Why You Should Share Your Budget

When you decide to invest in your business by building custom application software there are many benefits. You will get technology that will maximize your productivity, effectiveness, and profitability as well as provide your business a unique competitive advantage. The majority of our projects have a quick ROI (return on investment) and so the projects they invest in pay for themselves in savings in a relatively short time period.

Often, shortly after meeting a new client, they will ask: “How much will it cost?” There is a Dilbert cartoon where a office worker comes to him and says “I need a budget estimate for my project but I don’t have a scope or a design for it yet.” Dilbert says “Okay, my estimate is $3,585,729.” The manager objects “But you don’t know anything about my project.” Dilbert replies “That makes two of us.”

Before you know detailed information about a project, you can’t accurately estimate it. You can go off of gut feeling and experience from past projects but there are just way too many variables to consider. Purchasing software development is very different from purchasing hardware. After an initial investigation and analysis phase known as your project blueprint, we provide estimates of hour ranges that will be accurate given a certain set of assumptions. This provides an intelligent decision point to know how you want to proceed. Then we utilize an iterative development project method called Agile. We provide frequent estimates along the way so you can stay in control of your budget by deciding which features you want to pay for and which ones can be left out.budget_features_schedule

There are three factors that go toward a successful project: (1) time/schedule, (2) scope/feature set, and (3) budget. As the client, you need to choose the driving factor for your project and allow the other two factors to be flexible.

The majority of clients are more flexible with the their schedule and features…but their budget drives what can be accomplished. That is why one of the first questions we ask prospective clients is concerning their budget.

There are different responses to this question. It makes some people very nervous. They are afraid that if they disclose their budget information then we’ll just tell them that’s what the project will cost. That’s partially true.

I can tell you what you can get for your budget amount. Then we can talk about what you actually need. Knowing your budget helps us to guide you toward a solution that is appropriate for you and to ignore solutions that are beyond your price range.

You may not know what your budget is, company policy may prevent you from telling us, or you may need to request your budget after you find out what the cost is. In any of these cases we can discuss a few options to choose from but it will generally take longer to scope out the work. If you know what your budget is then let us know. It will help us to focus in on the right solutions that will fit your needs.

When we work with you we want to have the most productive discussions that will lead us to a solution that will meet your needs as quickly as possible. Trusting us with your budget information is good for both of us. Our goal is to deliver quality technology with the features you require in the time frame you desire while saving you as much money as possible. When we do that everyone wins.

About Us 11

Tim Cimbura – CEO and Solution Engineer

Tim is an expert in creating custom business solutions that make your work more effective, productive, and profitable. He specializes in FileMaker application development (certified in versions 8-15) for Mac OS, Windows, iPad/iPhone as well as integration with the web using WordPress, PHP, and AppleScript. He knows Apple technology and Windows systems inside and out.

Comments

  1. Great article. Anytime you can slip in a Dilbert cartoon is good too! 😉

  2. Well put Tim.
    This is precisely how I also operate. When asked “how much will it cost?” my basic response is “how long is a piece of string?”.
    Even the most precise specification is prone to ‘spec creep’ as the project begins to take form. Once something is in place clients generally think of extras or changes that any fixed quote cannot predict…

    – Lyndsay

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