Let’s say you’ve got an idea and you’ve approached someone and emptied your thoughts on them. You’ve been talking for 15 minutes and explained everything your idea should, could and would do. When you started telling people this idea it might have lasted 30 seconds then 5 minutes dep depending how much you’ve actually fleshed it out and evolved it as you were explaining it.
Now picture the person hearing this idea is a consultant or development team. Do you really think it’s feasible to ask them “What is it going to cost me?”
How many of you have actually followed this scenario and ask that very question if not a similar one?
You can’t really provide a brain dump to a development firm and ask for a quote unless it’s something that is off-the-shelf, pre-packaged, and there’s a sales package that is already in place.
If you approach a web-development company who provides eCommerce solutions who could provide you with a fixed quote only if they’ve prepared a package with no customisations. But once you start requesting customisations and changes to that basic thing they will begin charging and investigating for those.
What you need to do is sit down with your team of consultants or developers and go through your idea as much detail as you can. Explain everything to them, Don’t leave anything on the table and assume anything.
Make everything crystal clear
Even when you like a little feature on a website and you think that it’s a standard thing. It really isn’t. Nothing is standard when you do custom development. There are just best practices that people follow.
Don’t go up to people and ask “give me a quote, please. I told you my idea.”
We learnt a long time ago that providing fixed-price quotes in a little bit of time making trouble for everyone. We used to do fixed price quotes upfront after a small workshop. It never ended well.
We would develop a technically feasible solution and delivered what they wanted when we spoke to them. But when it was delivered it wasn’t actually what they needed because things had changed. That’s the problem with a fixed price quote and contract upfront.
It doesn’t actually get you the right solution and isn’t a flexible process, change isn’t built into that model.
Even if you are still deadset on asking for a quote and you then begin comparing quotes from different providers you will end up with two different things. What information did you give one and not the other? What different assumptions are they making? It’s like comparing apples to oranges.
You need to find a team that’s will guide you through a process to help you define your idea, requirements and make clear the project risks. Unless you go through a process like this your team won’t actually understand what’s involved in your idea and vision.
Only at this point are they able to work out what’s involved and what the costs may look like.
Don’t go for a quote upfront because it doesn’t work.