As a founder of a budding startup, or an aspiring entrepreneur weighing options, taking the first step toward building your dream product can seem hard.
Many reasons contribute toward that resistance.
Not having a validated idea at hand, not knowing who to hire to build the product, not having a market strategy in place— the knots holding your aspirations back are endless.
In this modern marketplace, however, every desire has its equivalent product.
With technology being such a part of our lives, it is hardly a surprise to have companies work solely to build products.
Thus, your dream of building a product that delights users becomes less distant.
There are a lot of things to consider before hiring a digital product agency. Without understanding the basics of how they work, you might have unfounded expectations.
We are here to explain in brief about how to work with a digital product agency.
Because, for you to work with them and get good results, you’d need to know the basics of what a digital product agency does.
Let’s jump into it.
What is a Digital Product?
A digital product can be defined as a software-enabled product or service that offers some form of utility to humans. In simple terms, digital products are what we can access using electronic devices like mobile phones, PC, smartwatches, etc. They generally span from applications to websites.
Just like physical products, digital products provide value to the customers. It is either through the needs they satisfy or the problems they solve. And similar to physical products, they go through stages of ideation, design, development, and launch.
The interaction with these products happens through the digital interface. With even more technological advancements, interactions can be enabled through elements like voice.
What is a digital product agency?
With so many companies and organizations claiming to have product development at their core, it becomes hard to know who to believe.
But there are a few things that make a robust, promising digital product agency stand out.
Products are the fruitful combination of user-friendly design and well-engineered architecture that happens with a complete alignment with an entrepreneur’s vision for a product.
So, a digital product agency is a collective that takes a product’s vision and puts it through their design thinking processes before building the product with their modern engineering.
As an aspiring entrepreneur/ startup founder, you should be looking for the following in a digital product agency:
- They provide a unique/innovative visual experience for your product.
- They give you a clear-cut technology framework that sets your product up for growth.
- They are able to consult you on a variety of technological issues.
- Importantly, they empathize with you and understand your product vision thoroughly.
Basically, a good digital product agency will help you fulfill your dreams of building a product with the least amount of hurdles.
Non-tech entrepreneurs and aspirants need a headstart
Setting up an enterprise and building a delightful product are tasks filled with challenges.
Without the necessary experience, securing investment as well as starting toward your product idea are hard.
The difficulty is heightened if you are someone who doesn’t have a technical background.
Digital product agencies can be the necessary moral and experiential boost.
Working with a well-established digital product agency will educate any aspiring entrepreneur on the ins and outs of product development.
Digital product agencies also help with the following challenges that an aspiring, non-technical entrepreneur would face.
Hiring Technical People
Being a newcomer, the entire hiring process can be a tough landscape to navigate.
Knowing which skills to look for and interviewing people are secondary concerns.
In this dense market, getting the right talent has become highly competitive.
Unless your startup or enterprise offers something that resonates with the potential employee, they’d never join you.
It goes without saying that getting this process right takes a lot of time.
However, with a digital product agency, your entire hiring process gets simplified.
Instead of worrying about hiring individuals and building a team, you can hire an entire team in one go.
Building an MVP
We cover a lot more about how to build an MVP as a non-tech entrepreneur here, but here is the gist.
Product ideas need to be validated. Without a proper understanding of whether you are actually fulfilling a market need, developing a product is a huge risk.
A kind of risk that needs a lot of mental resilience; something that not every aspiring entrepreneur would have.
Therefore, building a minimum viable product to understand whether customers like the idea of your product is an intelligent bet.
But as an aspiring entrepreneur, you might find the overall process of building an MVP to be quite complex.
This is something that a digital product agency can simplify for you.
With their industry-wide experience, they will build an MVP that validates your product idea and gives you the necessary reassurance.
Difficulties faced by aspiring entrepreneurs
Hiring the right people for the team
When starting out, choosing the right people for your team might be hectic. You will not know what attitude, abilities, and skills would fit you. A wrong choice might cost you even your product.
Not enough market knowledge
A market is an unknown place for aspiring entrepreneurs. No matter how much research you might have done. It will not give the exposure that experience does. You might not be aware of the nuances of the business and market.
Time to market is an influential factor in a product’s success. And aspiring entrepreneurs will be pulled in too many directions. To have the sense of time and to manage it is difficult. Moreover, planning the timeline practically and prompting your team to maintain the schedule is challenging.
Need for visionary
Entrepreneurship is more than just a product idea. It’s a lens that needs a wide range of focus- market condition, customers, competition, etc. Venturing with just a good idea is not sufficient. You will be expected to tackle every other problem with the mind of a visionary.
Why should you hire a digital product agency?
Successful products are the combination of a good idea, perseverance, careful execution, and intuition.
As an aspiring entrepreneur, you bring the first two to the plate. For proper execution, you might consider an in-house team.
As for the last item, only experience and failures can nurture a good sense of intuition within you.
But what if you could outsource that?
With their years of experience at building products for different clients, digital product agencies have a lot of collective intuition up their sleeves.
Careful execution comes as an added bonus when you put them to work.
Alongside Design (UX/UI) and Technology (Tech Stacks, Architecture), a good digital product agency also helps you with many other things.
Coming up with the product idea is just the first step, and there are multiple levels of ideation and iteration left before it becomes something worth of pursuit.
A digital product agency can help you with those exercises, and also with building your practices for design, development, release, positioning, marketing, and so on.
Without knowing your target audience from the inside out, you can hardly hope to make a dent in the market.
Digital product agencies can help you conduct interviews, surveys, experiments, and generate user personas suitable for your product.
Business Consulting and Optimization
For everything to work as intended, the core needs to be perfect.
A digital product agency can dip its toes into the heart of your organization — its business operations. They can suggest and implement practices, business processes, and methodologies that would level you up completely.
What to expect from a digital product agency?
Choosing a digital product agency becomes way easier once you internalize the ways one should give you a headstart. Here are some pointers to further facilitate the right decision.
Understands the Vision
The digital product agency should completely align with your product vision before starting development.
This is crucial because with better alignment comes lesser misunderstandings.
Your entire product-vision would be split into deliverable milestones. But if there is a gap in understanding, then what you receive would not match what you expected.
And then, you’d have to go back and explain everything until you get what you need.
Instead, by ensuring that the digital product agency completely understands your product idea and the its vision, you can get to your intended results faster.
The digital product agency should have worked with a variety of clients and product experiences.
Such a foundation would let them root your product idea into a strong framework.
Not just that, but their experience would fill the gaps that you’d have as an aspiring/non-technical entrepreneur.
Experience simply translates into them having seen and dealt with a lot.
Whether it is a technical issue or a fault in positioning, they’d know the right thing to do and would direct you toward the same.
As an aspiring entrepreneur, you should leverage their experience to get to speed with the competition.
Handles multiple technologies
The digital product agency should have the necessary technical expertise to build any kind of product that you aspire to.
This means, not just being fluent in multiple programming languages, but knowing where to leverage which in order to build a robust product for you.
Products with the right framework are well-set for growth and scaling up during peak demands.
Therefore, choose a product agency that can ensure that your product gets a solid foundation.
Right amount of manpower
The digital product agency should have the necessary backing of talent and hands to fulfill the needs of your product.
If there are not enough members or experienced hands in the team, then it might take a long time to reach the goalpost.
But this is not just a number’s game, as more people in a team does not automatically guarantee efficacy.
Instead, the digital product agency to which you hand your product idea over should have a well-synchronized team.
A team that accentuates each other’s strengths and cancels out flaws that could affect productivity.
So, when you choose a digital product agency, make sure that their team is in sync with each other.
The digital product agency that you work with should be transparent with you at all times.
Regardless of whatever the situation, they should readily update you about the latest happenings of your product.
As an aspiring entrepreneur, you would obviously need a constant stream of information because this is the first product that you are developing.
Having a clear understanding of how far your product has progressed will give you a sense of assurance, and an established digital product agency will always provide that to you.
Making working with a digital product agency seamless
Now that we have made the process of choosing the right digital product agency easy, here are a few things that you can adopt as a framework while developing a product with one.
Make all of your expectations clear
As an aspiring entrepreneur, being assertive is one of the key traits that will help you win in the long run.
And when it comes to talking about work with the digital product agency, you should completely convey everything that you want your product to have.
Because it is your product idea that is at stake, and your money that is fuelling the project.
This forms the other side of the previous point. While you’d need to be clear about what you want, you’d also have to realize that not every expectation can be delivered.
Due to obvious constraints.
Your product idea could be futuristic and might need to be researched before it is developed. Or it could be grand at a level that your budget does not permit.
Therefore, both parties, the aspiring entrepreneur and the digital product agency should meet in the middle and set realistic goals.
Breaking the product idea and deliverables into milestones
This is in line with being transparent. But updates fulfill another major role that deserves its own blog post— iterative development.
When you, the product’s visionary, are kept in the constant loop of what is being built, you can immediate course-correct the team in case they diverge from your product vision.
And not just that.
Great ideas are a matter of continuous, constructive changes.
Seeing your product growing might inspire you to add some new additional tweak, which can be developed because the entire project is divided into milestones.
Also, when a project is properly measured in terms of milestones, the launch date starts becoming less of a vague dream.
Benefits of working with a digital product agency
Solidify your product vision
Digital product agencies can show you all the possibilities your idea could stretch and grow into.
With such expansive perspective, all you would need to do is choose instead of spending time on ideation.
Saves your time and resources
With their existing efficiency and know-how around the tools and processes, all it takes is deciding what needs to be built, and they jump to the task.
No more spending time on onboarding, alignment, training, yada yada yada.
For aspiring entrepreneurs, this is a big saving on time and money. Whatever that would have been spent on new recruits can now instead be spent on marketing, strategy, and research.
Digital product agencies are very pocket-friendly as well. Take a look at our breakdown of how much it costs to build a SaaS product to get an idea.
Overall, agencies bring predictability to production — since they have spent hundreds of hours building modules similar to your needs, they can give you an exact estimate of how long it will take.
You can take that estimate and hold them accountable, making everything very much result-oriented.
Product development with a digital product agency as an aspiring/non-technical entrepreneur
A digital product agency is a dream come true for aspirants.
From understanding the product idea to making the overall development process completely clear, a digital product agency works to make an entrepreneur’s life easier.
Beyond that, it takes away the hassle of thinking about managing people and getting the work done.
A digital product agency takes the complete responsibility of driving results and delivering a product that delights customers.
With a clear understanding of how to work with a digital product agency, you should now check out some of our other blogs on product development.