We receive, on average, about 20 enquiries for web based projects per week. These are usually for complete website design and builds and a small percentage of these turn into live projects. When deciding who we want to work with, or more importantly, who we can build a successful business relationship with, we use a key criteria for assessing enquiries:
We’re realistic and understand that we’re not the right company for everyone. By assessing each enquiry using these 5 key criteria, we don’t waste anyone’s time.
We’ve probably lost out on some great projects in the past, but we know that we’ve won a lot of fantastic projects and built a lot of highly successful business relationships. From our experience, finding the right enquiries to fit within our criteria means we can do our best work, and our best work is what all our clients deserve to get.
These 5 key criteria are assessed in a 15 minute project assessment call where we gauge whether we’re the best web design company for a prospective client. Sometimes we are, and sometimes we’re not. Let’s explore the reasons why we might not be so you can understand how to choose the best company for you.
Every company, organisation, or individual, is going to have a different available budget or a different understanding of how much a website costs. By understanding a prospect’s key requirements of a project, we can provide a rough estimate of how much a website may cost.
Price will vary massively depending on the nature of the company and the site they’re looking for. We undertake £2,000 projects but also projects in the region of £10,000 to £15,000, for example, a feature-rich eCommerce website that is mobile responsive, has payment and stock control integration.
We understand that our estimates may not be aligned to everyone’s available budget or expectations but we’re always willing to discuss a client’s requirements and what we can do to resolve these.
Expectations are usually linked to budget, but they can take the form of other requirements.
A prospective client may expect a few spec designs before they make a decision on which company they wish to work with. As a rule, we do not carry out free spec work (see why in another blog post we have written on this topic here), this would result in us bidding a happy farewell.
As mentioned earlier, many misaligned expectations originate around budget. The example of an eCommerce website costing approximately £10,000 is a good place to start. If a prospect doesn’t want to spend more than £2,500, we’d have to cut down the requirements or find an alternative company who can meet their expectations. We do explain why the cost expectations are different and this helps a prospect to understand our price positioning, but it doesn’t mean their purse strings can all of a sudden open up to another £7,500, nor would we expect it to.
Websites, even very simple ones, cannot be turned around in a matter of days. That is if they are completed properly.
Some enquiries we receive require a deadline for completion within 4 weeks. Generally we have an estimated start time for any new projects of about 3-5 weeks. We view this as a good thing as it means we’re busy and we’re busy because we’re good at what we do. However, this does mean that we can’t always cater for tight deadlines.
Depending on the complexity and nature of a web project, a website could take anything from 8-26 weeks to complete. Sometimes a prospective client cannot cater for those timeframes and so we aren’t the right company for them to choose.
We’re good at what we do and we know what we’re good at. This also means we know what we’re not good at.
We wouldn’t take a project on that we didn’t think we could deliver because this is only going to end in disappointment and frustration on all sides. In the past this has meant we’ve turned down some very lucrative projects, and whilst this has been a difficult decision to make, we know it’s been the best decision for us as well as the prospective client.
Additionally, as the work we do is very technical, there are some technologies that we would never want to go near because we know they’re troublesome. Some enquiries are presented to us with the requirement of using certain technologies which we cannot support, and may not wish to even if we could.
You could call this ‘Cultural fit’, ‘Gel’, ‘Rapport’, or ‘Do we get a good feeling from this enquiry?’.
Whatever you wish to call it, sometimes two people, or two companies, were never destined to work together. We’re realistic about this and it usually arises when a number of our other key criteria (budget, expectations, timeframe, and capabilities) are not met. If they are not, we will again bid a happy farewell.
It sounds like we’re pretty ruthless when it comes to our key criteria, but we do not agree with carrying out work we don’t feel will benefit the client and meet their expectations, so we’d rather find an alternative solution than end up with a disappointed client at the end of the project.
Set yourself the same criteria. What is your budget for your project? What are your expectations? What is your timeframe? What do you need the website to do? And, what type of company do you want to work with?
When you enquire with a web agency, have these key criteria in front of you and tick or cross them off as you go.
Be realistic. You aren’t going to find a company that matches all of your criteria, especially if your criteria is unrealistic (e.g. a feature-rich eCommerce website for £250) but choose the company that ranks highest.
Whether your budget is £1,000 or £20,000, and whether you need your website in 1 month or 6, there is a company out there for you. The trouble is finding the best one for you. By applying this criteria to your selection process, it will make it a lot easier and the end result a lot more successful.
If in doubt, give us a call. We’re probably the best web design company for you 😉