The moment you put pen to paper on a contract with a tech consultancy you shouldn’t still be having reservations or feelings of unresolved uneasiness. The moment for these emotions should have already subsided, because the more you know about a tech consultancy, the more you prevent possible disasters happening.
There are plenty of scare stories reaching from the embarrassing inhouse tales all the way towards unconfirmed hearsay. But the truth is that there are many stories out there regarding failed dev projects and common complaints. So why not take a look at some of the key aspects of finding, and importantly, negotiating a contract with a top tech consultancy.
Homework is not just for school
Do a lot of homework on who you may be working with. Speak with their current clients as well as former clients in order to draw a bigger picture of the tech consultancy beyond what they tell you themselves. Anyway, afterall, if they are confident of their work and proud of past projects, they’d be more than happy for you to get in touch with their former clients.
Consider it similar to your process for when you hire employees. You’d ask them for references. Likewise with your potential tech consultancy. Ask them for a strong list of former clients, because if you only ask for two or three, they’re going to give you their happiest customers. With a longer list, you are able to dig down into their past work.
Look over the tech consultancy’s proposal
As all of us know at this point, any proposal of a tech consultancy is usually created by Team Marketing for obvious reasons. And so you’re going to want to fill in the technical gaps that will inevitably result in non-technical specialists writing a proposal.
And so when the time comes to review the proposal, you’re going to want to sit down with the tech folks of that tech consultancy! Ask them questions regarding start dates, the reasoning of scheduled events, cloud hosting, property rights… really any topic relevant to your business.
It is in this moment, when you’re sharing a coffee with them (whether virtual or physical), where you can bring up any warning flags that arose when you spoke to their former clients — or just any issues that arose in which you would like the tech consultancy to expand upon or explain further.
Set out website requirements
It goes without saying that you want a tech consultancy to push your products and promote your brand — oops, well I guess I just said it. I suppose “It goes without saying” is a poor phrase to use… noted! But beyond the basics, you are going to need appropriate access to the backend, the customer relationship management, and other related tech that is going to be built.
Does your potential tech partner have all the relevant experience when it comes to integrating websites with all backend system requirements? Are they aware that maybe you don’t want to accept credit card, or that you do want to accept cryptocurrency? Because you’re going to need to communicate these specifications to the tech consultancy.
And websites seem to have the same turnover rate as fashion, as one design one year can feel outdated a few years later. Sites seem to function better when they’re regularly updated, which is something you may want to include in a contract agreement with a tech consultancy — such as having a reskin of your site every 2 years.
These steps will take you to a place in which you’ll feel more comfortable in your position vis-a-vis your partner, and place you on a firmer footing when it comes to avoiding contact mistakes with your ecommerce tech consultancy.