fixed Price. We will go through the Discovery phase with you, discussing every feature you want in your system. It will take us a couple of months to prepare a document listing every detail of your future software. At this point, you will know when you will receive your project and what it will consist of. However, you will not be able to make significant changes to the project once it is being built.
  • Agile. We will start developing your system right away, releasing new features every two weeks. With this approach, you get a basic version your product working sooner while other features are still in development. You won’t have a specific price determined upfront (though we can provide a ballpark range), but there will be more room for changes and adjustments to the development plan.

If you do not necessarily know which approach to take, our engineers will recommend the most suitable option. For example, we recommended that Jane go with the Fixed Price approach, as she had a limited budget and a year before launch.

What will the procurement process look like on your end?

Because building custom software is a complex and lengthy undertaking, we might need more than one call to discuss every aspect of your future project. Sometimes business representatives want various employees to be involved in discussing different aspects of the software.

For example, Jane invited the education center’s IT department to talk about the future system's hosting and integrations. She invited their accountant to discuss the investments. She invited some of their teachers to discuss the software features.

If you have not thought about how you will organize the procurement process, we will offer you an optimal way to do so. But if you have, we would love to hear your expectations. Our goal here is to optimize your resources.

Second Goal of the Call: Evaluate the Vendor

During the first call, the software development company representative will often talk about their experience, work processes, and company structure. This call will allow you to ask questions you did not find answers to on their website. For example, who will hold the intellectual property rights for the software after the system is built?

A lot happens in the first call with a software vendor, but a reliable vendor will make sure the conversation is thorough without being overwhelming. They’ll ask deep questions about your business and will not rush with the contract. They get to know your problem, and they let you ask questions about how they might solve it. If they are not the perfect solution for you, a good vendor will tell you right away.

If you are ready for your first call with Syberry, schedule a meeting with us.

Publication date: March 20, 2022
  • software development
  • outsourcing

Learn more about how Syberry can help your business achieve its every goal

What our customers say about us

Syberry’s team was highly responsive and communicative, managing our project smoothly, responding immediately to any issues that arose, and delivering great software at a reasonable price.

Richard Harkness


Elk Grove, CA

How we help ADEPT Driver Company

We developed a web-based driving simulator for teens and another for adults. The products run on Chromebooks, and the team added features that enable them to measure a driver's ability to avoid a crash.

Technologies used

I don't think you could find a better company to manage and build your project. I get so many compliments on my application, and it has a lot of unique and complex development.

Todd Surber


Charleston, South Carolina

How we help PIXRIT Company

A photographer approached us to build a web-based software platform that combines the fastest social media manager with state-of-the-art galleries and provides the ultimate tool for photographers to upload, store, back up, and share their photos and manage their SMM activities.

Technologies used

The high-quality, user-friendly software Syberry created for us has helped grow our clientele, and we were very pleased with their partnership. Syberry was straightforward and consistent in their communication, met every deadline, and ensured a hassle-free development process.

Vince Hughes

Owner, Steel Estimating Solutions

Knoxville, TN

How we help Steel Estimating Solutions Company

Our client was inspired to create a product that helps steel erection companies perform faster, more efficient estimations and bids. We developed original proprietary software from the initial concept.

Technologies used

Syberry delivered world-class service for a cost-efficient price. They communicated well with our team throughout the process, breaking down steps and utilizing a streamlined management system to keep everyone in the loop at all times. The resulting new platform far outperforms its predecessor and has received rave reviews.

Bill Fahy

Owner, FDI Creative Services

Houston, TX

How we help FDI Creative Services Company

Following strict regulations and requirements, we used AWS to develop a custom e-commerce web app that includes shipping integration. Since the site’s launch, the team has continued to make updates.

Technologies used

The application was delivered on time and within budget. Syberry explained their process thoroughly and accommodated to scope changes effortlessly. Their stellar project management, highly responsive communication, and proactive attitude set them apart.

Ricardo Casas

CEO, Fahrenheit Marketing

Austin, TX

How we help Fahrenheit Marketing Company

We developed a large, complex .NET application with various third-party integrations. The team built the software from scratch based on existing wireframes.

Technologies used

The end solution exceeded the client’s expectations. Syberry delivered high-quality products on time and at outstanding value. They provided frequent updates and repeatedly sought feedback at each stage. Customers can expect a highly experienced team that easily translates concepts into solutions.

Rudy Milkovic

Executive Director, Velikom

Austin, TX

How we help Velikom Company

Our team built video streaming software as a web and desktop app for a third-party client. We completed end-to-end development—from scoping to feedback cycles to QA—using PHP and Wowza Streaming Engine.

Technologies used

Syberry has significantly improved our existing platform, and they continue demonstrate their dedication to our business goals and needs by making thoughtful suggestions for enhancements. The Syberry team is communicative and reliable, mitigating all our concerns about outsourcing software development.

Cory Kowal

VP of Products, THG Energy Solutions

Tulsa, OK

How we help THG Energy Solutions Company

Taking over for another vendor, we served as the ongoing software engineering partner for an energy company’s cloud-based platform. The company provided scoping, development, testing, and deployment services.

Technologies used

Syberry has been an invaluable partner in development. Their impressive team was more than able to fulfill our project needs, and their expertise and dedication led to smooth collaboration every step of the way. The result was a successfully launched product that has received lots of positive feedback.

Chris Cox

CTO, MyMelo

Louisville, Kentucky

How we help MyMelo Company

We provided staff augmentation resources for a development project. The team contributed engineers to follow an established roadmap to perform updates and add features.

Technologies used

The database Syberry developed has empowered 40 organizations to help in the fight against COVID-19. A communicative partner, the Syberry team worked quickly and efficiently to launch the website, and they continue to invest their time and efforts into the project.

David Snyder

Product Director, Covid Resource Network

West Orange, New Jersey

How we help Covid Resource Network Company

The company developed a website that serves as a database where organizations can find and donate to other organizations. Currently, the team is working on enhancing the website and fixing bugs.

Technologies used

Syberry was a patient partner, making this engagement feel like a true collaboration. The system they created for us will save our team significant time and frustration.

Joyce Cubio

VP of Operations, Ernie's Mobile Home Transport

Yuba, California

How we help Ernie's Mobile Home Transport Company

The team built an information hub for a mobile home transport and permit service. After discussing the existing system and processes, we delivered a new structure for forms and data.

Technologies used

The Syberry team is skilled at juggling multiple projects. Though they are in high demand, we were confident that they had the resources and the expertise needed to focus on our partnership. Their constant dedication led to a truly successful engagement, and the final product exceeded all our expectations.

John Fox

Executive VP, Fox Business Automation Solutions

Lakeland, Florida

How we help Fox Business Automation Solutions Company

Brought on as a third party, we supplied ongoing development services. The team work on multiple projects and deliver according to predetermined design specifications.

Technologies used

Contact us to learn more about how Syberry can help your business achieve its every goal!

0 / 2500

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Submit loading...

Was this page helpful?