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Choosing The Right Engagement Model When Hiring A Web Design Agency


So, you figured out that your business finally requires additional online presence with a company website. However, since you are not a web design company, you will need the assistance of a web design agency to take care of your creating your website and launching it. One of the things you should think about before hiring one is the engagement model for working with it. Although you may run across a myriad of engagement models, they are all virtually variations of the three basic ones. They are the time and material model, fixed-price model, and dedicated resources model. It’s essential to choose the right one for your company and needs, as it will affect the speed, efficiency, and quality of your website design project. Moreover, the right model will help build stable and long-lasting relationships with the agency you hire.

Since different types of projects require different engagement models, it’s crucial to understand the definite benefits and shortcomings of every model. Comprehending this will allow you to make the best choice. Web design agencies (see list on Medium.com) are different from each other, so you have to take this into account as well. Some of them will not want to work via the model you choose, while some will gladly accept any option. When you’ve finalized your list of candidate agencies to the final several companies, it’s time to think about the engagement model, consider all the options available, and make your final decision. 

Once you settle everything, you can rest assured that your website will be designed and launched on time, according to all of your requirements, and will soon start to generate a good return on your investment.

Engagement Model #1. Time and Material.

In the Time and Material engagement model, the payment depends on the time spent on your project’s completion. A lot of firms consider this model the best of all since it’s very flexible and allows for sudden changes without significant discomfort. So, when you get a fantastic idea while checking on the status of your project, you can do it almost seamlessly for both your site and your budget. Since you’ll have several teams working on your website – developers, web designers, graphic designers, copywriters at the very least – you can talk to the web design agency with ease. This will help you to adjust the staff working on your project by adding or removing some of the specialists to optimize the parts of it you want to focus on in particular.

All in all, the Time and Material engagement model lets you work with the best specialists at the given  agency.

Engagement Model #2. Fixed Price.

The Fixed Price engagement model is perhaps one of the most commonly used models around, especially when companies need to work with web design agencies. This model lets the hirer understand how much they’re going to spend on their project well before making the first transfer. However, there’s a trick in this model: there must be a clear mutual understanding of what you want and need regarding your website to develop precise and correct estimates on both the budget and deadline.

Usually, web design agencies ask their prospective clients to provide a list of project goals and features they want to implement in them. It is called a brief. So, once you fill in the brief and send it back to the agency you consider hiring, its representative will get back to you as soon as the agency reviews your information. They might ask a few more questions and send you an estimate based on the details you provide.

In case you’re still not sure about what your project’s goal is, you may also take advantage of the agency’s professional opinion and get its guidelines in this matter. In most cases, web design agencies inquire about some detailed information on their customers’ companies to identify their needs and potential. Hence, if you decided to use this engagement model, but aren’t entirely sure about your site’s goals, you should be ready to answer several emails and phone calls. When it’s all said and done, you are going to get a document that will include all of your project’s estimates. At some point, you may develop a sensation that you’re wasting too much of your precious time writing responses and talking on the phone. Still, you have to remember that you do it for your own company’s right, and the agency must get all the information possible about your brand, target audience, your needs, and other things to develop an accurate estimate for you.

Engagement Model #3. Dedicated Offshore Resource.

In case you want to hire a web design and development specialist that would work on your website only and not be distracted by other tasks, you should take a closer look at the Dedicated Offshore Resource engagement model. In a nutshell, it’s about contacting and hiring an excellent web design agency to create a website for you. With this model, the agency will not waste its time, effort, and attention on any other projects than yours. Hence, the dedicated resource part. Offshore stands for the fact that you’re not dealing with an in-house team, but are hiring a company from the outside to come and provide you with the required services.

When using the Dedicated Offshore Resources model, you will need to develop and send your initial requirements to the web agency. They may include just some basic concepts, ideas, and other similar things. In other words, even if you’re not yet sure what you want to get from your website and only have some vague thoughts about how it could help your company, you should write it all down. Based on these details and considering the desired launch date, the agency will appoint a team that will work on your website without bothering with other tasks.

It’s important to outline here that not every web design agency possesses the resources to work via this engagement model. Most web design companies aren’t large organizations and prefer working on several projects at the same time. Therefore, make sure to ask your potential agency if it can provide you with a team for the time being until the completion and launch of your website.

What’s great about the Dedicated Offshore Resources model is that you are free to introduce changes to the project goals and requirements in the process. You will have full control over the web design team and all of the aspects of your website design project. At the same time, the web design agency that allots you the team will continuously monitor all the work and provide additional advice or instruction when needed.

Contemplate the Goals and Needs Before Selecting an Engagement Model.

It’s necessary to think of and decide on what you want to achieve with a website before you hire an agency and choose an engagement model. The flexibility of your company is a critical factor. Your capability of shortening and extending the waiting period during your project’s development will significantly affect the amount of money you’re going to spend on it.

And don’t forget about the financial factor, by the way. Perhaps, this is the most crucial factor of all. The size of your organization and the budget available can become the definitive aspects of choosing the right agency and engagement model. So, if you are a small company, there’s no way you can use the Dedicated Offshore Resources model because it’s inevitably going to be too expensive for your budget. Most often, companies must meet strict deadlines and goals. And this, in turn, comes with limited budget capabilities.

No company can achieve substantial success without a website nowadays, so hiring a web design agency is a necessity rather than a luxury. You need a site that will meet the needs and wants of your target audience, convert visitors to customers, and subsequently increase your sales, thus growing your ROI. Choosing the right engagement model is crucial because the right choice will guarantee a website that will provide your company with an outstanding online image and audience reach.