Most founders that start an agency start by offering something they are personally good at. I’m no different. After working as a Software Engineer and UI UX Designer I wanted to create a company that would help businesses in those areas and so we did!
In the beginning, we were doing the work with little to no help and mistakes in the delivery process can be easily corrected as you go with good old communication but as you scale, mistakes in processes can cost you and your client time and money, and leave both ends frustrated and unhappy.
As you grow a business, you are bound to make mistakes. A big one we used to make was taking on projects without properly scoping them first. Clients would tell us that what they need is simple, we would take their word for it and start the project only to find out what we set out to do would require double the amount of work.
For the longest time, we did what we felt was right. We took that as our fault and completed the project to make the client happy, many times losing money and adding stress to our team members in the process.
While the client was happy, this didn’t work for us so we started scoping everything out before. We would spend hours upon hours researching only to present solutions for clients that decided last minute they were not going to move forward. We changed our process but the result is still the same.. we work for free even if we provided value.
The solution to this came from a consultant and friend of ours, that suggested we turn our method of scoping into a service and lo and behold Discovery was born. Discovery is a dedicated series of workshops that we go trough with clients before we build something complex in order to scope and produce a plan of action. This plan of action is a document and is a valuable deliverable.
After we implemented Discovery, here is what happened:
- Our quotes are highly accurate
- The timelines are realistic and expectations are easy to meet
- The rate of success for projects is basically 100%
- Clients enjoy working with our team and we enjoy working with them
- The amount of clients that don’t value our work and time decreased to zero.
The difference is so crazy I can’t even imagine running an agency without doing Discovery for larger projects and lately as I’m coaching other agency owners, this is the process I recommend them use.
If you are partnering up with an agency, consider their process and how mature it is, otherwise the success of your project is at risk. We talk to many people every week that chose a cheaper option with no set process and ended up with a bad product. While I know everyone makes mistakes in business, this one is easily avoidable. I hope this helps both agency owners and clients understand the value of Discoveries and why they are so important for project success.