When Your Estimate Seems Too Good To Be True
Let’s Start with a Story
Here is something that comes up occasionally. I semi-recently purchased a new car and I wanted to share a little bit of a story. Because I do my best to make sure that I have all of my ducks in a row before I make any large purchase decisions, I called my insurance company to get a quote as to what kind of rate increase I was going to expect when I got home. The rate was surprisingly reasonable, but that’s not the focus of this story.
Fast forward a week and I have made my purchase and want to put the insurance on my new car! As it turns out, because I was just making an inquiry the first time, I had to go through the insurance quote process again. When we finally finished another 20-minute phone call the representative gave me my rate. I was shocked to discover that it was $15 per month cheaper than my original quote. Sweet, I’m saving $180 bucks a year! Not so fast. My immediate reaction was something along the lines of “no that’s not right”, to which she started justifying the costs. I had to interrupt to say, “no the amount is too low, there must be something missing”. As we went through the next few minutes of going over specific coverage limits, deductibles, etc., we found a portion that she hadn’t included. It still didn’t raise my rate to the same amount, but it was close.
I assume that many consumers, when presented with a lower quote, happily accept the lower price — but in my experience, there is always a tradeoff.
We experience this at CoreSolutions occasionally. Odds are that if you are looking at development companies and you are getting a few quotes, they should all be in the same ballpark. That’s because professional software developers will likely take a similar amount of time to complete a task. If one company comes in significantly higher or lower than the average, it’s likely not that you are getting a great deal or one company is trying to gouge you. It’s more likely that they have misinterpreted your needs.
The old adage — “if it seems too good to be true, it probably is” plays here. Value is about more than price, and a decision based solely on price often costs more in the long run.
We’ve been on both sides. We have also had clients come to us when their current provider couldn’t provide the quality or support needed for their system.
I have heard so many horror stories of individuals hiring house contractors and simply going to the company that has the lowest price. I know a lot of people that simply throw out the high price and throw out the low price and pick something in the middle because they have been burned before. The easiest way to decide on an individual is to ask for their references and read their reviews.
At CoreSolutions, we pride ourselves on quality work, driven through solid processes. We have a team of developers, which gives you access to greater flexibility and decreased costs compared to internal dedicated resources.
If the project is crucial to your business, you may want to revisit that ultra-low estimate. It will save you countless hours of frustration if something wasn’t properly estimated. It saves arguments later.