Planning your project

One of the best ways to make sure that your project is successful is to start with a detailed plan. The following guidelines can help you plan the different parts of your project, such as calculating its cost, planning its scope, and keeping it on track.

Choosing how to pay for your project

When you're planning your project with an Expert, you need to agree upon how you'll pay for the work: either at an hourly rate, or at a fixed price. Depending on the Expert that you're working with, they might prefer one option or the other. And depending on the project, one option or the other might be the best fit.

Fixed-price projects

Paying for work at a fixed price is a good choice for projects with a defined or limited budget. And this doesn't mean that you have to make only one payment. You can divide up the payments according to progress or completion milestones. For example, you might make one payment upfront, one halfway through, and one when the job's done.

Hourly projects

Paying for work at an hourly rate is a good choice for large projects that have long-term deadlines. In this case, the project is billed based on the amount of hours required to complete it, and typically with regular invoices that reflect the hours worked during a given time period.

Guidelines for creating and managing your projects

The following guidelines can help you set up and manage the projects that you create in the Services Marketplace.

Define your project goals

Before you start your project, make sure that you define which parts of it are most important. Then you can clearly identify your project goals, and your requirements for it to be considered a success, when you communicate with the Expert.

Define your project scope

After you've clearly identified and communicated the project's requirements, identify its scope (including your deadlines, deliverables, and budget). It's important that you identify all the tasks that are a part of the project.

Verify the scope throughout the process

Verify that what the Expert has proposed matches what you expect, both at the beginning and throughout the project. This is one of the most important parts of managing your project.

Work with the Expert to create project milestones, and make sure that you're in agreement about the deliverables for each milestone.

Provide ongoing feedback

It's a good idea to stay in contact with the Expert during the project, but be mindful that it can be inconvenient for them to answer too many questions during the process. When you reach a project milestone, it's often an ideal time to provide feedback (either positive or negative).

Providing feedback can help to improve the process of working on a project and its result. It also helps to make sure that both you and the Expert are in agreement about the project details, and it can prevent any misunderstandings during the process.

Avoid making changes to the project scope

It's important that you and the Expert define a process for requesting adjustments to the project. Requests for changes or modifications, however small they might be, should be agreed upon through the established approval process before they're incorporated into the project.

After you define your process, you and the Expert can use it to evaluate requests for changes in the project scope, and the impact they would have on the project overall. For example, would the requested changes be ready with the required quality and within the required deadlines? Sometimes even small changes that appear to have a positive impact on the project can significantly disrupt it or increase its cost, so be careful of making changes to a project after you've already agreed on its scope.

Keep communications within the Services Marketplace

The communications tool in the Services Marketplace is intended to keep track of the conversations that are associated with your project. You can start conversations with Experts when you first contact them through the Services Marketplace.

By using the communications tool within the Services Marketplace, you keep your project-related conversations in one place, and make it easier to refer back to previous conversations between you and the Expert. If you need to have a conversation with an Expert outside of the Services Marketplace, then you should send a summary of the conversation to the Expert in a separate message in the Services Marketplace afterwards, and ask them to confirm the details in a separate reply.

To learn more, see Communicating with Experts.

Planning for when things go wrong

With any project, there's a chance that it won't turn out as expected. These guidelines can help if you're unhappy or concerned with the outcome of your project.

Getting refunds for payments made to Experts

If you want to be refunded for payments that you've made to a Shopify Expert, then the first thing to do is discuss this with them. If you and the Expert agree that you're entitled to receive a refund, then they can create a refund request through the Services Marketplace.

Making sure that the results meet your expectations

If the results of a completed project didn't meet your expectations, then you should contact the Expert to discuss your concerns. In your discussion, you should try to identify whether there was a miscommunication that caused the issue, and explain how the project was completed didn't meet your expectations.

In these cases, ideally you and the Expert will come to a conclusion that moves the project forward and resolves your concerns. But if you aren't satisfied with the outcome of your discussion, then you should contact Shopify Support.

Reporting a bad experience with an Expert

It's important that the Services Marketplace be a place where you can find trustworthy and professional Experts to help you build your business. If you encounter a situation where you are disappointed, discouraged, unhappy, or dissatisfied with an Expert, or if you think that an Expert is in violation of Shopify's Terms of Service, then contact Shopify Support.

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