Q: What kinds of applications do you create?
A: We’ve written applications for all types and sizes of business. Some of the applications we’ve written include scheduling, billing, accounting, real estate escrow tracking, service call tracking, health assessment, and much more.
Q: How do I know if you’re the right consultant for me?
A: First, we’ll have an initial consultation, which is free. In this consultation, we will meet and discuss what your business is about and what kind of application or applications you need. This is a chance for us to become acquainted and to decide if we’d like to work together.
Q: Is there a contract or something to sign?
A: If you decide to work with us, we’ll have you sign a standard consulting agreement. This protects your rights and explains some technicalities like copyrights.
Q: So, once I tell you what I need, do you just come back later with a finished product?
A: One thing to keep in mind is that the development of your application is a cooperative effort. We’re experts in programming, but you’re the expert in your business. The advantage of custom programming is it can be tailored exactly to your business, but this takes feedback from you.
Q: How do we get this process started?
A: After the initial consultation, we’ll need to do some analysis to pin down the details of how the application should work. Then, we’ll create a design document with cost estimates. You can decide if you want changes or additions, and you’ll get a clear picture of how your application will work and what it will cost.
The next thing we’ll do is create a simplified version of your application. This version will have the menu options and screens we talked about, but won’t have any of the bells and whistles (or processing) that make an application complete. If you need to make changes to the visual aspects of the application, this is a good time to do it.
We’ll go around with this process a few more times, each time getting closer to exactly what you want. It’s normal during this phase to think of things you forgot to mention earlier about what the program should do. Most of these things are minor and won’t change the estimate. If you think of something that’s more of a big deal, we’ll let you know how that affects the estimate and you can decide if you still want that change.
Q: What do I get in the end? Do you include source code or documentation?
A: In the end, you’ll have a functioning application, source code (you’ll need this if you want someone besides me to modify your application), and a manual. The manual will have a section which describes how to use the application from a user’s standpoint, and a technical section for anyone needing to make modifications to the system.
Q: How will you bill me? Will I just pay for the whole thing when you’re done?
A: We work on a “Time and Materials” basis. In other words, we bill by the hour. In cases where you need to have a purchase order approved or there’s some other reason you need a fixed price, we can work something out.The billing period can be anywhere from every week to once a month, depending on how much work we’re doing for you.New clients are required to send a deposit that is approximately 30% to 50% of the expected cost of the project. A positive balance must be maintained until you have a chance to establish a line of credit with us.
Q: How much do you charge?
A: Rates vary based on who does the work and the circumstances, and are negotiable. Often, we’ll offer a 10% discount if you pay your invoice within 14 days of the invoice date. For clients with a deposit, the discount is guaranteed if there is enough on deposit to cover the invoice.