Questions to ask new clients

While I don’t have many freelance clients currently, I’m often approached by friends/family and word of mouth contacts who want to know what X or Y might cost.

How much will a website cost me‘ is a very hard question to answer without more information. I’ve gathered a few questions that have come up, and some that have been forgotten in the past. Without some of these answers it’s impossible to properly predict:

  1. actual cost
  2. hours
  3. cultural fit with client

So, next time you get approached for side project work, consider using some of these questions to gather requirements.  It’sby no means an exhaustive list, but is a good start.

As an aside, if you’re looking for a nice solution for hour-tracking, time estimates, and invoices, check out Harvest App.

Basics

  • What is your budget?
  • When did you need to launch your site or app?
  • Do you already have a website or app, on what technology?
  • What functional requirements/or new features are you looking for?
  • Do you have a design/designer for the app or site?
  • Are there any color preferences or corporate branding that you want to use?
  • Will you require responsive design (adapts automatically to mobile devices)?
  • Is there anything that you would like to have included in the new website that you lack currently?

Company Genetics/Brand/Agenda

  • Who is your audience/What is the target demographic of your website visitors?
  • What differentiates your company from your competitors?
  • Are there any short-term or long-term corporate goals that need to be considered a redesign or new version update?
  • List a few competitors’ sites/apps that you’d consider benchmark companies?
  • What elements of these companies’ websites and/or their online activity would you like to model in your redesign?
  • What is the ultimate goal or metric of success for this product?

Contact info

  • Who is the main point of contact?
  • What phone number/email?
  • How often would you prefer to be updated?
  • Do you prefer to use basecamp/slack or any other collaborative site?

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