Are you considering to start an e-commerce activity or webshop? Then your first thoughts probably are: “What’s that going to cost?” And that’s quite normal. That’s why we feel you need a clear answer to that question.
At Baldwin, we work per hour: we make an estimation of the amount of hours the project requires.So we don’t give you a fixed price for your project, but an accurate estimate. This way of working might sound different to you, but it is in most cases far more cost efficient.These are our arguments:
Doing more in less time
We start from the fact that knowledge grows. During the project cycle you will learn a lot from the solutions we offer, and our knowledge about your products or services will grow equally.
If you are choosing fixed budget, then you are also choosing the first proposal that you accepted or considered viable, while you (and we) may be having new ideas during the project. How many times have you started with a basic idea that eventually looked completely different in the end?
Most of the times the result is even better than what you pictured at the beginning.
Why is that? Because working on a project you encounter situations that change your vision, you get new and better ideas or you may decide to make certain compromises, all with the scope of improving the end result. You let the project grow!
The development of a webshop is not different from this point of view, as every problem always has multiple solutions. It’s impossible to foresee every possible scenario or challenge at the beginning of a project.
Projects with a fixed price require extensive analysis and planning and they are bound to strict legal contracts or offers. The hours that have to be foreseen for discussions and adaptations of the original price offer cost time and money, and those resources could better serve for the real development of the solution.
Because your e-commerce knowledge will grow during the project, Baldwin proposes to stay flexible and come up with the best solution on the fly.
That will work so much better then to jump to conclusions at the beginning of the project.
Let’s put quality on the first place. Always.
A few examples: after signing your fixed price offer you get a new idea, or you want to adapt something we built to take a head start on a competitor’s webshop, or the developer discovers a conflict with a third party webservice that could not be foreseen.
Whatever the reason is, the project will not be build within the budget, time frame and that will create tensions.
You want the webshop to be better aligned to your company, while the web agency wants to be rewarded for the delivered work.
That will imply new budget negotiations, slowdowns on the project and an unsatisfied client. That’s why web agencies use temporary solutions, quick hacks and other quality lowering methods. If there is pressure to deliver, the first victim will always be the quality of the work.
At Baldwin, we always strive for the best quality possible. Only this way can we be happy with our work.
Avoid a “technical debt”
If your current webshop is making use of the Magento platform, of course you want to be sure that all tailor made programming keeps working after an upgrade. Unfortunately it happens too often when you try saving money, you’re actually compromising the quality and after a short while you technical issues appearing.
To be able to deal with your future issues, first the older code has to be updated… or worse. You may just have to restart the entire project.
If you buy something offline, fruit or vegetables for example, you can check them: you can feel, smell or taste the quality of the product. Make sure you do the same with the webshop you develop: test it carefully.
If your webshop can be accessed online, it doesn’t mean that everything works perfectly.Sometimes you discover the disfunctionalities when you need to implement something new or just want to make an upgrade.
The only way to avoid a technical debt, is to go for quality from the start. We would prefer to postpone an extra module until it fits your budget then to build halfway, because it will hunt you and us in a later phase.
Mutual trust is mandatory
Now you know why we chose hour estimations over fixed pricing, and of course, we understand that many managers won’t feel comfortable with this flexibility.
We cannot emphasise enough that the e-commerce path we chose to follow together is based on mutual trust and confidence.
That’s why we share our time sheets, you can follow the progress of the project in our testing environment and we share our way of working in project management.
You will see the project growing from design to development, and you will have direct contact with our team.
A very important PS
Asking for flexibility has nothing to do with asking for a blank check. Of course, we work within a budget, but we prefer not to do something rather than doing it halfway and making the budget right.
With this method, working with us will save you money in the long term.