Although we offer some flexibility in how this is approached, ultimately we are a professional services company, so providing services for free is not a sustainable business plan. We want to be compensated for the effort and time that goes into helping businesses plan and grow their eCommerce websites.
We have three ways to enter into new projects with our clients:
This is the most popular and familiar approach to website development. This process includes gathering requirements at a medium level and then submitting a proposal defining the scope, expectations, schedule and cost of the project. The cost is broken into line items with a blended, fixed, hourly rate multiplied by the number of hours expected for each line item of services and products. The common downside to this approach is that merchants tend to introduce new requirements or "clarify" proposal requirements that actually add to the schedule and cost. This requires either a change request and delay in schedule or an agreement that it will be post-poned until after launch. Rocket Web prefers not to issue change requests and delay schedules unless it's necessary to the business and they really want the new requirements incurred. This method tends to carry extra risks for both parties and can only be managed if clear requirements and expectations are communicated by the merchant. In this method, there is risk for both the client and the agency.
This is the preferred approach by Rocket Web because there is clarity on both sides from the beginning. This process includes splitting the normal Fixed Bid one phase project into two phases and two separate contracts. Phase 1/Contract 1 only includes Discovery and UX design. A deep discovery process takes place with a follow up UX design that reflects the requirements discovered and clarified. Once this phase is complete, Rocket Web can provide a new Phase 2 contract with the effort and time to design, build, test and launch the project. This ultimately allows not only the merchant freedom to only go as far as they want to with their time and money but also allows Rocket Web to be more efficient with time and resources on Phase 2, thus lowering the cost of risk and saving the merchant time and money. No one likes surprises. This method helps eliminate risk for both parties and has proven successful every time.
Sometimes a merchant wants to take a T&M approach. This process includes gathering as much known requirements as possible and then providing a range of hours needed to complete the project. Rocket Web gets to these hours by taking all the team members' hours and adding a percentage of unknowns or risks on top so that the range is on the higher side and there is very little risk or surprises. The merchant will only pay for the hours of service that it takes to complete the project. Rocket Web would track everything in hours:minutes and then submit invoices in incremental stages during the project. If the project goes efficiently and there is good communication on both sides, the project may then end up under the range of hours. This benefits the merchants because they only pay for what it actually takes to complete the project. If the project gets to 75% complete and Rocket Web forsees the hours going over the projected range of hours, then a meeting would be set up to discuss why it's taking longer to complete and come up with a plan to get it under control before there are any unforseen surprises.
We offer more details about our Managed Services here: http://rocketweb.com/faq/services/managed-services