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Possible Session on "Models for Working with Clients" -- Especially Small Business/Non-Profit Clients

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Shai's picture
Joined: 2008-01-24
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Possible Session on "Models for Working with Clients" -- Especially Small Business/Non-Profit Clients

I’m interested in moderating a panel which explores how “shops” (including individual freelancers) work with clients. How have you designed your relationship with clients to maximize a profitable business for the “shop” and an excellent relationship with the client. Consider the following areas:

  • RFP process
  • work-flow
  • pricing
  • terms of contract
  • training
  • maintainance/ongoing relationship
  • ???

In my own case, I’m just in the process of starting a shop and I’m looking to create what I think is a somewhat alternative model. I see a lot of problems with RFPs, especially with small business and smallish non-profits. Frankly, their RFPs are often terrible because they don’t know what they want — what would most benefit their business model — and they don’t understand the technologies available. Bigger businesses or non-profits often hire a consultant to write the RFP and possibly to project-manage the project from the client’s side. Small businesses/Non-profits often can’t hire such a consultant. I’m trying to develop a model in which a “shop” can function in multiple capacities including an emphasis on mentoring and training the client. This evolving model includes:

  • Long development cycle but with quick launch with basic functionality
  • iterative approach with client where the spec-sheet for the site evolves over time based on experiments on a live site
  • commitment by both the “shop” and the “client” to training
  • one-stop shopping for for client re: marketing/strategy and web development. (This is one of the hallmarks of big shops. Seems like part of the power of Drupal is that smaller shops would be able to provide site-building and strategy because the power/flexibility/ease of use of the CMS allows a small shop to focus more on clients’ content and how the site fits into overall business plan of the non-profit or small business.

At first I thought about offering my own session but then I thought it would be more interesting to organize a panel where shop owners or freelancers could share their model for working with clients.

Anybody interested in being on such a panel?

Feedback on this idea?