The right ingredients for partnerships

Building trust and culture in favour of your website

There are many companies and agencies providing design and web development services out there. From big companies to small tech shops and freelancers, it can be difficult to choose the right company to build your precious new web platform or website.

We believe that the best way to deliver high-quality web related services is by building partnerships with our clients. A big part of that is related to the added value of the project both for the client and for us. In this blog post, we share the fundamental aspects for building partnerships and having long term relationships.

More businesses online

It is not new that digital transformation is shifting the way we do business. Regardless of the sector, an online presence is key to be competitive. More than that, a whole range of services are now provided online.

Investing in websites and complex web platforms to attend to internal and customers needs have become key for business success. Clutch.co affirms that almost two-thirds of small businesses rely on websites to connect with customers.

If your company doesn't have IT at the heart of your business or if you are just starting a new business, hiring a complete team to take care of your online presence or digital product may not be the best option. It can be a very difficult task and the whole process can be expensive and time-consuming.

To partner with a digital agency or a web development company is a valid and very common option. However, there is a wide range of companies delivering these types of services and choosing the right partner can be very difficult and somehow exhausting.

We know that this is a big decision to make. Choosing the right tech partner is key to the success of your business. It's crucial to choose a team with the right set of competencies and that will work side by side with you, always with your product best interest at heart.

Partnerships matter

There are a lot of companies providing digital-related services out there. The tricky thing to have in mind is that some companies are strictly service providers. Many agencies still work under a fixed-price model and will deliver anything a client asks, without necessarily being involved in the decision-making process or part of a test & learn model that is crucial to deliver something that fits its purpose. This way of working drastically affects the quality of the work delivered.

A survey done by Pixelfield shows that "63% of respondents have said that the agency they hired hadn’t delivered the value they’d expected." The same survey shows that clients prefer working with in-house teams due to the high costs of hiring an external digital agency and the poor quality delivered.

This is not just related to how agencies and web development companies are used to work - essentially as service providers - but also related to the amount of work and projects those companies commit to at once.

In this scenario, it is easy to say that companies rarely work as partners with their clients but more as consultants or suppliers. And we believe there is a big difference in working with companies that truly play the role of partners. Not just in terms of accuracy and quality, but the fluidity of processes and matching the bigger and final goal.

But what does being a partner actually mean?

For us, it means to go beyond the provision of a service or a consultancy work. It means to be actively involved with the client's team and to have in mind the overall business strategy that needs to be reflected in the tech implementation.

We believe that a good understanding of the overall picture and fluid communication can truly enhance the relationship between the parts and promote the feeling of ownership in all of the actors involved.

Playing the role of a partner means to go beyond what was requested. It means to question priorities, make suggestions to improve the tech architecture and the web platform itself and be transparent in terms of how much it takes to have something fully implemented.

It means to create the right environment where the team can make suggestions to enhance the web platform they are working on, support code refactoring to clean up tech debt and propose changes to the infrastructure.

We believe this is the right path to building trust and culture in favour of the web platform that is being built together.

The right ingredients

At Marzee Labs, we feel that it is important to sail the journey together and we present below some of the processes and tools we consider as key ingredients in our business relationships.

  • From the first exchange to the delivery of a project, we make sure to **understand the essence of the web platform we are building and the culture around it.
  • Every time we start a new project we plan a meeting so we can get to know each other better, talk about the project, goals and plan next steps.
  • We make our best to understand the overall picture and the business goals even if it is not directly related to what we will deliver. This enables our team to feel directly involved with the platform to be developed and have a feeling of ownership.
  • Facilitate direct interactions between the design and engineering teams and the people behind the product/project idea.
  • Have a straightforward channel of communication. We usually create a Slack channel with our partners so we can have an active communication throughout project implementation.
  • Directly involve our partners in the development process by integrating them to the project management tools we usually use (Trello, GitHub and GitLab). This way the whole team involved can interact and follow up the project's progress.
  • Deliver the best quality we can for all of our partners. This means to enhance the web platform from a UI/UX perspective, to deliver high-quality code, to build a well-structured tech architecture, to use modern tech and best practices.

Last but not least, and in order to make all of this happen, we seek to work with projects that are interesting and that have a clear added value for both the client and us. We wear the cap and actively make the case for the success of the web platforms we build. In the end, we like to say we have partners and not clients.