MediaTen's regular clients are well-informed about our workflow, from task setting to implementation. They entrust their projects to our team, understanding the breakdown of costs.
To achieve such a harmonious working relationship, potential clients should be aware of some fundamental aspects about agencies, their challenges, and genuine objectives. In this article, we aim to share insights, address concerns, and provide recommendations for clients when choosing a contractor.
An accurate project cost assessment is only achievable with a thorough project description
We've previously discussed the presale process and project estimation. If a client provides a detailed technical brief, we can genuinely assess it, sometimes within a day. However, more often, we encounter the phrase "I need a website. How much does it cost?" with no additional details about the site's purpose, target audience, etc. While this is a common practice, it's crucial that the client is open to further dialogue to help us define the project's key development tasks.
For clients lacking technical knowledge or those who prefer not to draft a brief themselves, we offer the services of a project manager and business analyst. No upfront payment is required for development, as these specialists' services are billed separately. They articulate the project's specific goal and create technical documentation, allowing the client to approach any agency with a clear understanding and save time on explanations. With a well-defined brief, we can provide a precise commercial proposal, sometimes offering multiple options:
- developing an MVP – a test version for gauging user reactions,
- building a fully functional website or application for production,
- crafting a multifunctional business system with internal process automation.
When a lead is solely concerned about the price, it limits our ability to provide an accurate answer. Our development costs range from 500 thousand to 10 million and beyond. To navigate this, we ask additional questions to understand tasks and functional requirements, but if the client is unwilling to engage in clarifications, challenges arise. The client may vanish and return later with a negative experience, having been given an initial cost that changed due to detailed task definition. This leads to wasted time and no results. A productive dialogue at the beginning could have prevented this.
It's better to learn more about a single suitable contractor than to chase after all available proposals
A client's silence is a clear indication of mass-sending project inquiries to agencies in search of a more favorable price. They submit the project, receive an approximate cost, and disappear with a vague promise to "think about it". Meanwhile, establishing constructive feedback helps the client gain a deeper understanding of the potential contractor, their tech stack, and expertise.
Typically, agencies specialize in specific areas, even those offering end-to-end solutions. One company might focus more on SEO, while another excels in server-side development. The key is to unearth the contractor's strengths, enabling task allocation and favorable terms. Ignoring this can lead to a blind selection and subsequent misunderstandings.
A ranking position and an office in Moscow don't provide a comprehensive insight into a team's skills
The metrics for ranking IT companies depend on factors like the volume of work uploaded to platforms, turnover, and other indicators unrelated to the developers' skills. An organization may channel partner contracts through itself, inflating their quantity, and thus secure a top position. Therefore, relying solely on the top spots in lists is not advisable.
The second misconception is that the best specialists are based in the capital. There are many agencies in the market worthy of attention that might not actively promote themselves in rankings or relocate to Moscow but can deliver work on par with renowned firms. Delegating tasks to such regional companies can maintain or even enhance project quality while potentially saving on costs.
The project cost is determined based on its level, not pulled from thin air
Customers at a restaurant understand that eating at home will be much cheaper. However, they choose to dine in, paying an amount that exceeds the cost of groceries by 5-10 times. They pay for professionals, the quality of dishes, rent, the interior, and the restaurant's overhead. Every business incurs expenses, and these are factored into the final product's price. In our case, it's the expertise of a specialist.
An official IT company pays taxes, invests in equipment, rents an office, provides training, and motivates employees with bonuses. These efforts enable the company to fulfill all warranty obligations before and after project delivery. You can grab a meal at a roadside café, but the aftermath is uncertain.
A button on a website won't open or complete anything on its own
It's great when a client understands the needed functionality and even better when there's a prototype. Now, the only thing left is to grasp the amount of time required for implementation. Many think that development is easy. Sit in front of the monitor, type on the keyboard, and voila, a button appears on the screen. Press it, and everything works. How long does it take? 10 minutes? Not quite.
Behind each button lies its own functionality. To implement it, a developer carefully plans the architecture, writes code in a specific programming language, and integrates services. Additionally, they need to understand synchronization, set up security, test, debug... So, the development of a "button" depends on its function and can take more than just one day.
We are more interested in the quality of development than the client themselves
Implementing a client's project is our face and reputation. To maintain them at a high level, we immerse ourselves in the processes and find individual solutions. We consider the budget, timelines, and primary development or enhancement tasks. Through detailed analysis and the study of potential risks, we bring the project to a logical conclusion. Otherwise, it might end up like unfinished multi-story buildings where insufficient funds or other problematic factors were not considered.
It's essential for us not only to "earn" but also to release the project into production. Another successful development showcases our practical skills. Therefore, we approach products entrusted to our team with a sense of responsibility.
We always honestly answer our clients' questions, ready to provide the information they seek and showcase our work. The key in our work is to maintain feedback and find the right solutions, not just lure clients with "enticing" offers.