I've just read a really interesting article in .Net Magazine about the importance of project discovery as a freelancer or agency. What's project discovery? It just means the ability to pick the projects that will work for both you and the client rather than grab any work thrown at you.

The result of taking work on that you know could become problematic later is damage to your  or your companies professional development. The truth is there are clients out there with expectations far beyond what their budget will allow and this will result in damage to your business. If you're going to end up working for less than £2/hour because the client keeps requesting redesigns then you might as well line-up at the dole office.

When taking on any project first ask yourself these questions.

  1. Is the client and this project right for me or my agency?
  2. Will I or will my team be allowed to bring our best work to the final result?
  3. Is the client prepared to begin the project?
  4. Is the client prepared to engage appropriately with the project
  5. What is the projects full scope
  6. Am I or is my team prepared to fulfill or exceed the projects requirements

Failure to address all these questions before taking on a project will result in disaster later. The most important thing to to set a certain level of expectation at the start of the project. Don't inflate the clients expectations in an attempt to get the work. But also don't take on projects when your instinct tells you the client wont engage properly. This will result in them being constantly dissatisfied and your job will become almost impossible.

The phrase that should send alarm bells ringing is "I don't really understand all this stuff, I just want a website I can sell my products on, I'll leave it all up to you". You want clients that understand what they are taking on, how a website works, limitations of the Internet and of course how much code development costs.

Bottom line pick your work and turn away the problematic projects, then watch your business sky rocket in barrels of success.

the island street sessions salcombeThis week we've had a different bit of music every night in the Salcombe Web Design studios as we open it up for The Island Street Sessions. We've probably driven the neighbours completely crazy, or hang on, we don't have any neighbours, this is Salcombe after all! When all you second home owners start paying 100% council tax like the rest of us, then you'll have a right to complain.

Island Street has always had an eclectic mix of boat building workshops, artists studios, trendy bars, photography and print studios and cafe's. It almost feels like northwest California, think North Beach.

Now we've seen the sad demise of Dartington Art College maybe the bohemian days of Totnes are long behind us. Could Island Street become to South Devon what North Beach is to San Francisco?

There are 3 easy ways you can keep up to date with my blog. First off every good blog should come with syndication. You an read all about rss syndication here.. Every time I update my blog I'll post a feed to Twitter and Facebook with a link to the new blog item, I do this using Tweet Deck on my smartphone. In fact I'm updating this blog right now from my smartphone using the BlogPress app. - Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

music mastersCheck out the site from one of my clients David Tolan. David and Jim Spencer, both music producers and engineers have set up this new venture and new website themselves.

Salcombe Web Design worked with David back in 2004 and have been updating his own website ever since.

David and Jim have a fantastic resume and their credits include:

The Charlatans,  Johnny Marr,  The Cribs,  New Order,  Primal Scream,  Tori Amos,  Liam Gallagher,  Tears for fears,  Paul Weller,  Oasis,  The Klaxons,  The Horrors,  Ladyhawke,  Beth Orton,  Delphic,  Tim Burgess,  Karl Bartos (Kraftwerk),  Robert Wyatt,  Haven,  The Doves and Echo & The Bunnymen.

Their new venture, provides Short Music Production And Sound Engineering Courses From Music Masters - Two of the Uk’s Top Music Producers.

Two world class producers. Two First-Rate Studios. One Unique Experience.

Check it out at http://www.musicmasters.co.uk

Over the last 28 days my website, Bolberry House Farm Caravan and Camping has received over 4445 hits. Last week BBC television called the site owners to say they wanted to carry out a live TV interview due to the amazing collection of local photographs the site contains. Although set up to give the campsite an online presence and improve bookings, it has become a fantastic photo library of the South Hams coast, it even has ariel photographs. - Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone