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January 26, 2010

If it sounds too good to be true it probably is

Filed under: Website Development, Your Business — Mike Jaltuch @ 9:07 am

It always amazes me how much of a rush some people are to launch a website, at times sending rationale out the window. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying deadlines don’t matter and you should be carefree about your website’s completion date. However, when planning a project listen to common sense and if you have set an arbitrary deadline, listen to the experts and be flexible. Doing so will only save you headaches in the long run.

Recently I was working with a prospect on scoping out the requirements for his new online business. During this process, as I usually do, I asked if he had a date when he wanted the project to be completed. He responded with a date approximately 45 days away. After our meeting I wrote up the requirements as we discussed and informed this prospect it would take a minimum of 75 days to complete the project.

I had asked him if there was a reason he picked this specific launch date. Sometimes the launch of a business may be timed around an event such as a trade show or a specific time of year if the business is seasonal. However he admitted it was just a random date he selected that had no significance. He did stress that he ALWAYS meets his deadline dates in business and therefore it was essential to complete the project by his specified date. I explained that it’s just too much work for such a short timeframe and to do a quality job something like this should not be rushed.

In the end, this prospect only cared about his arbitrary deadline and therefore went with a firm that gave him the response he was looking for. He later admitted this was the sole merit for his decision. I don’t expect to get every project I bid on, however when losing a bid for sticking to your guns and being honest is a bit frustrating. We could have said what the prospect wanted to hear, gotten the project and then worried about the consequences later. I opt not to take this approach and provide an honest estimate I can stand behind.

Last week was the deadline for his project and when visiting the domain name I was not too shocked to see a message saying the site is under construction and will be lunching next month. This seems to me like a company willing to say what you want to hear just to get the business then worry about the unavoidable upcoming problems later. Of course I can’t say for sure if that’s what happened in this case, but as someone who has been in the industry for over a dozen years, I do know it exists.