Do *not* forget this when planning your website development project
Honestly, how much different is a website development project from, oh, let's say . . . having your office repainted?
You pick a vendor, hire them for the project, tell them what you want and let them do their thing.
Nothing complicated there...
Your company's new website will be a sophisticated communication tool for selling, and likely the foundation for a large portion of your marketing efforts. As such, its development requires your direct involvement.
That's the problem. It's a serious one:
Business owners and decisions makers consistently overlook the substantial time investment that will be required of them during their website development projects.
In fact, massively underestimating participation time is one of the top mistakes we see companies make before and during their website projects.
Why it happens
Business owners and marketing decision-makers are slammed with responsibilities on a daily basis.
If you’re facing computer glitches, payroll issues, a customer service crisis and a stack of overdue quotes, it's hard to tear yourself away to focus on generating website content or reviewing design comps.
That’s understandable. Just keep in mind that you’ll have to accept the consequences.
The results (a.k.a. The bad news)
If an appropriate amount of time isn't set aside for a website development project, your responsibilities as a client quickly (and I do mean quickly) drop off the priority list. Weeks go by between days when you can make time to focus on your project.
This means your website development company can't focus on your work.
Work is constantly rescheduled.
Project delays happen.
Work gets rushed when it starts up again.
Team members can't remember where they left off.
In the end, you get subpar results.
Without your committed, ongoing involvement in your website development project, your final product won't be nearly as effective as it could have been. You eliminate your chances to obtain a superior return on your investment.
How to keep from making this mistake
Think of your project as a partnership, rather than a "we-hire-and-they-do-the-work-without-bothering-us" experience.
A good website development company will require lots of participation from you. After all, they don’t know your industry or customers in and out like you do. Without your involvement and input, how can they create targeted content that appeals to your prospects? Or know the specific online goals you're looking to reach? Or pick the right photography?
You should only begin your website development project when you're ready to commit time and energy to the process. If you can’t, you’re going to have subpar results. You will waste your money.
Here's your MUST DO task
You must do this. No arguing.
SET ASIDE AND SCHEDULE time for your project!
Not sure how much? Ask your website development company. That's what they're there for. They should be able to guide you and set expectations.
Are you wondering, “What the heck could take so much of my time?”
Here are some of the many responsibilities clients will have during their website development project:
- Regular communications (phone calls, emails, meetings)
- The biggee: WRITING THE CONTENT (Or, if a copywriter has been hired, it still takes time to provide input, review, polish, and approve.)
- Collect, organize, and provide photos, images, and graphics
- Obtain customer testimonials
- Locate usernames and passwords to various accounts (hosting account, registrar account)
- Provide content layout feedback
- Provide design feedback (on wireframes, moodboards, homepage design, internal page design)
- Communicate design preferences
- Make decisions about specific functionality
- Review and pay progress invoices
- Test the beta site prior to launch
- Learn how to update/manage site content
- Website development projects require a substantial amount of client participation.
- Most business owners and marketing decisions makers fail to allocate a reasonable amount of participation time for their website development projects.
- When a client doesn't allocate enough time to their development project, they receive subpar results.
- To get the most out of your monetary investment and to prevent receiving a subpar website, make sure you discuss time requirements with your web company prior to beginning your project.