We find that clients these days are not just after a website. The web is often such a crucial part of their strategy, that they can’t afford to just hire in the skills once-off; they actually need to partner with a company and group of people that can join them on their business journey, for the long-term. It’s about building a relationship, and then maintaining it. And like all relationships, it needs to be built on trust and strong fundamentals. Here are 4 things to consider:
- Ensure you’re confident in their abilities
- Are they likely to disappear off the face of the earth any time soon?
- Do you have a realistic price quote?
- Do you like them?
1. Ensure you’re confident in their abilities
Obviously, you need to check out their portfolio. Often they won’t have clients in your specific industry, which is no big deal – you just need to make sure they design beautiful work, are familiar with the technology they’re using, and the sites they build are well presented and work well! You should also speak to a couple of their key clients. It’s helpful if they at least deal with businesses of a similar size to yours also.
2. Are they likely to disappear off the face of the earth any time soon?
Companies that have been around for a few years are more likely to be around for a few more. The web industry is famous for having low barriers to entry – so many small businesses, or sole operators go out of business, creating huge problems for their clients. Do they have a solid team of professional staff members? Decent website? Do they charge enough?
3. Do you have a realistic price quote?
If you get a quote that is considerably lower than the others it may be a sign of inexperience (they aren’t familiar with what it takes to get a good site built, and so under quote). The project may then become contentious later, when the developer invests more time than budgeted, and are very hesitant to cater for any alterations – could also become expensive for you. You should look to get a fixed price quote if you can, and ensure your proposal covers the important items you need.
4. Do you like them?
You need to be able to get along! It’s as simple as that. Like any relationship, you need to understand each other, trust each other, and be able to rely on each other. Do they respond when you email or call them? Do you enjoy dealing with them? Can you get easy access to the company stakeholders or key staff members when you need to?