6 Replies Latest reply on Sep 7, 2013 6:10 AM by SteveMartino

    Ideas about pricing

    appt

      Title

      Ideas about pricing

      Post

           Hi all, 

           Over the last few months we have developed a database solution for schools on the ipad. Feedback is through the roof and we are planning to turn this into a business.

           Having no experience in this I was wondering about pricing. We know what we need to charge to set up a school, based on undercutting the huge prices that are charged to schools for 'off the peg' solutions. 

           What we are unclear on is whether it is the norm to charge for continued use (year 2 and onwards). Obviously with stuff like Windoze, Apple software, apps etc you generally pay once and then it is yours until the next major revision, which might be several years away. 

           Because our databases are 'bespoke' we initially thought we would charge per ipad per year but I can't work out whether this is just us being money grabbing. We are likely to need to do some work each year to help the school get set up or to make some design feature changes as the curriculum requirements change but that might not always be the case if we have done a good enough job.

           Any thoughts or experiences would be greatly appreciated. 

        • 1. Re: Ideas about pricing
          schamblee

               Pricing usually goes with the industry norm, the industry that the software was created.  Most new software today is going to a monthly or annual fee.  Adobe release a new version, but I understand it the last version you can buy.  They are going to the cloud version which is a monthly or yearly.  Microsoft Office is going this way too. Most industry (for a specific industry) designed software charges a annual fee for updates and another fee for support.   I would research what the norm price for the type software you are marketing.  Compare what your software does and does not do compared toe the competition.  What your company offers for the money, such do you only offer phone support or on-site support.  What your company will cover under support.   A company that been arond and has a known name can usually charge more.  Would you pay more for a Dell pc or a no name pc.  

          • 2. Re: Ideas about pricing
            appt

                 Thanks for that. 

                 Really difficult to find out charges for educational software, often very cloak and dagger! 

                 But your answer is very useful. It might be that we just need to drop our yearly charge down a bit. 

            • 3. Re: Ideas about pricing
              SteveMartino

                   I deal with School districts (not computer related) with supplying them a certain item. School districts in general need & want things completely spelled out in contracts.  They need this for when expenses are questioned.  You need it to cover your butt.  When it comes to computer hardware and software, figure on alot technical support, especially in the beginning.

                   If they go for it, I would think a per user is reasonable, for license, software install and set up.  I would also put in for technical support at an hourly fee (like consultants, and solicitors do), after initial deployment, and an additional fee to add users.  The last thing you want is to sell them 250 licenses, and find out they want them deployed 10 a day, or the first 200, then maybe 2 a week throughout the school year. 

                   It's better that you draw the contract yourself and spell out every contingency (what if the iPad is damaged or stolen) and let them review it and negotiate from there.

                   Also, who buys the iPads? Do they want them locked down to just use your DB or do they just want to add your DB?  Maybe you can get a bulk purchase, install the software, and control everything.  Or maybe it's better to let the hardware be their problem and you handle the software.  There are obviously many details, and this is very expensive, so make sure you plan it all out.  Also, if you're not a FileMaker guru, I would recommend paying a certifed developer to go over your solution to make sure its perfected, bug (ish) free, and fully protected.

                    

                   edit:  Regarding your comment "hard to find out charges....." , anything a public school district purchases, is available under the Sunshine Act, for public viewing.

              • 4. Re: Ideas about pricing
                appt

                     Thanks, as this project has developed we have seen how complex setting up a business is. We have the solution running as a trial in a couple of schools so we know that it is now fairly bug free. It's not a very complex solution but it is very effective. 

                     I'm no guru of anything sadly. 

                     Can we just write a contract out ourselves or will we need a solicitor do you think? Are there resources on the Internet that people have used for this?

                • 5. Re: Ideas about pricing
                  schamblee

                       A lawyer will alway tell you that you need a lawyer to write your contract.  I have used lawyers before and they can be expensive.   I would do research online for two or three agreements and then compilie my own then find a lawyer to review it.  This will be less expensive then having the lawyer to do all work, then this basic contract format could be reused.   It's a money thing.  If you get sued it could cost you more to just defend yourself then it would have cost to have the lawyer to write the contract in the first place. 

                  • 6. Re: Ideas about pricing
                    SteveMartino

                         Adding on to S Chamblee....

                         Just remember, they are going to get a lawyer to review/change your contract.  And if your contract isn't legal, they see some loopholes, they probably wont tell you, but keep that in their back pocket knowing they can break the contract without any consequences.

                         If you're in America (I'm only saying that because you used solicitor instead of lawyer), find a public school district that has awarded a contract for something similar to what your doing, and get a copy of it--all allowed by law.  Bring that to a lawyer for review.  That should save you some money.  Also, when a school district needs to draw up a contract and bid requirements for something they never did before, most likely their solicitor or a colleague of their solicitor is on retainer at another school district, and just gets a copy of their documents, looks them over, makes changes, and uses them.