Normally, a potential client somehow gets in touch with us, usually by a word of mouth referral from an existing client, as we don’t have a sales team.
Before we can start working together, we need to come to an agreement about what we are a building, what we are not building, and how much the whole thing is going to cost.
This is a critical part of the relationship between Mäd and our future client, and yet it can be hard to actually figure out what we need to do.
Usually, problems are expressed as pain points, something along the lines of:
We have far too many administration staffs doing repetitive manual work that could be automated, and this is causing a large number of mistakes which makes our clients angry, and in addition, our website and marketing materials make it hard for our future clients to discover us and learn the benefits of our services.
The idea then is to solve this problem.
While we have a repository of standard ways to improve our client’s businesses, we don’t limit ourselves to thinking that every problem has the same solution.
If you only have a hammer, every problem starts to look like a nail.
To this end, we’ve offered and executed a variety of services, some of them are our core services such as brand development, communications, and digital product design, but our multidisciplinary team has done many different things to help our clients win:
• We launched Mercedes with an Open House event at their new $10m showroom.
• We designed a boat (yes, that’s right) for Rosewood Hotels.
• We designed offices for an interior design company.
And so, going back to the original point about figuring out what to do, the high level is easy:
We solve business problems.
The next step is figuring out the “How”.
We tend to position our solutions as working at the incredible intersection between technology, design, and business, often going into the type of work that is normally reserved for your run-of-the-mill IT company but bringing a much deeper understanding of our clients business, and our multitude of user experience designers.
We often ask the question of how we can help our clients do something that is 10x compared to their competitors.
The best way that we’ve discovered to scope out and price a large project is to actually just start working on the project.
We’ll estimate the cost upfront, and then charge between 5% to 10% of our internal estimate for an initial design, research, and discovery phase.
This enables a low-risk approach to start the relationship with our new client while starting to add value right away.
The main deliverables at the end of this exercise are normally low-fidelity designs that showcase the flow of what we are doing, and a functional specification document that’s written for actual humans beings (and often peppered with our dry sense of humor).
So, these are things that the executive management can read, review, and understand, and also allows us to now give a very accurate cost and timing for the entire project.
Now both parties enter a commercial agreement with far more information and far more confidence that the end result will be a success.
That’s what we call a win-win.