Help ensure your web project's success with these tips for navigating the proposal process and establishing positive, productive relationships with web development agencies. Learn about steps you should take before seeking proposals, how to craft a better request for proposal, and ways to pave the way for good collaboration with your chosen vendor.
Before You Seek Proposals
Internal planning and preparation are critical for finding the best agency for your project, establishing a productive relationship with the chosen vendor, and successfully creating the desired web site. Before involving external agencies, consider the following:
What is the purpose of your web site?
Will you sell your products or services through your site? Are you trying to attract new customers or connect with existing ones? Is the website intended to educate or engage certain segments? Figure out what emotions you're hoping to evoke as well.
What is your budget?
Create a realistic budget for the project. Include ongoing budget allocations for website maintenance and future improvements.
Which staff will be dedicated to the project?
Don't leave it to IT. Technical staff certainly need to be involved, but your website is a marketing and sales tool. Your marketing staff must be an integral part of its development.
From where will you get the content?
Do you have existing content that can be refreshed and incorporated, or do you need to start fresh? Content can include text of copy, photos, videos, and more. What are your resources and sources for original content? Do you need to engage the services of a third party? Decide who will have final approval of all content.
Who is your audience?
Who will be your key visitors? Understand what visitors need from your website so the agency you select will create a website tailored to your target audience's needs.
How to Get the Best Proposals
Craft an effective and detailed request for proposal (RFP), and only consider vendors who respond according to the RFP guidelines. To be most effective, your RFP should:
More specifically, your RFP should include the following key elements:
Negotiate a contract
A contract is essential for setting expectations for turnaround time, website functionality, and allowed revisions. The contract also clarifies deliverables from both parties, and provides legal protections. Negotiate a web design contract that covers the following legal and project aspects:
Provide information about your business
Go into as much detail about your business and your target audiences, competitors, offerings, goals, etc. Provide brand assets, text content, photos, and site credentials. Let the designers know of any colors or styles that are not to be used. Make sure you supply everything in a timely manner to prevent delays in the project.
Communicate and collaborate
Understand that web design is a process that takes time and many discussions between you and your web development agency. Multiple reviews of work are likely to take place. Your constructive feedback about what works and why a design does not work will streamline the process. Be open to suggestions and flexible where possible. If the agency requests your feedback or content items, respond promptly.
Trust the professionals
You've hired an agency because of their expertise in web projects. You have selected the designer based on their portfolio and response to your proposal requirements. Let yourself be confident in their skill set. Do not attempt to micromanage the project. Consider their recommendations. Recognize that they know what each step of the development process requires to go smoothly.
Do you need assistance in crafting your company's message or creating engaging content for your web design agency to use? We know a guy.
It's us. We're the guy. You should talk to us 🙂