Whether you want to create awareness for your products, launch your brand, reposition yourself or develop marketing materials, you are seeking expertise to get the job done. The first decision you'll have to make is one of the most important ones: selecting the right partner for your challenge.
So, you start off by asking for quotations from one or more potential suppliers. Now picture this: you receive two quotes that look quite the same yet pricing is completely different. While price probably plays an important role in your decision making, having a proper understanding of what is being offered will benefit you in the long run. Therefore, I have put together 4 must do's that enable you to compare apples to apples.
1. Check if the quote matches your brief
Before approaching potential suppliers you need to determine for yourself what you want, why you need it and what you want to get out of it. You don't just need marketing or branding, you have a purpose. Try to describe that purpose and look for examples on the internet. By putting everything on paper, your challenge will become more clear for both you and your potential partner. The brief will serve as your checklist to evaluate the supplier's level of understanding & the suggested approach and allows you to select the best option for your needs and goals.
2. Ask questions
Let’s say, you’re approaching web developers because you want to build your website. Supplier A might present you a great price, or a shinier apple, for what appears to be the same website supplier B proposes. What you don't realise is that supplier B is offering you a custom made and fully tested website, that is search engine optimized and includes a content management system, while supplier A presents you 'just' a template website. Don't get me wrong, working with a template is okay, however, there is a chance that your website looks similar to others. Everything depends on your budget and initial starting points (your brief), but you need to ask questions to find out more about the website functionalities to see which supplier supports your goals in the best way.
3. Check the level of expertise
According to best selling author Malcolm Gladwell, it takes at least 10,000 hours of practice, plus talent, to achieve mastery. If you are seeking to hire a supplier, you want to work with the people that not only understand the rules of the game but are experienced enough to move your company forward. Besides, working with senior talent gives you more time and space to focus on your business. They oftentimes work independently, according to a proven methodology, and can deliver spot-on; on time and on budget. Giving you peace of mind while your challenge is being tackled.
4. Choose the right partner
Before signing a contract, always check the mentality of your supplier. Is this party flexible? What does this company stand for? You are putting an important task in the hands of an external partner, so at least, choose the party that has a culture and values that align with your own and you feel comfortable with.