Tendering Tips for Design Project Calm

Sarah McInerney

Head of Content

Sarah has almost three decades of experience in crafting compelling, engaging content specifically designed to boost sales and enhance brand loyalty. She’s also an expert in developing unique tone of voice that helps brands connect with their audiences. Her marketing and client service background has given Sarah a natural understanding of how to write content that makes readers take action. Whether it’s signing up to a mailing list, making an enquiry or donation or clicking the buy button, Sarah knows precisely how to convert with words. Pen down, Sarah is a proud member of the Essex Wildlife Trust and spends most of her free time enjoying inspiring walks through her local woodland and nature reserves, admiring everything that flaps, flutters and flowers.

It’s time for change, an overhaul: to breathe fresh air into your business. You’re in the market for a re-brand and a new website. If the mere thought of what lays ahead makes you want to take a deep breath and reach for the Rescue Remedy, you’re probably not alone. Before you even get started on the project, there’s the whole tendering process to go through.

Wondering how to fathom your way through it without allowing it to take over the best part of your working life for the foreseeable? If so, read on for a spot of steering, including some tips courtesy of Figment MD Steve Grant.

If you want a win-win situation, make sure you’re clear on what you want to achieve from your re-brand and new website fro the outset.

If you want a win-win situation, make sure you’re clear on what you want to achieve from your re-brand and new website from the outset.

Be Clear on Objectives

The first thing to do is make sure you’re clear on what you want to achieve from your re-brand and new website, and how that fits in with your marketing strategy and business plan. Without that vision, any agency you approach will be in the dark from the start. You can’t pitch for something if you don’t know what the goals are.

Decide your Budget Range

You’ll find design agencies have pricing ‘ball parks’. There is no point approaching an agency that is way above – or below – what you envisage investing. Decide what you wish to invest, and be sure to base it on the return you expect to achieve as a result of the work. Always think, ‘investment’ rather than ‘cost’, because with the right agency, you will get something back.

Summarise Expertise Required

Make a list of everything you need for your project. As well as graphic and website design, you may need copywriting, photography, videography, search engine and online marketing, ecommerce, e-marketing, etc. All of this needs to be factored into the tendering process. Imagine how much easier it would be if you could find all you need under one roof. Consider the fact that much time can be saved by hiring a full service provider, due to not having to manage relationships between the various suppliers.

Follow the Rule of Three

Always try to obtain three tenders for comparison purposes, but don’t approach anyone until you are clear on the above so that you are in a position to select agencies of the same calibre. There is no point trying to make comparisons between agencies that can’t compete on various factors.

Never compare tenders on price alone.

Never compare tenders on price alone.

Never Compare on Price Alone

Here Steve Grant offers some astute advice.

“A rebrand or website, like any other marketing campaign, needs to be based around maximising return on investment, not driving the lowest price. Of course for smaller businesses, affordability will come into play, as there is not a limitless pot of money. However, deciding on price alone is one of the least professional moves you can make, and that goes both ways. Larger companies tend to go with more expensive quotes for fear the cheaper ones won’t stack up, but of course that’s not always going to be the case.”

“We all know that a McDonald’s £3.99 value meal is one of the cheapest options for a meal out, but thanks to education in food and drink, we know that it isn’t very good for your health and that the experience isn’t going to impress your partner.”

A £3.99 Value Meal might be cheap, but it's never going to provide all the nutrition you need.

A £3.99 Value Meal might be cheap, but it’s never going to provide all the nutrition you need.

“You need to accept that you’re buying a service rather than a product. For that reason, you’ll probably never be able to compare website agencies like for like, but being more objective will help.”

“Ask yourself who you would go with if the price wasn’t a factor, or draw up a scoring system based on what’s important to your business. For example, many of our clients choose us because we are easy to work with, can show proven results and can meet face to face which gives them better value for money overall.”

In Summary

  • Make sure you are comparing similar types of agencies and always try to get 3 quotes.
  • Accept you can’t compare website proposals directly but decide what’s important to you and score the agencies against them.
  • Never choose on price alone: you’ll regret it in the long term.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions to clarify precisely what you’re getting.
  • If you can afford it, hire an expert to help you with the tendering process.

Tendering for a website or re-brand project? We’d love to be one of your three! Don’t hesitate to get in touch for a chat.

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