FAQThe answers to all your glowing questions.

Our firm

Founded by leaders from global IT & consulting industry, BUSINESS CIRCLES is a growing and dynamic organization that delivers change through innovation. We had quickly gained our leadership by leveraging its functional and technological expertise to successfully address customer’s most critical challenges.

BUSINESS CIRCLES is a young innovative and integrated information technology company, offering end-to-end solutions and related consultancy in Software development, Digital Transformation, Digital Marketing, Innovation as a service, AIaaS, Business and IT Services.

BUSINESS CIRCLES facilitates, enhanced competitiveness through multi-faceted interventions leading to Business Improvement through consulting, people, process and technology, bench-marking and resource provisioning.

Using our industry knowledge, expertise gained, technological capabilities and service offerings, we identify emerging business and technology trends and develop solutions catering to the needs of the growing competitive market.

We believe in a comprehensive approach – becoming a part of our client’s business and knowing as much about their operations and challenges as possible.

We Are Determined To Get Better With Each Single Step We Take. We Focus On Building Our Expertise In The Latest Trends Such As AI, IOT, machine learning, AIaaS, Digital Transformation, Blockchain, Big Data Analytics.

Business Circles has been debt-free and profitable since day one and remains that way today.

You can easily describe Business Circles’ clients as the following:

  • Non-technical business owners or key people with titles like: CEO, President, COO, Director of Operations, or sometimes Director of Technology or CTO
  • Technology-frustrated businesses – outgrown their current systems/process or need to improve what they already have
  • Mostly service-based businesses that see custom software as a competitive advantage
  • Established small and mid-sized businesses with anywhere from 10 to 800 employees
  • Entrepreneurs and Startups

In BUSINESS CIRCLES we value innovation, teamwork and honesty. We take a fully committed, proactive & balanced approach to each business activity to align the interests of our employees with those of our customers and our shareholders. Our goal is to cultivate an inviting and productive work environment which reflects the diversity, personalities and interests of our team members.

 

  • Strategy – helping you answer the question, “what exactly should I build?”
  • Design – creating appealing, easy-to-use interfaces that delight your users and make your company look great.
  • Development – writing and testing code that runs smoothly, gets the job done and is reliable day after day.
  • Quality Assurance – ensuring that we’re always building the right thing and it works securely across multiple platforms.
  • Deployment & DevOps – getting your product to your people with minimum hassle.
  • Hosting & Monitoring – keeping things running smoothly and securely once it’s deployed.
  • Ongoing Support – keeping your product in top shape and responding to your needs quickly with your own dedicated, fractional software team.

We actively engage in finding the best solution and owning projects, end-to-end. Our reputation has been built on quick delivery and spot-on solutions.

We’re best suited for these types of engagements or relationships:

  • New development – “idea to MVP” or “MVP to version 1”
  • Dedicated software team – fractional software department
  • Legacy takeover and remodels
  • Project rescues or turnarounds
  • Boosting existing teams – augmenting existing teams with shared values

Our sales process

We always conduct an initial call to ensure that we’re a good fit. Things we look for are: a responsible budget, a clear vision and direction, and a full commitment to the project.

Absolutely. We believe checking references is an important part of the buying process. We usually send over references after we determine that we’re a good fit for you and your project.

We will not sign an NDA before our initial call. It’s important that we know enough about the business to evaluate whether there’s a conflict with our current or past clients. In addition, we talk to over 100 potential new clients a year.

We will only sign an NDA if:

1. It’s mutual or bilateral
2. We understand the requirements of the project and believe that the project and client are a good fit for Business Circles
3. We are not violating any other agreements that we have as a company

Short answer – yes we do. But We dont recommend this sales approach in our industry due to the following:

• The requirements in RFPs are often extremely detailed, but usually lack any business context.
• The probability of this document containing the optimum feature set is extremely low.
• By agreeing to respond to an RFP, we are relying 100% on someone else’s ability to capture the correct requirements. The right features are better learned by the project team through user interviews, mockups, prototyping, releasing actual software, and getting feedback from real users.
• This contract style sets the client and consultant working against each other right from day one.

Absolutely. We always start with a live demo of the system and then a code audit. Once we complete the audit, we send you a full report that includes: analysis, recommendations, proposal for takeover (if applicable).

Who owns the code and designs Business Circles produces during the project? You do. Before we work, we’ll put a services agreement in place that will assign ownership of all work product and deliverables to you as long as we’re paid for the services we perform.

Most clients are never ready for development when they come to us. It’s important that we take the time upfront to help you determine the right thing to build and a responsible budget for your project. Learn more about our pre-project consulting process. generate synergistic total linkage through cross-media intellectual capital. Enthusiastically parallel task team building e-tailers without standards compliant initiatives.

If new software – we’ll work with you through our pre-project consulting process to size up your project and then move forward with a Discovery, Design & Planning engagement. After DDP, we’ll begin development of your software. You’ll be involved every step of the way.

Yes, we are always evaluating new projects. The pre-project consulting process takes ~1 weeks. Our Discovery, Design & Planning phase takes 3-5 weeks. Development begins after that.

our people

To date, we have ~30 people dedicated to client projects.

All our people get paid to learn and share. This includes reading relevant books, going to industry conferences, attending and speaking at local meetups.

We regularly hold lunch ‘n learns at the office so our people can learn from each other. We also pay for every employee, at any time, to attend training courses on Scrum, project management, engineering best practices, good design, and business strategy.

Our FT people work an average of 40-48 hours of their time per week.

While the core tam usually work from our offices, we encourage remote and offshore work and provide necessary environment and management capabilities to boost communication and performance.

This is not something we do unless it’s for an official security clearance. When resumes of team members are requested, this is a red flag that our prospective client would really prefer a staffing relationship. As mentioned above, this is something we try to avoid. Rest assured, you’ll have interactions with many different team members before we actually begin work on your project. If you’re not excited about your team before we begin work, then we’re likely not a good fit for you.

Project Approach

The typical size for each project team is 2-3 developers. Each project team is supported by UI/UX designers, software testers, managers, and cloud engineers. With each development team sharing support resources, we’re able to reduce project costs for clients. We’re also able to make developers more efficient by ensuring they spend their time writing production-level code, not messing with other tasks.

Each team is assigned a Project Lead, a full-time developer on the team who has additional responsibilities for facilitating communication and planning with the client and amongst the team.

Communication between project teams and clients is not limited to interactions with the Project Lead. Every member of the Business Circles team is empowered to communicate with our clients. It’s common for phone calls and emails to be exchanged throughout the work week between Business Circlesteams and their clients.

Every project team at Business Circles is assigned to a team email (ex: clientname@circles.business). Below is a summary of all formal communication methods that will occur throughout the project:

 Purpose
Weekly Status UpdateOutline the following: what was worked on last week, what’s happening this week, any questions/issues, status of the project
Weekly CallThis should be a standing call every week that’s scheduled upon kick-off. The purpose to touch base and talk through any issues, get answers to questions, check-up on action items, or gather feedback.
Release NoticeThis is an email notice sent by the Team Lead or PM to the Client outlining what’s happened since the last build and what’s ready for testing and feedback.

Projects fail for one major reason – poor communication. Establishing communication and planning rhythms is the most important aspect of software project management. These rhythms include:

  • Weekly meeting to review successes, failures, and future plans – 1 hour
    o Team members demonstrate what they got done the week prior
    o Everyone discusses how they can improve the processes/techniques on the project
    o A detailed plan for the upcoming week is agreed to
  • Daily standup to create team momentum – 15 minutes max

Our project management practices are centered around a “no surprises” philosophy that keeps everyone informed at all times and attacks risks as they emerge.

Short answer – everyone. Every person on our teams are empowered to communicate with clients directly. These keeps things moving along and helps retain our flat organization structure.

We expect clients to be actively involved in their projects. You are the one bringing the expertise about your business and market to the table. Without that, we have no idea if we’re building the right thing. Involvement includes weekly calls or meetings and availability via phone during normal business hours. total linkage through cross-media intellectual capital.

Client feedback is incredibly important throughout the process. You should always provide feedback, even early-on when the features are still rough. Your feedback will offer us context about what’s important to you and your business. This helps us prioritize and stay tied to your needs.

Yes. This kind of flexibility is important and could determine the success of a project, but big changes after kick-off might affect budget or schedule.

Yes. We believe open, transparent communication is the cornerstone to successful software projects. You’ll always know what’s happening on your project and you’ll be in constant contact with your team. It’s not unusual for our Project Leads to call their clients several times a week. We also provide weekly status updates and regular releases on a staging site to keep you in the loop.

Software is rarely “done.” We know that our clients and their users will continue to have great ideas throughout the process and after the initial delivery. As your business changes, your software will need to evolve and adapt.

It’s common after the first release to pause on building features for a bit and focus on enhancements or fixes to drive user adoption.

QA staff is involved from the Day 1 and test plans are put together at the beginning of projects. Testing happens throughout the project, not just at the end. We also practice code reviews and pair programming to ensure that quality code is being written at all times.

Business Circles teams get incredible leverage from open source tools, libraries, frameworks and indeed entire projects or our own proprietary libraries. We never reinvent the wheel when there is a tool that is suitable for solving a problem. We always program from scratch the parts that make your project custom and valuable.

We use a private, internal GitLab repository to store and manage all of our project source code. We use Git for source control and Jenkins for continuous integration. All of this helps us make deployment easier.

Costs & Schedule

Business Circles’s clients are diverse, but we’re generally the best fit for large, complex projects that have the potential to create a lot of value for our clients. In other words, if your project is critical to the mission of your business then it’s likely a good fit. We enjoy taking on projects where user experience is critical and one or more of the technology domains of web, mobile, embedded, or desktop are required.

Our projects run from a few months to a year or more. Some have a budget of $1k and others have budgets of over $1 million.

Many of the projects we do fit in one of the buckets below. There are exceptions, of course, but these are common. Custom software development is a big investment. We’ll help you mitigate risk, make smart trade-offs, and get the maximum value for your budget.

Examples of typical projects for us are:

• Code Audit – 2 people, 1 to 2 weeks

• Discovery, Design & Planning engagement – 3 people, 4 to 6 weeks

• Idea to Version 1 – 3 people, 2-3 months

• Proof of Concept – 2 people, 6 to 9 weeks

• Project Rescue – varies

• Dedicated Team – retainer per month

• Fill a gap until an internal team is hired – Varies

• Staff augmentation with existing internal team – Varies

On many occasions, we’ve done projects for clients who have just enough budget for a “Version 1.” They spend some time getting familiar with the software and come back for another round of design and development with a more informed sense of where the software needs to go.

We can’t answer this question responsibly until we understand your idea, business, market, users, etc. While we can’t tell you exactly what your project will cost, we can draw on the 50+ projects we’ve delivered since 2015 and tell you what’s typical for the projects we’re best suited to help you with.

While it’s really hard to know the specific costs of the project without going through a discovery phase like our Discovery, Design, and Planning phase, we can usually help you set a responsible budget during before you ever hire us.

It’s also important to keep in mind that most projects get broken up into multiple phases. During the first phase of development, our goal is always to focus on the highest value features and architect something that sets us up for future phases.

No matter how large or small your budget, it’s always our goals for the value our clients receive to significantly exceed the fees we charge.

A typical small team for the projects we work on is two to three full-time developers. A large team is four to six people.

For a rough approximation of project duration, we take the estimates above and divide by 32 hours for each person on the team. For example, a 1200-hour project takes approximately 3 months of calendar time for a team of 3 people (1200 hours / (3 people * 32 hours/person/week) / 4 weeks/month = ~ 3 months).

On large projects, we’re able to add people and go faster. That’s quite an amazing thing, actually, and not something every team or company can do. Growing the team requires we have additional employees available

When paying for custom software, you should have the mindset of paying a team to design and develop the first instance of a product. Custom software projects are ripe with risk, including: building the right product, funding and schedule risks, third-party integrations, and technical approaches that need to be proved out.

Remember, you are paying your team to help you mitigate these risks, not to financially own them. Each sprint or release is not a guarantee of a finished, bug-free product.

However, we do have standards and best practices in place that encourage each team to do their best to build a high-quality product.

We encourage our clients to embrace bugs, embrace risks, and know that we will do everything we can to address both. Your team will track bugs and work them into the schedule each week with other backlog item.

Our teams are smart and experienced; they do their best at predictably building your product. With each iteration, we’ll take what we’ve learned and quickly your team integrate new insights to keep quality high.

Be aware that the financial risk of developing custom software is in your hands. A warranty doesn’t come from your development team, but it’s what you will offer to your customers and employees. Taking on the financial risk is why you have such a potentially significant financial upside.

We Use in Advance terms for our projects. Usually we receive 50% of the Project Value on Project inception. The rest value are installed to min project milestones.

Experience. Speed of delivery. Track record. Demand. Talent. The overall software market.

Yes. Our engagements are “fixed budget, scope controlled” meaning we’ll help you develop a responsible budget and we’ll stick to it. Since we’ve never worked with people who have fewer ideas than they have money or time, our job is to figure out the best possible software application we can build for the given budget. That requires thoughtful understanding of the users and the market. From there, we’ll work to control the scope of the project, both in depth (polish, refinement, complexity) and breadth (features, functionality).

We guarantee cost. In an industry that’s infamous for cost overruns and low-ball bids, we go to great lengths in our upfront process to de-risk projects. This efforts produces spot-on solutions, accurate estimates, and successful relationships. If we underestimate something then we’ll eat 100% of the additional cost until we’re back on track. Why? Because it’s the right thing to do.

We also guarantee that you can cancel anytime. By putting the power of termination in our clients’ hands, it ensures we’re held accountable each and every step of the way.

Project Experience

We boast a 95% success rate. Communication, tight regular feedback loops, and staying lean have attributed to our high degree of success and reputation of quick, spot-on solutions.

Yes, we have had a handful of projects fail in our history. In every case, the failure could be attributed to communication issues that included:

• Not fully understanding the scope of the project
• Misalignment with what was being built versus what was needed
• Lack of client and team communication throughout the project

In the event of each failure, we ate the full cost of the project until it was back on track. We know this was the right thing to do.

After taking our lumps, we improved our processes and our training. Some improvements include:

• Creation of our highly successful Discovery, Design & Planning phase
• Multi-point estimation methods that put an emphasis on risk
• A more thorough 60-day onboarding process with all new employees
• Mandatory Scrum training for all new employees

FrogSlayer has a broad skillset, which gives us the power to explore options and select the best languages, platforms, and tools for each job. We do about 80% of our work with these:

Mobility

 Android

iOS

React Native

Flutter

Frontend & Full Stack

 Vue.js

Angular

React

Backend

 Laravel

Python

.NET

Node.js

E-Commerce

 Magento

WooCommerce

Custom Code

Other

 Chatbot

AR & VR

IoT

Power BI

Blockchain

 

In the event of each failure, we ate the full cost of the project until it was back on track. We know this was the right thing to do.

After taking our lumps, we improved our processes and our training. Some improvements include:

• Creation of our highly successful Discovery, Design & Planning phase
• Multi-point estimation methods that put an emphasis on risk
• A more thorough 60-day onboarding process with all new employees
• Mandatory Scrum training for all new employees

Yes, we do. Assuming your project does not require advanced polling or data processing, we usually use Flutter or react ntive to target both platforms with the same core code. This dramatically cuts down on development time and costs.

Real Estate | Construction | Information Technology | Oil & Gas I Education| Retail | Manufacturing |Charity | Professional Services| Non-Profit | Government | Startups & Entrepreneurs | eCommerce

There’s a list of some recent clients on our website. Unfortunately, because of confidentiality constraints, we can’t share project details until we know there’s a good fit and we get a mutual NDA in place. At that point, we’ll send over portfolio work and a complete list of references.

Yes, all of our projects are architected with an API layer.

Hosting & Monitoring

Yes. We have Several Hosting options that we host and manage our clients’ applications on. We host and manage products that plenty of users rely on every day. Uptime in our production environments has never been an issue.

  • Container for services like transactional email, notification, batch reporting, etc.
  • Sandbox environments for development, testing and staging
  • Regular OS updates
  • Nightly web server and database backups
  • Ongoing bot and attack monitoring
  • Performance monitoring and event logging
  • Standardized recovery mechanisms

Yes. Upon request, we can provide our entire security and compliance package that details our policies and practices in regard to data handling, security, and all other safeguards. This even includes all policies related to our hosting packages.

While no one is ever entirely secure, we take pride in the fact that none of our clients have ever been taken down by an attack and that our network has never been breached. generate synergistic total linkage through cross-media intellectual capital. Enthusiastically parallel task team building e-tailers without standards compliant initiatives.

We’ve never been faced with an emergency recovery situation, but we do perform nightly backups to assist in quick recoveries. In some cases, we backup data every few hours. Our recovery response time is less than 24 hours.

HOW CAN WE
HELP YOU?

If you have a project idea that is innovative, non-standard or has some associated risks, BUSINESS CIRCLES is where you should turn to by all means.

If you would like to talk business, drop an email to info@circles.business or call 01004200873 / 01030333518 to set up an informal sit-down over a coffee or for a more formal meeting to discuss a specific brief.

 

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