Hi!

If you're on this page, you've either just joined us as a new client or are thinking of joining us.

Explore this area to find out more about how we work, the team, and the company.

Hopefully we can answer some of your questions along the way!

Sarah Cronk

Here's a quick overview!

Everything you ever wanted to ask... probably

I'd like to work with you. How do we get started?

Give us a call or email us with a little bit of information about your project. We can set up an initial meeting so we can start getting to know one another, understanding your business, explaining how we work, and get a feel for the project and your requirements.

From there we’ll draw up some paperwork and, if you’re happy to proceed, we’ll arrange for a kick-off session with Sarah C (your main point of contact) and other appropriate members of the team who'll be planning or working technically on your project. If applicable, we may start out with a Discovery phase to get to know you and your objectives better.

After that, we’ll aim to meet with you in person or via video call every two weeks to report back on our progress, get your feedback, and decide the next most important thing to build to give you value as quickly as we can.

What features can you build for me?

Anything you want really - you name it!

Take a look at our Portfolio section for examples of the work we have done for unique ecommerce companies (such as audio downloads with individual licences and driver tracking for airport taxi transfers) or for complex internal processes within businesses (such as purchase order generation, invoice approvals, scheduling, and CRM management).

Can you integrate with other existing software?

Generally yes, if the existing software has external connections available to it. We’ve integrated with various financial packages previously, including Xero, Sun, Kashflow, SagePay. Let us know what you’d need and we can take a look.

Can you build apps?

Yes, we can. We’ve built the Grassroots Suicide Prevention's StayAlive app which you can find in the App Store or on Google Play, as well as some company-specific apps for warehouse stock control and replenishment management, for taxi driver allocation and tracking, for staff scheduling and job management, and for motorhome hire and preparation processes.

Can you make me a website?

Yes, if you’re looking to generate enquiries for your business and showcase your work, we can help you get online and start to build a web presence. Have a chat with us about what we can do to help.

Can you help more people find my company and generate leads?

Yes, we can provide digital marketing services tailored specifically to what your business requires. We don’t believe in generic social media packages where we’ll post a certain number of times a day to a particular network, we’ll look at your audience, target markets, and decide exactly what is required and what will work for you.

How can custom software save me money?

Just think of all of those minutes wasted by repeating the same tasks over again - can your time be spent developing your business in other ways instead? We can automate the boring stuff so you don’t have to do it manually.

We can help to calculate and rationalise the costs for custom software based on the time-savings you’d make if the custom software resolved a problem you’d usually work on manually, or if you were to hire another member of staff to take on the workload the custom software would be solving.

Why can’t I just use something off-the-shelf?

Well, you can, if it works for you. But if you have specific business processes, unique logistics, or you’ve simply outgrown pre-existing packages, we can help build something custom to suit your particular requirements. Why go for a generic solution when you could have something tailored to fit your requirements?

How long will it take to build my custom software?

It very much depends both on the monthly budget you allocate towards the project and on exactly what is required for your specific project. Every project has different requirements, as we specialise in custom software.

If you wish to see results faster, we can support a higher budget, or equally if you'd rather spend a little less per month, it will take longer to see results. This is the reason we ask you to choose a budget you're comfortable with.

We work using Agile Project Management in two-week cycles called Sprints. This means you can see progress immediately and decide when your project is ready to be used in the wild. The length of a full project really depends on what you need.

At the start of the project, we'll undergo a Discovery phase with you, where we learn about your business from top to bottom and you get to know our processes a bit better. In this phase, we work with you to define the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) and build a roadmap for your project. We define the principal features in order of priority so we can deliver return on investment in the most expedient way.

How much will my custom software cost to build?

We recommend working with us on our monthly retainer-style model which is the most flexible way to work towards the features you require, whereby you can choose a monthly budget you’re comfortable with. Budget correlates directly to developer time, which is £105+VAT per hour when you have a retainer agreement in place. Outside of a retainer agreement, our ad hoc rate is £130+VAT per hour.

Every project is custom-built to meet your precise needs. Therefore, by definition, your project hasn’t been built before and it can be difficult to predict unforeseen elements or changes to scope in the project.

This is why we aim to work in partnership with you with regular feedback and planning sessions, so you can directly see and have a say in where your money is being spent. The Discovery phase at the start of our relationship also helps us to understand your business better so we can deliver return on investment in the most expedient way.

What do other people spend on their custom software projects?

Whilst we can’t necessarily provide a start-to-finish price due to the custom nature of each project, we can advise that our clients typically spend between £3k and £10k per month with us in order to see progress and results at a pace they are happy with.

We can help to calculate and rationalise a suitable monthly budget for your project based on time-savings you’d make from automating tasks, or if you were to hire another member of staff to take on the workload the custom software would be solving. Principally we ask you to decide on a budget you're comfortable with.

Why can’t you give me a definitive price for custom software?

As every project is custom-built, the requirements for that project can change over time, as you take into account changes in business requirements and user feedback. We find that even if you think you know exactly what you and your staff want, once you start getting into the finer details and processes, things can end up being vastly different to what was expected!

Whilst we may be able to give you a rough indication of costs based on your initial ideas, we find that the old-fashioned way of pricing software by fixing a definitive scope at the start of a project, building it without client feedback, then delivering it months or years along the line never ends up with a satisfactory result, as requirements, understanding, and technology change over time. We prefer to be more flexible and responsive to external changes.

At the start of the project, we'll undergo a Discovery phase with you, where we learn about your business from top to bottom and you get to know our processes a bit better. In this phase, we work with you to define the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) and build a roadmap for your project. We define the principal features in order of priority so we can deliver return on investment in the most expedient way.

Following the Discovery phase, we aim to work in partnership with you with regular feedback and planning sessions. We’ll meet with you in person or via video call every two weeks to report back on our progress, get your feedback, and decide the next most important thing to build to give you value as quickly as we can. This effectively resets the scope every two weeks, so we can make gradual, incremental progress towards your key goals. With this feedback, we can be flexible in accommodating new ideas and changes in the scope to continually improve on the project.

Custom software is not quite the same case as, for example, building a wall, where you might already know what the cost per unit of bricks and mortar are, and the hours of labour needed to reach a wall of a certain size. By its nature of being custom, your software project hasn’t been built before and it can be difficult to predict unforeseen elements or changes to scope in the project. It would be more equivalent to hiring a worker on a day rate to make progress towards an extension.

Once my custom software is built, what ongoing costs are there?

After the development phase of your project is completed, hosting costs start at £100+VAT per month for custom software, which also includes a security certificate for the safe transmission of personal information. Custom software hosting costs depend upon usage and will be assessed at the start of the project.

The hosting requirements and costs are reviewed on a quarterly basis, are subject to increase in line with usage, and exclude maintenance unless you’re on a retainer.

Domain name renewals are charged at £20+VAT annually per domain.

We would recommend setting aside a small monthly budget for ongoing maintenance and support. We can advise on how much would be appropriate on a per project basis.

Do I own my custom software completely at the end of the project?

All software is formed of many different parts and layers, which are are combined together to create a custom application.

For more details on the breakdown of these parts and the ownership model, please see this article.

Keep reading for some useful articles...

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Switchplane Ltd
24 Broad Road
Eastbourne
BN20 9QU
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