We would venture to say that 25% of our clients come to us in this or similar type of situation:
The owner/manager has some software at their company. The people who used to work on it are no longer there (for whatever reason). Nobody else knows exactly what it is, what it does or how it works. They need someone to come in and figure it all out, get it running, make some changes or document it all out and explain it to them. If you find yourself in this situation, just relax and give us a call and we will help you through it.
We offer all of the following services and many more, but feel free to pick and choose only the ones you want us to provide for you. We do not take offense if you have other resources to complete other aspects of your project. We have worked on a wide variety of software platforms and content management systems, way too many to list here and some of which are now obsolete. Let us know what you are using and just ask us if you have any questions. Even if we have not worked with your specific software, we can figure it out. If for some reason (time constraints possibly) we can't help you with your project we can most likely recommend (albeit more expensive) someone who can.
If you need someone to create software from scratch or make some modifications to your current software or website. Another item we lump into this category would be any type of database work like adding fields and functionality or creating/modifying reports. If you are starting a project from scratch, you may request the programming language you prefer it written in. If you do not have a preference we will probably write it in Ruby or PhP depending on a couple different criteria.
If you require someone to make some visual changes or enhancements to your project(s) or website(s).
(1) If we have to work with other parties during a project this is basically how we bill when we have meetings and other communications that require more than 10 minutes, a basic email or require us to drive on-site somewhere.
(2) Alternatively, we can act solely as your PM (project manager) for your project to make sure you stay on schedule, are getting what you asked for and are not getting the wool pulled over your eyes.
Almost all of our rates are usually in the 'middle of the road' or slightly lower. This has nothing to do with the quality of work you will receive. It is because we don't own a 20,000 sq. foot building, have a bunch of executive staff collecting a paycheck or paying out a sales persons commission (i.e. less overhead). Ironically we have had clients go with another (larger/expensive) firm only to have that firm sub-contact the exact same job back out to us. When we sub-contract to larger firms, we usually give them a 10% price discount on our servcies, because they closed the contract, went to all the meetings and planned it all out. So in this particular scenario, the client (stated above) ended up paying 40% more for the project and we ended up making 10% less and they ended up with the exact same product they would of got by going directly through us. It is unfortunate but it happens all the time in this industry.
It is extremly helpful and saves a lot of time if you show up with a general budget in mind. This lets us know what item(s) on your 'wish list' we may need to remove if it will push you over your budget. If you have no clue what something costs, we can give you an instant idea after you describe your project to us. We estimate all of our projects using the following matrix.
less than 1,000
1,000 to 2,500
2,500 to 5,000
5,000 to 10,000
10,000 to 25,000
25,000 to 50,000
We are not a used car sales lot which means it's not the first person to say a price loses. If you have a 5k budget and we think your project will cost 2k we are not going to 'pad' our estimate. You can either save your money, or perhaps add some additional functionality to your project if you desire. We know everybody wants the best possible product for the least expensive price. We don't pull any punches, so we expect you to be up front with us as well. We are all in this together.
Most of our projects are billed on our hourly fee schedule also known as 'time and materials'. For us to quote you for a 'fixed' or 'not to exceed' price we require a few things. (1) You must know exactly what you are looking for and what you are expecting. (2) There must be detailed documention on 'how it works' along with possible 'what if' scenarios. (3) You must have mockups and/or wireframes for all screens. If you want a we can draw up all these documents for you (for a price) and then we will give you a fixed bid, you can also take this packet around to other development firms and get quotes from them as well.