We've all been there - you're out for dinner and you've been told there is a 30 minute wait for food... Minute 31 ticks over and you're waving down a member of staff to find out when your food will arrive!
When it comes to your business, it's no different. You'll be working with various suppliers and if things aren't delivered on time, it could have huge implications on how you operate. This blog provides some advice on how to provide a solid brief for your agency to ensure you get what you need, when you need it.
Providing a concrete brief
It saves you and your agency time and is a really important step in ensuring your agency understands what you're trying to achieve. A briefing document will ask you a number of questions and the more information you provide, the better! Once your agency receive your brief, they'll let you know if they can meet your requirements or potentially let you know another idea that might work. Depending on the scale of the request, you may need a follow up meeting/call/skype to firm up the approach.
It's all about the timing
If you have a deadline of when you need your website live or a leaflet printed, work backwards from that date. Give yourself an extra week to have the goods in your hands before you need them, you never know if there is a delay in delivery or if you spot an error, there will be some time to make amends.
You may not know how long things will take to create, a business card shouldn't take too much time at all compared to an all singing, all dancing website. Let your agency create this schedule based on their workload.
Ultimately your agency will bend over backwards to help you, but they'll also be working with lots of other people at the same time, if you think you'll need your agency's help, give them the heads up as early as possible so they can find a slot in their workload.
Receiving concepts and drafts
After you've provided a brief, you'll receive some concepts, depending on the agency you're working with, you can hope to see at least three concepts to choose from. You'll pick one of the designs and refine it, or if it's radically off your original brief, then they'll go back to the drawing board. You will normally get two rounds of amends and then receive the final design.
SUBMIT A BRIEF
RECEIVE DRAFT ONE
RECEIVE DRAFT TWO
RECIEVE FINAL VERSION
It's a two-way street
If part of the deal is supplying text for your website or images for your brochure, make sure you supply the assets it in time. Any delays from you may compromise the whole delivery of the project, so remember it's a two way street, work together to meet your deadline.
Communication is key
Your agency will keep you in the know with how they're getting on, if they're not going to meet the deadline agreed, they should let you know in advance. If you gave yourself some wiggle room with your deadline when you set your brief, hopefully you should still get your goods in time!
Remember, this is a guideline of how agencies work, you could find that you'll get four or five drafts before getting your final design. Every agency will have a different way of working. Nailing your brief at the beginning of your project is going to ensure you're going to receive what you're looking for, in a timely manner. If you chop and change your mind a lot, be prepared to have your agency inform you that additional costs may be incurred.