Why Taking the Time to Properly Scope a Project Saves Time & Money

Designer building a house

4 Minute Read

Whoa, whoa there, now! We know you want to get your website done, like yesterday, but remember what your daddy used to say—if you want something done right, you have to take your time and do it right the first time. If you cut corners or over/underestimate the time and money you’re putting into a project, you won’t meet your objectives.

It always pays to do the groundwork first.

Over here at Costello Creative Group, we know that YOU don’t like having to repeat yourself or go over the same work again and again, and we’re right there with you. We want to make sure you know what you’re getting and what you’re paying for, and that takes time and consideration. It’s business, after all. Those kinds of surprises are not the welcome kind.

And hey, it’s not because we want you out of our lives, not at all. It’s because we want you to hit the ground running and never look back. That’s why we always do a deep dive with you on your project so we can properly scope and estimate the work to be done. Unlike some firms, we don’t just pull magic numbers out of the sky—a situation that often leads to endless change orders (ugh) and bad feels (&%$#%^!).

By the end of this post, our goal is for you to understand why taking the time up front to strategize will save you time, money, and frustration on the back end. Yeah, it’s a paid process, but ultimately, it’s going to save you money and get you a better result. And isn’t that what we all want? Yup. All that and a milkshake, baby.

Knowing Us, Knowing You: The Discovery Process

There is absolutely zero chance you’ll achieve your goals without a deep dive to uncover design, development, and functional requirements for your project. Think about it—absolute zero. That’s a pretty cold and lonely place to be!

We wouldn’t dream of building a house on sand or without a blueprint. Would you?

Every successful project starts with a plan. Without one, it’s like having a conversation with someone who doesn’t speak the language. You might get some of your points across, but when you end up with a double-red-eye-cappuccino-with-sugar-free-vanilla-syrup when you actually wanted a skinny-decaf-vanilla-London-Fog-cold-brew, whose fault is that, really?

Wondering what happens during our discovery process? Here’s how it plays out:

1. The Call

First, we’ll schedule a 90-minute call to go over your goals and objectives for the project. We want to know everything about your business, vision, and the functional aspects you want or need to incorporate. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to ask questions too. By the time we’re done, we’ll know everything there is to know and maybe some other stuff too.

2. Developing The Strategy

You might not hear from us for a while because we’ll be busy doing audits (not the scary kind) on your site and digital properties/assets. We’ll put together a findings deck that essentially works as a dynamic blueprint for bringing your project to life, including estimates and timelines.

3. The Findings

We’ll have another 90-minute call to go over everything in the findings deck. We’ll walk you through what we learned in our audits and set benchmarks. We’ll talk about the scope, how much it will cost, and open up the floor for discussion. Once we’re sure we’re all on the same page, then the work begins.

That’s All Great, But How Much Will It Cost?

When you’re getting ready to launch a new digital marketing project, whether it’s a campaign, a new website, web app, or anything else—cost is often the first thing on your mind. Just know that pricing is exceedingly difficult to generalize, so don’t be surprised if your web research turns up a vast range of estimates.

Think about it. Your business is different from your competitors, right? You have a unique value proposition, and you probably do things a little differently than those other people. Ergo, you shouldn’t be pigeonholed into a general category. The solutions you choose should be as unique as you are—bespoke, if you will. If you wanted a cookie-cutter templated website or a plug-and-play SEM campaign, we probably wouldn’t be having these conversations.

That said, the scope of most projects we take on ranges between $10,000 to $100,000, depending on the complexity, functionality, and scope of the work.

Our project discovery phase helps narrow down and clearly define the scope, which means your estimate is never overinflated or underbid. We are, ultimately, the agents of change, but change orders during the build are not the kind of changes any of us enjoy. If we can solidify and stick to the plan, you won’t have any unwelcome surprises along the way. Plus, if the project goes ahead once the discovery phase is complete, we apply 50% of the fee towards the final invoice. If you choose not to work with us, you still walk away with a detailed, dynamic blueprint that you can use to benchmark your next quote.

How Long Does It Take?

The discovery process takes about three to four weeks and is designed to address your stated requirements and show you what it’ll take to reach your business goals. As for the length of time the project itself takes from start to finish, that all depends on the scope; so again, tough to generalize.

The findings deck considers seven critical factors:

  1. Conversion Goals
  2. Functional Requirements
  3. Website Scale
  4. Trends & Best Practices
  5. Key Takeaways
  6. Current Traffic/SEO Data
  7. User Personas

It’s a comprehensive audit that accurately defines the scope and parameters we’ll apply to achieve the result.

What you’ll get, in the end, is a high-performance product that meets your stated goals and exceeds all expectations. Our process is built on solid foundations and proven to get results—just ask any of our clients.

Book a call today, and let’s define the next level of awesome.

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