Get honest feedback about your app idea and learn how to make it better. I build software apps and software companies. I will help you make sure your app is successful.
With my consulting company, we've closed millions in work as soon as we started following a rigid sales "process". Cost, and all that jazz matters a little bit, but how you present your work, how you talk about it, and how you walk the customer through your sales process is *huge*. Think about this: how would you tell me how to make a peanut butter sandwich? It's harder than you think. Seems simple, but if you can demonstrate how to do that clearly, you'll start closing sales. If you want, setup a call with me and I can walk you through it.
My consulting company, while building software for all types of industries, we 100% use Stripe at first. It's part of our process, so we know why and how to integrate it well.
It sounds like you are building your platform, which means you don't have any customers currently, which also means you don't have to worry about processing fees. The main thing you want to do, is make sure you use a Service Object to wrap Stripe code with, so you can change this down the road (much much farther down the road when you're doing 100's of 1000's in transactions per month) so you can move to a different provider for a cheaper transaction rate. Like I said, thats overkill to even worry about right now. Just use Stripe.
I run a consulting company. We’ve done work for Square and numerous other companies of all shapes and sizes.
1. Hire a person, company will cost you more since their rates “are blended”. That means you are paying more for a company since they include the cost of a project manager, et al.
2. You have to decide your budget. Do you have 5,000? Do you have 10,000$? It’s whatever you’re willing to spend on your initial build. Budget has nothing to do with how much the project costs, it’s what you’re willing to spend.
3. Same as budget, we’ve no clue what you’re idea is about, so can’t even begin to understand how easy or hard it is. We get the cost and time question every single time, there’s no way to get that information until we’ve heard some details.
Good luck. Obviously, we could schedule a call on here if you want to go over that.
What i've seen in the past, is people building simple clickable-prototypes using something like InVisionApp or even using Keynote presentation software + http://keynotopia.com/ to build clickable demos within that. Hiring programmers to build out your prototype is tough since the low-cost will get you developers with not enough experience knowing how to build "just enough". And hiring expensive ass developers will get you a project that blows through your budget just coming up with a style-guide.
How we usually help people in your position is: build a very quick proposal of work done with time + cost, and then see what its going to take to get you in front of people to get more money to finish the build-out. It's just like buying a house: you can't get a mortgage unless you put a little something in first, to get the bank to help fund the rest of it.
We have built a product on Twilio that we sell to doctors offices. To my knowledge, what you're asking for is not possible as-is.
What you could do though: When someone calls, have the system text message you "Hey, this number called, click here to call them back" ... and the "click here" is a URL that hits your server and initiates the call from your server, creates a call conference, and then drops you and the person you're calling back into the call conference.