All Go and No Show
November 6, 2017
Talk early, keep it clear, be brave
‘We need a new website!’ says the chief executive of Anyone Ltd. The company is important; one of the top ten major regional employers. True to form, the corporate machine jumps into action. “How high do we need to jump?” the staff ask the boss.
Loads of people in Anyone Ltd get involved. Everyone seems to become a website expert overnight. The direction of travel is a winding road with several junctions offering up the opportunity for several changes of route.
Three years later, it’s done. And, Anyone Ltd is about two years off considering doing it again. The experience went so badly and took so long. The outcome didn’t deliver what was actually needed. A stallion was needed but the Anyone Ltd ‘committee of everyone’ created a donkey with three ears.
Challenging the Norm
A new website project should be an exciting experience. Often it isn’t. Often it takes ‘ten times longer’ to complete than it should. Often it becomes a chore. For clients, often it takes second place to ‘more pressing things’.
“Let’s get back to basics,” says Mark Thomson, Head of Digital at Blumilk. “Here are some guidelines from us to you whether you’re an existing client or a potential client. Hope they help.”
- Talk early
If you have an agency in mind, talk to them about your plans without commitment. After all, if you had a legal problem, your lawyer will probably give you at least an hour free of charge to listen and provide some initial direction.
Often clients will arrive in a creative or digital agency, having spent loads of time on their new site going to the ends of the earth to cross every last ‘T’ and dot every last ‘I’. Few businesses would think of arriving at their lawyers with the solution to a serious legal problem before engaging with their lawyer about it. The same applies to the professional services provided by a creative or digital agency.
- Keep it clear
Start with the basics. Be clear about what you need your website to do for your business. A professional agency will challenge you on your assumptions so they understand how they can deliver a product that quite simply, is fit for purpose.
- Empower someone with the project.
Have a clear internal management structure with someone given the authority to make decisions about the project.
- Be honest
Don’t waste time – yours or your agency’s. If you start the project, be clear that you can give it the time and space to finish it. A professional agency like Blumilk will provide a timeline related to the stages they will follow from an initial discovery meeting right through to the moment the new site goes live on the internet. This will include steps you’ll be responsible for. If you take longer to do what you have agreed to do in the timeline, add this delay to the completion date for the project. It’s only fair to your chosen agency.
- Know what happens if you change your mind
People change their minds. There’s no problem with that. A change has consequences though. Like when you sign off the designs for a new house and the builder gets building. You can add a second bathroom, for sure. But the building work stops for a short time, the design of the house changes, the price will also change and the completion date will inevitably move back. It’s a similar process when designing and building a website. Change is possible once the project has started but does come with inevitable impacts on time and design and build costs.
- Get a trusted partner
There are a lot of situations where a buying decision has been made, but the taking of the next step is frightening. Having a trusted partner in your corner allows you to be brave and successful. So, take a deep breath and get in touch with them. They’ll be as excited as you with the prospect of a new project.
Get the excitement back
When Blumilk gets the call that we’ve got the job – large or small – we’re as eager as puppies. Our maturity kicks in quickly and that website design and build journey gets underway. It starts with the initial Discovery Meeting and ends with the celebratory drink on ‘go-live day’. The last thing team Blumilk wants is a rambling journey, however. Rambles can be so frustrating when all you want to do is to travel as fast and as sensible to a destination.