How do you maximize your budget when hiring a web-design agency to design and develop a website for you so that your web team can focus on high-value tasks activities like design and development?
Ideally, a web project will require 15-20% of the time on client communication and project management, while the 80-85% goes to strategy, design, copywriting, coding, search engine optimization (SEO), and quality assurance (QA). Unfortunately, many web project budgets get lost when client communication and project management creeps into the 30-40% range, squeezing out other tasks from the main picture.
Unending website projects or those that incur bloated price tags up to 10 times the size of the original estimate are some of the horror stories. Here are a few tips on how to assure your project succeeds:
1) "Absent-Minded-Professor" Syndrome
Missed meetings, unanswered emails, or uncompleted tasks lead web design agencies to spend more time reminding clients instead of doing your website. Do not get too busy such that you get overwhelmed and become unresponsive to your agency.
Solution: Before committing to a website redesign project, be clear on what your web company needs from you to do the project, how much time you can dedicate, and how responsive you need to be to prevent bottlenecks. Set your schedule to spend twice more time than they expect!
2) Being Wishy-washy
Changing direction often makes your web company to spend redoing work or re-communicating plans to the development group. If you are starting up or you are growing rapidly, your marketing needs may change daily, making it hard to undergo a design, message, or site restructuring.
Solution: Be decisive to avoid costly redesign and redevelopment work.
3) Lack of Direction or Team Alignment
Letting a web company settle issues with business partners or marketing employees as to the direction of a website (or company!) reduces production and design time. Work on these issues outside of your project meeting time and come to the table with a clear direction.
Solution: Before the project begins, engage your agency in a strategy phase first to clear up the direction, business goals, ideal customer, buyer personas, messaging, content, and site architecture!
4) Inviting Too Many Cooks into the Kitchen
Involving relatives and other people at every step of a website process can overwhelm with conflicting views. Asking for validation can come after site launching and when you have the data!
Solution: Keep a small and focused website project group and use your budget well. Assign a point-person to avoid sending inconsistent messages to your web design team.
5) Getting Stuck on Content
Entrepreneurs often think they can do everything themselves! Be realistic about how much time you and your team can commit to work on content without professional help.
Solution: Start working on the content early -- calendar your regular writing work. Ask your web company to provide a professional writer to keep things moving when needed.
A useful website need not be perfect. Updating content is quite easy, especially under a web-based content management system. Launch first and keep improving instead of waiting for months working on an unfinished website.
Solution: Try a phased strategy to your project - Launch the “minimum viable website” you need to serve your prospects and customers, collect data on how they use your site, and then provide new features and content in time.
7) Paying Invoices Late, or Not at All
Don’t believe the rumor that web agencies are like bounty hunters chasing clients down or withholding the release of websites prior to payment. Web projects can be costly, and cash flow can be a big hurdle for small or rapidly growing businesses.
Solution: Pay promptly as stated in the contract, or set a payment plan so your web design company will be there for you in the future!
Achieving website project success requires both parties (client and web design firm) to understand each other well. Like a marriage, the relationship must have the same vision of success and abide by the same rules of communication.
The desire to serve with commitment is vital on both the web design company and the client. Living happily ever after must nurture that desire!
Original article was published from HubSpot.
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