Endless Web Projects: Have you considered a Support Contract? (part 1)

It’s easy to think about web projects as one offs. Each new website, maintenance or design project can be tackled as necessity presses the issue. The build out of your presence on the web is a long road.  And you’re building this road ahead even as you drive right towards it.

You have questions about the digital avenues for your business. You’ll have countless more in the months and years ahead. Because building digital roads isn’t your business, even if these roads are vital for your business.

Paving the Road

From full strategic website site redesigns, to small one off graphic design projects, site optimizations, user experience testing, or any manner of custom dev, there are a million reasons to solicit a digital agency. So, on a project to project basis, you reach out to agencies to build our your web-based infrastructure.

Of course hiring and rehiring support isn’t an ideal process for you or your organization. But you don’t have unlimited resources; you can’t hire full-time digital professionals for every digital need that arises. Under ideal circumstances, your best long-term strategic bet is to set aside a budget for a support contract with a trusted (full service) digital agency.

Why wouldn’t we want to have a full-service agency at their disposal? Who wouldn’t want a team of web experts to think strategically for us? Why would we not want each new project immediately tackled? It really is the ideal scenario, to have a contract with a proven team that is intimately familiar with our existing digital infrastructure and our end goals.

Still, despite the benefits of a long-term agency partner, support agreements are relatively rare. But this isn’t surprising. Like any ideal scenario, it invites skepticism. Heck, it would be foolish to enter into a support contract with a firm that hasn’t proven deserving of your trust. And, as always, it’s hard to think about the road too far ahead, especially when you’re busying yourself with one step at a time.

But what if you’ve found a firm who has earned your trust? What if, at the end of the day, you know that you’ll have a number of web development needs down the road? What if you need to save time and money?

Well, that’s when it become s bit foolish not to explore the benefits of a support contract.

Let’s consider a few questions:

  1. First of all, did you even know that a full-service agency can handle just about any facet of your web needs?
  2. Do you worry that you’re not seeking strategic support enough?
  3. And how often have you sought agency support? How many different agencies have you worked with already: how long does it take each agency to actually understand your organization’s unique needs?

Support contracts are an overlooked option. It’s usually as simple as folks not knowing the full scope of in-house capabilities offered by an agency. If an agency provides great support, but doesn’t communicate the skills and service offerings also offered by their various teams, well… that’s on the agency. And such a lack of communication can account for why you’ve sought web design or development assistance from a number of teams, without even considering the possibility of going steady with one good catch.

Of course you might prefer to hire a team for their specific ‘core competency’, from designing a logo to building a website, to developing custom ecommerce or CRM tool integrations.

But what will you discover through this project-to-project hiring process?

Well, you’ll no doubt learn firsthand how no shortage of time is wasted in discovering what, exactly your business needs in terms of web construction. And then there’s the endless repetition of discovering any number of teams that can knock it out. This process can entail dozens of emails, several phone calls and hours of proposal reviews. And once you’ve finally hired your support team, you’re not even actually sure what level of service to expect.

Does this all sound familiar? Does this sound like an ideal solution?

Building out and maintaining your digital presence shouldn’t be an endless cycle.

Here’s a hint, if you take nothing else away from this post. When you find the digital agency that gets it done for you:

Lock.

Them.

Down. 

A support contract with your web development partner is the smart long-term play. Because the best, most direct service you can get from your web development partner comes after a support agreement. It’s not just the best value either (with cost savings built into most agreements), you’ll actually recieve better overall service.

And in my next post, I’m going to break down why you’ll receive better service under contract. AND your cost (and time) savings under contract!