We view our work with all our clients as a partnership. Each party brings their own skills and experience in their respective fields into the mix. So when we look to take on new work we look for clients of a similar professional attitude, respecting each other and the skills/experience required to bring the web project to fruition.
What we generally look for in a good web project:
- Complex and interesting large projects (Web Applications, Portals, Platforms)
- Repeat business from the project (we’re not wanting one-hit-wonders and of course we need to make money to keep our business running)
- Openness and trust from clients with a willingness to take our advice as specialists in our field
- A client who knows what they need vs what they want (a priority list to achieve the MVP first with the possibility to have a phase 2 for the extras)
- Clients who are realistic and/or flexible with the budget and timelines
- Clients who will view our relationship as a partnership
- Clients who are willing to consider the timesheet approach for costing their project
We also take into consideration some other aspects that we have learned to look out for.
What the client says about the project.
- The ‘Just-a’ disease or ‘Just-itis’ i.e. “We just need a simple website”, “It’s just a small change” or “You can just drop that in right?”, “It’ll just take 5 minutes”
- Any kind of declaration that they realise the budget/timings are tight but…..
- Wishy washy briefs/specs
- Bad mouthing of their previous developers/designers
- Clients unwilling to prioritise or be flexible with either budget or timings
- Tenders that take longer to go through than the actual development work
- Tenders where more than 3-5 companies have been asked to participate
What is the client’s attitude is towards budget, timings, quality, process?
Are they open with what budget they have? Do they have a set specification and therefore want a fixed quote? Or do they want to try, unrealistically, to use an agile process on a fixed budget without having a set specification or keep changing their mind part way through?
How many people will be involved in the project?
Will we be working with the key decisions makers directly or having to go through a hierarchy of shareholders or departments to get decisions signed off? If so seriously consider your project timelines from the very start.
What size of business is it?
Will they have the right type of budget and experience in how much big web projects cost? Will we be working with a dedicated project manager or a small business owner?
Do we ‘click’ / trust each other?
We always try to have a phone call with any potential clients or meet them face to face to asses their requirements, budget and if the partnership will be a good fit between us and them. Finding out what the client’s expectations are at the start of the project and knowing what they want to achieve (and how they want to achieve it) is key in deciding to move forward or not and creating a good working relationship.
Will they take our advice?
We are specialists in our field and we respect that you are in yours so bringing these two entities together should be a great mix - but only if there is a trust or willingness to listen and accept advice, suggestions or alternatives. Are they willing and wanting to be challenged on their opinions?
Do they have a clear specification?
If not, are they willing to involve us in the planning stage as part of the paid project work to help define what they need and want together?
These are just a few things we look out for initially (as well as body language, verbal and aesthetic clues) and we don’t always get it right but this is a useful guideline.
Webigence is a specialist in ASP.NET web development and we’ve worked on some great projects from Luxuray Yachting to Education. To view more projects we have built please take a look at some of our case studies.
Blog written by Natalie Wiggins