Organization may seem basic, but once the enthusiasm for a new project sets in, it’s easy to overlook key details in an effort to move the process along. Before you excitedly reach out to agencies, it’s best to work within your organization to lay the foundation for a successful partnership. You will want to start by identifying your specific needs, budget range, and timeline.
Define your needs
Before you start interviewing agencies, you need to figure out your company’s specific needs. Even if all the details aren’t 100% confirmed yet, it’s important to have a general idea of project scope.
Are you looking for a complete website redesign? Do you need any branding work? Are you looking solely for digital marketing services? Defining your project’s scope will help determine the type of agency you’re looking for, as well as a realistic budget and timeline.
Establish your budget
It’s extremely helpful to have a general idea of your budget before you start talking with agencies. It’s OK if it’s a wide range, and it’s also OK if you’re looking for guidance on what your budget should be given your project type. However, it’s best to come to the table with a general budget range if possible. This not only saves a lot of time — it also sets realistic expectations for both parties.
Set a project timeline
Lastly, you should determine your general timeline upfront. Small projects can take a couple months, while larger projects can take upwards of 12+ months. Some agencies have a specific process that requires a minimum timeline for a certain type of project; other agencies can be flexible on a tight timeline for an extra cost, and some agencies will promise the world in 30 days or less. Beware of the last type — if it sounds too good to be true, it is.
You should also consider the amount of time it will take to find an agency partner and actually start on the project. It’s best to start your search well in advance so you allow ample time to not only find an agency partner, but complete the project in a timely fashion.
Decide: specialized or integrated?