Outsourced development team vs Freelance developer – A Startups guide

26th September 2022

Are you part of a new startup with ambitious growth plans and a killer product in the works? Then you’ll be well aware of the challenges you’re about to face. Outsourcing the tech experts and developers rather than recruiting permanent posts can help launch your product faster while keeping your operational costs light. For outsourcing your development work there’s two routes you can go, with a freelancer or with an outsourced team. We’ll guide you through which outsourcing option could be the best for you.

Why do Startups Outsource?

In the early days of a startup you’ll have a team with clear objectives and skilled in managing all aspects of the business. But are they the real experts that will help build your product or service? Most startups fail when the co-founders try to take on too many new tasks, when they could be outsourcing them to experts. 

Even if your startup isn’t particularly tech focused, you will soon find out to appeal to today’s customer its essential to have a strong digital presence… And that will need expert developers to make it a reality.

5 Benefits of Outsourcing for Startups

With outsourced developers letting you and your startup co-founders stay focused, you’ll be able to reap other benefits that will help your startup flourish.

Faster growth

With a startup every hour counts, the faster you get to market the sooner you can return revenue. So rather than being bogged down by time consuming but essential technical tasks, these can be outsourced to your developers. Meanwhile your team of entrepreneurs can focus on finding new markets and distributors.  

Manage your workflow 

As your startup grows, the more your in-house team will become out of their depth in skills and work capacity. At this crucial stage of growth your team can stay in control by taking a step back from the coal face and manage outsourced resource to work on the time intensive tasks instead.   

Cost efficient resource

When setting up the business structure, many startups will ask is it better to recruit development specialists as permanent staff or call upon outsourced resource to do the job? Hiring developers on a permanent basis is expensive, and the ideal candidate for a long-term role in your team may be very different for the short-term product development phases required. With outsourcing you can make significant cost savings by utilising development expertise for when you need it.


Cost savings aren’t the only benefit of having outsourced resource. You’ll also have the benefit of calling upon different specialists depending on the needs of your product development. For example, if your product requires integrating with a cloud service or writing in another programming language, you can flexibly switch to your specialist rather than spending time upskilling internal resource.

Competitive advantage 

Creating a successful startup is a tall ask even before you take the competition into account. There will be others in the market offering similar platforms and services out there, and that’s why it’s so important to develop an offering that offers great service and is competitively priced. Fortunately, the benefits of outsourcing can add up to lower operating costs, which you can then transfer onto customers and undercut your competitors.

What is the difference between outsourcing and freelancing?

Now that you understand the benefits of outsourcing your development expertise, what resource options are available to your startup? You can either choose a freelancer or an outsourced team to help you launch, either option gives you access to skills and expertise your business needs. However, there are key differences.

The pros and cons of using freelancers

Freelancers work on an individual basis, they will have well defined skill sets meaning you will know if they’re suitable for your development needs. With no staff or operational costs they’re hourly rates will be lower than a team, and their contracts flexible. This makes freelancers the cheapest and simplest resource option out there.

The downsides of choosing a freelancer is the very thing that makes them attractive, by working alone their resource limits can be easily reached, meaning your projects could be delayed at crucial points as your sole developer struggles with workload. Also, development projects are complex with multiple components and systems requiring seamless integration. Is your developer an expert in all of your project’s elements? Or is it better to call upon a team of individual specialists instead?

The pros and cons of outsourcing teams

With an outsourcing team you’ll continue have the flexibility of a contractor than a permanent member of staff. The difference from a freelancer is you are no longer working with an individual developer, you’ll have a team of experts available to develop your product. So, when the workload increases the team will be able to undertake the tasks needed, each offering their own skillsets to get your project completed faster. 

With a team of experts and a project manager coordinating resource you will face higher resource costs than a freelancer, plus there will be more detailed contracts to sign. However, the costs of an outsourced development team will be far lower than permanent staff in the long term; and far more flexible too.

Outsourced development teams perfect for startups 

Looking to disrupt a market with an innovative digital offering? Sounds like you need a development team to build it. At Webol we have access to overseas development teams made up of talented developers. Speak to our experts to discuss your project. 

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