One of the things that I do for a lot of our prospective clients is run a meeting that we call the "Action Plan Meeting". Sometimes, our customers are shocked to learn that, before we can go any further, they need to pay me a decent wedge of money (currently £500) just so that you can have the pleasure of my company (note - our Express service doesn't require an Action Plan meeting, only our Premium service).
But it's an absolutely vital part of the way that we do business, and it helps to ensure that our projects run smoothly.
You see, the Action Plan Meeting does three things.
It sets aside an important block of time where we think through the issues that our work together is trying to solve. What are we building? Why are we building it? How is it going to work? These aren't questions that can be answered in isolation, so it's important that we spend the time together answering them.
It results in a Detailed Specification. This is the blueprint for our solution. It's detailed enough that you can take the Detailed Specification to any half-decent software development company and they should be able to build the system. You don't need to stay with us. There's no lock-in.
It also weeds out the time-wasters. Frankly, if you're not prepared to spend £500 on getting the work done properly, are you really prepared to invest in improving your business at all? The work we do is often long-term and it requires a close relationship. And, I'll be honest, it can be expensive (but always good value). If you're worried about paying for the meeting, and working that closely with us, we're probably not a very good fit together.
That Action Plan Meeting sets the foundations for our future relationship. It helps you learn more about how we work, it helps us understand more about what you need.