The perils of requesting for a quote from a service provider too soon
Would you ever imagine travelling like this?
I bet you wouldn’t.
However, when you ask a service provider to give you a quote for a project very early on, this is exactly how it is.
In our years of experience at Amras Labs, we’ve met a lot of prospects. This is how the conversation goes like in some of the cases:
Prospect: We want to build….. This is how it will work…. We are looking for companies who can help us build it. How much will this cost?
Us: Do you have a more detailed breakdown of your requirements, for example, why are you building what you are building and for whom?
Prospect: Well, we have a rough idea on the requirements, based on input from a few key stakeholders. We do not have it documented yet, but we are sure we could create and refine that while we are working on the project. So, how much will you charge?
Us: Do you have anything you could share with us that could help us understand the complexity of the requirements? Even if you have rough mockups or wireframes, that would be helpful.
Prospect: As we said, this will need to be figured out while we build it. We have got quotes from other companies already, so we are not sure why this would be important before you can provide us with a quote!
From here, there are two ways such conversations go:
- We sit down with the prospect to explain to them the potential risks of viewing the quotes they have already received, or
- If the prospect is still very adamant about getting a quote from us, we reject the project because such relationships have the risk of being jeopardised in the future
If you are looking for a service provider to help you with something, we would advise you to be very careful if you get a quote from a company too soon.
The issue with getting a quote before defining the project scope is similar to saying – you are interested to buy a car and you go to a dealer and the only brief you give is, it should be something that I can take to work and go out for parties and look good.
The car dealer will not know your objective, your interest, your preference and what you wish to buy; a Mercedes or a Hyundai i10.
These are all the possible risks involved:
- Since the company has not well understood your requirements, any quote they provide you with is subject to major changes/revisions in the future.
- The company may give you a product which is way below your expectations and you will not end up using the product at all.
- Since the objectives are not well defined, the working relationship with the service provider may turn sour once they understand that their quotes and the requirements do not match
Getting a quote too soon even when the scope is not finalised will eventually cost you more money in the long run!
At Amras Labs, we have defined a 5 step Product Development Process which helps customers at any stage to design and develop a product that has a higher chance of success. The process lays emphasis on the need to do a User Research and Solution Design which will help in defining a scope that can be used to develop the Minimum Viable Product to test the Product-Market fit. With market feedback we have an iterative process to improve the product in subsequent phases.