Part Two: What to expect when planning an app development project
Joshua Davidson wrote this article
For those of you who happened to jump right into this blog series, you’re reading the second of four parts that we will be releasing over the next four days. It’s highly recommended that you read this series in order, starting at Part One: Preparing to work with a development firm.
So, you’re ready.
You’ve done your homework from part one. You have reached out to an app development company like us here at Chop Dawg, ready to begin nailing down your plan and agreement to bringing your app idea to life.
Well, what’s next?
First and foremost, you need to make sure the company that you’re speaking too is the right fit for you. Vice-versa, they are more than likely, doing the same thing with you.
Companies like us will often turn down work if we don’t feel it is a cultural fit, or sometimes, your app idea doesn’t seem viable. Remember for companies like us, the success of our portfolio is key. We exist to produce results and help you grow your businesses, not to take your money and leave you with a terrible app.
So, let’s say everything has gone great. Both parties have hit it off. You’re excited! You’re ready to work. You say to us, “Hey Chop Dawg, let’s get a proposal in motion!”
From there, we send you a Letter of Intent (also referred to as an LOI).
You’re probably asking yourself, “What is a Letter of Intent?” This is a non-binding agreement which states you’re about to get in talks with a business, to well, discuss doing business together!
Why is this important?
For starters, it avoids conflicts of interest.
What this means is that the development firm you’re talking too is stating, in a legal document, they do not have a current conflict to work with you.
They aren’t working on your biggest competitor while also wanting to work with you.
It also means they have said, legally again, they have the capacity to work with you and within the timeframes and costs, they are about to put into your proposal. This way, they can’t blind-side you last minute with a “Hey, we just closed 14,000 new projects, so to work with us now is double the rate and triple the time frame we have quoted you from before.”
At the same time, it states a few things on your end.
For starters, proposals are really, really, really (and again, really) hard work.
Most companies, like us at Chop Dawg, will spend anywhere from 30-50 hours working on a first draft for you, without being paid to do so. This document protects companies like us from writing a proposal for anyone and everyone, when most people who do reach out to companies like us, aren’t remotely ready to have such conversations yet.
It also states something incredibly common and important to remain conscious about, that your proposal will expire.
For example, with us at Chop Dawg, once you have a proposal sent to you, you have 28 full days to review, provide feedback, flush it out, and make a decision to move forward.
If you don’t, the document that you worked on with them, expires. It cannot be reopened for at least 12 months.
Why? For starters, again, to protect companies like Chop Dawg from writing 1,000 dud proposals for those who were never serious. It allows companies to spend more time working with those who are, putting all of their resources and attention into them.
Second, it allows companies to work with others in your industry if you fall through. Remember that conflict of interest clause you want a company like us to have? They still run a business, which means they can’t handicap themselves from working on opportunities if you drag your feet. They have payroll and monthly expenses to their businesses too!
Now, you have two options with us in particular, if 28 days have passed.
The first one is that you are ready to move forward. By this date, you execute the agreement, make your initial payment, and you’re off to the races!
Or perhaps, you need more time.
That does happen.
Companies can offer refundable deposits, where you can make a payment to keep your proposal open.
The payment being refundable is huge and you want to make sure this is defined.
It means if at any time things do not work out, you can ask for your deposit back, and it is given back to you.
No strings attached.
At the same time, you want to make sure this does not add any costs to you. You want it where the refundable deposit comes from your upcoming project costs, and not added on. Have it deducted from what would be your first payment.
Refundable deposits are great if you’re still finalizing proposal edits, finishing up funding from an investor, and things of that nature.
All of this, of course, ties into what has been brought up over and over again on this blog post, your proposal.
You see, this is your holy grail.
We discussed the book of genesis you have created before but this is your new frontier, your new map to the world, your need sanctuary.
A company like us will take your vision and craft it with our expertise. We will take out anything we believe is unneeded, connect the dots for you with what is, and hold your hand, walking you through every detail of what is being provided from start to finish.
This is huge.
You want your project proposals to define everything to a tee. Not only do you want it to define the actual scope of work, but the design and development process too.
What will the mockup design process be like?
How will you track progress?
What does your deliverable schedule look like?
These are all critical things to think about when having an app development project with a company like us at Chop Dawg. We’ll cover more of these in our Part Three blog post, tomorrow.
So now you have a proposal in your hands, defining everything. You go back and forth with a company like us, modifying it until it is perfect. You have the project agreement attached, you review it to make sure everything is fair.
What’s the final step?
Execute the agreement.
Initial payment becomes due.
Your project with this company is now official. It is finally happening!
You schedule your kickoff meeting, your weekly meetings and introduced your team.
It’s time to get to work.