To Lasting Partnerships
This guide will help you answer any billing questions you may have.
The way Aboundant bills isn’t unique, but we’ve found that our corporate partners are more familiar with it than our nonprofit partners. Thus, we’ve created this guide to help you learn more about our practices.
How does Aboundant bill?
Aboundant bills monthly by the hour. This practice is commonplace with corporate agencies, but it also follows a strong Christian work ethic. Every hour of labor done (which we time by the minute as we work) is compensated in a timely manner, and every dollar paid is in response to actual work. It’s a just, but not perfect, system.
What are Aboundant's rates?
Unlike some firms, we’re not afriad to publish our rates. But know that these are just guidelines and that there are always exceptions. Our goal is to make sure that you are being charged fairly and that Aboundant is being compensated justly.
Do projects go over estimate?
Honestly, about 80% of web development projects projects go over estimate. This isn’t unique to us, it’s industry standard. This is because estimates can’t accurately predict all your needs or every stumbling block that may be encountered along the way. It also is due to things like “scope creep,” when additional changes are added on after the contract is completed, and when clients do not provide content in a timely or complete fashion.
There is a bright side: about 20% of our projects are under estimate because we discover an easier way to complete the project along the way. Some of the work we do is extremely technically or creatively challenging. We are experts, but even we find hurdles that are hard to overcome from time to time.
What if we have a firm budget?
We know how to work under strict budgets, but doing so will challenge both parties to stay disciplined. For instance, if you decide you want another feature or another revision, something else will have to be removed from the project to compensate for it. If you are in this situation, be frank with us about it, and we’ll use a more cautious approach to completing your project. This approach usually involves looking for viable shortcuts along the way to compensate for overages. We wouldn’t recommend this approach for most projects.
Can we save money by using our own hosting and tools?
Some clients ask that we use their hosting, content management system, or themes, in an effort to save money or just because they are more comfortable with them. We will use them if we have to, but don’t be surprised if this increases your estimate because it often requires us to work in a less familiar environment. We’ve fully vetted and immersed ourselves in our tools, and can vouch for them. We will work most efficiently when using them. It’s usually cheaper to teach you how to use our tools than it is for us to use your tools. In addition, many hosting platforms are simply not that robust and don’t give the kind of performance we think you deserve for your site.
Can we save money by adding sweat equity?
Yes, we even encourage this type of empowerment and will help to train you. There are many tasks you can help with, from building pages to adding in your SEO for each page.
How do retainers work?
Aboundant generally requires a retainer worth 50% of the estimate. This shows a commitment to the project. This isn’t a down payment, however. If for some reason you end up going a different direction, you’ll get this money back, provided we are paid for the work up to that point. We will pay your monthly invoices out of the retainer until it’s spent, and then we start billing you monthly.
What happens when we can’t pay?
After the first month, Aboundant will charge a small financing fee. After the second month, we’ll stop executing on any remaining work and will continue to compound the financing fee. After the third month we’ll ask you to go on a payment plan. If you are not paying on a payment plan by the fourth month, we’ll consider sending your outstanding debt to a collections agency. We may make an exception for organizations who are having a difficult time. Reach out and let us know.
How do your rates compare?
We’ve inquired of similar agencies in the Midwest and believe we have the lowest rates. On average, we are about 30% lower than the competition.
Do your rates change?
Do you do any free work for awesome causes?
How do you bill for expenses?
Typically, if we need new pieces of software or stock media, or web services, to finish your project, we will actually request that you make the purchase and control the account. This way you won’t rely on us for access down the road. But if that’s not possible for some reason, we simply add it to your monthly bill. Like other types of overages, some expenses aren’t apparent at the time the estimate is created. However, often when we need to purchase something, it’s because we know it will save us time down the road.