A Guide to Software Buddy Consultancy Charges – Software Buddy

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A Guide to Software Buddy Consultancy Charges

Welcome back to this series where we cover a number of FAQs about software consultancy and ServiceM8,

What we’re going to be covering today is really digging a little bit deeper into what Software Buddy’s consultancy and training charges are and that can for some companies be a bit of a hot potato.

Many companies will debate whether they should or should not show their pricing for software consultancy.

Here, at Software Buddy, we’re totally transparent and we like to make sure that you can make an informed decision whether we’re the right fit, but also whether the value is there.

A Guide To Software Buddy Consultancy Charges from Lisa Knaggs Hunter on Vimeo.

A Guide to Software Buddy Consultancy Charges – The Different Types of Fees

There are a number of ways software consultancy charges can be structured, in the most here at Software Buddy we focus on the end results for our clients and the charges we apply can be based on a number of different factors based on the scope of the work required and typically we offer four key services and pricing structures

  • Software Consultancy Day Rate
  • Fixed Price Project Consultancy
  • Ongoing Support
  • Online Training

A Guide to Software Buddy Consultancy Charges – Day Rate

So we have a standard day rate, which is for consultative work and this is a reasonably mid-price, we like

to think, and it’s £600 a day.

We avoid offering an hourly rate as we feel the customer simply never gets enough value in such a short period of time.

Depending on what work we’re doing with the customer, generally speaking we start with a project and that’s normally scoped out through a scoping day.

The scoping day is chargeable however the output from that scoping day results in us developing out a framework that the customer learns something against pre-set criteria.

They get a report back as to what will happen, and then out of that scoping day, we then, develop a project.

The number of days in the plan are put in there, if for any reason days aren’t used, then we don’t charge for them or they can left on bank for a future day or refunded / not charged.

So it is very much that the plans are put in place to cover contingencies and we very much make it so that if the plan looks a certain way, it can be dialled back.

A Guide to Software Buddy Consultancy Charges – Fixed Price Project Consultancy

We covered earlier the process around the scoping day and then transferring into a fixed price project, there’s a lot more than just the work we undertake, for example, there are regular reviews and progress activities to ensure the projects time utilisation is accurate, regular feedback from clients as well as information requests.

There is a lot of reassurance offered to customers around fixed pricing contracts and It’s quite simple really, here’s a breakdown of the inclusive process:

  • Start & Goal Setting Phase
  • Implementation Phase
  • Testing Phase
  • Documents Outputs / Reporting & Training Phase

Fixed Price Project Consultancy – Start & Goal Setting Phase

We always start with the end in mind, that is the go-live date and we sort of work backwards from there.

An example would be a customer might have, let’s say, the first of January as a target go-live date, so really, if we’re going to start a fairly complex project, we want to be looking at it 9 months before that first of January desired date.

This ensures the prep work is in place.

Fixed Price Project Consultancy – Implementation Phase

Once we have this understood then we put the project through the implementation phase, where we actually deliver on the scope of works.

Fixed Price Project Consultancy –  Testing Phase

Following on we have the testing phase to ensure what is built is against the scope and of course to a working satisfactory standard.

Fixed Price Project Consultancy – Documents Outputs / Reporting & Training Phase

A critical element many customers miss is the case is the output documents phase. Consider that you will require documentation and reporting on your new system/software.

Imagine going live, you want to be able to run reports, you want to be able to see how the implementation is going.

Whether that’s how to send your designed emails, or your team understanding how things work in their own department.  Therefore we do leave the allocated amount of time to cover these pre-go-live and post-go-live essential areas.

The last thing any business owner needs is staff who are not trained, if there’s no process in place it can be a disaster.

Therefore always consider there’s a lot more to a fixed price project than just actually output that you can expect to get from the service.

A Guide to Software Buddy Consultancy Charges

Fixed Price Project Consultancy – Timelines

To be clear not all projects will take 9 months, part of the project requires a calculation to work out once you go live, when do you want to be using this new system and then you can see by the

  • The size of the business
  • The number of users
  • The number of products
  • The number of services
  • The number of variations

Once this mapped out a fairly predictable timeline can be established that provides a great roadmap track for everyone working on the team, both from the consultancy team and your own internal team.

At Software Buddy we’ll do everything for you, whether that is an inventory system, to financial systems, to job management systems, plus a whole lot more.

A Guide to Software Buddy Consultancy Charges – Ongoing Support

With a new system professionally designed and implemented, even when your team are trained and documents produced there is always a requirement for ongoing support.

At Software Buddy we offer support on fairly straight forward terms.

We have a very entry level support contract and that starts out at £75 per month through to more complex custom support services that are specifically designed as part of the final system design.

Regardless of the size of the support contract, each one is tailored to the customers requirements.

A Guide to Software Buddy Consultancy Charges – Online Training

A key aspect to consider when considering taking a free trial on software, is getting started and this can be the hardest thing to master.

It can be pretty daunting because a lot of people, either don’t know what they’ve signed up for, if they’re exposed to the software for the first time.

Software Buddy have unpacked our teams years of experience, into a self-paced online course on the job management system software serviceM8.

This is specifically to overcome the issues around failed system set up or early exits of the trial software.

It takes people from the first position of the signing up into having the basic desktop setup completed.

This then allows you to decide how you want to use it and customise it for their business.

What typically tends to happen is people don’t do the background set up correctly to start with.

So when you come to doing customisations, it’s not working for you or your business, because you haven’t done the bits in the background already.

So the online courses, the plan is really to get people going from the trial through to a basic competency, in a short space of time.

This allows you to maximise the length of time on your trial.

So that you’re getting to the interesting stuff, still within the trial time.

So, you see the value of what it can give you.

In summary, it avoids signing up for a trial, having a play about with it but then you know what happens, life and work get in the way and you get distracted.

Often you try and rush something, only to find out by the time the trial has ended, the credit card kicks in, and you have had little value out of it.

What happens next is a failed implementation.

So the online training that we do at Software Buddy allows you to log-on and it runs in-line with your free trial.

By the time the payment is due at the trial end, you will be competent with a baseline set up.

You know exactly what to do, your team can use the training too and they’re ready to go to do more exciting and more productive things.

The online training also allows you to speak to us as well.

It’s not just, oh look at a screen, it’s also if you want to ask questions, you can email these to us, Software Buddy offer people help in multiple ways, and we actually follow up with you.

That’s something which most online software training programmes just do not offer.

They just do not offer that.

So to the cost of the online training, consider the value exchange where our full day consultancy is £600 plus VAT per day, this online training alternative which is self-paced learning for you and your team is excellent value at just £297 plus VAT.

Factor in the email support service where you can get your questions answered, the key differences are we’re not coming to you, you’re using it through the screen and you’re getting the speed of how you’re doing it is up to you.

Follow the program and you will transform your business within 30 days.

You could do the course within 2 days, or even spend all day doing it if you prefer which means you have still got a decent amount of the trial time to now try out the bells and the whistles after setting the system up correctly, you will get so much more value from the trial and software..

Creating the online training this way was fundamental, and to offer even more value before even committing to the trial or the online training we have put together a free training series which show you what you need to prepare to do a trial.

It’s even before you start the trial so that you can understand what’s needed to be put in place, and think about it.

This allows all stage learning to work at their own pace, through the day, evening or weekends with it being self-paced learning.

Add in the fact that all video lessons are short, plus you can pause it at any time, so you’re not going to be losing your place in the actual lessons themselves, you could do the training, get halfway through, pause it, then I could come back tomorrow and pick up where you left off?

A Guide to Software Buddy Consultancy Charges

A Guide to Software Buddy Consultancy Charges – Cost, Benefits Analysis

There are many benefits to hiring a software consultant, we agree straight up that it is not for everyone, however and in many cases we get asked by going to Software Buddy, than going to someone like ServiceM8, Xero or Dear inventory directly, would I pay more and what is the cost benefits analysis of using Software Buddy?

Consider that the way the software as a service [SaaS] online software is sold these days, the typical model is

  • You sign up online
  • You put in your username and password
  • You have the ability to do a trial
  • Then you’re on your own.

 

So unless you seek out a partner to work with, you really are left with their help articles online which based on different learning styles, it may not be sufficient.

And many times you will find that online resources are outdated, or they’re online chat only or the frequently asked questions or the help articles are not related to your business requirements, so you end up with general answers to specific questions, hardly ideal.

We do commend lots of SaaS companies as well and they’re really good, however often don’t necessarily string things together in the right order for you, especially where international software providers do not have a full understanding of the UK markets..

Another consideration is a lot of the support online, live chat services, they’re responding to what’s in your mind and questions at that point in isolation.

Whereas at Software Buddy we take an approach of

‘why are you asking that question?’

And then we can bring more things into this to say well, “Have you considered X and Y?”

The difference is the answers online are available as a one size fits all.

At Software Buddy what we do instead is we’re looking at the individual businesses and we’re talking about what you need.

We are concentrating on the improvement areas that generally allows you as the business to not be as restricted by what the view of the software is.

Get Started For Free

Regardless of which way you feel is right for you, or if you are unsure of where to get started, Software Buddy have a free diagnostic model.

This is a totally free service and we’re not going to just charge you without finding out a little bit about you as the customer.

The process is really straight forward and it is very much about finding out if we’re a good fit, to start with, and learning about your business and this also allows you to learn a little more about us and just seeing how we can work together.

That’s a phone call/skype/zoom call that lasts around 30 to 60 minutes and again that’s without any obligation to purchase anything.

If you’ve got any questions, simply leave a comment below or use #SoftwareBuddy on our favourite and preferred channel of Twitter. And we’ll get any questions answered for you, and check in with us on the next show.

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