As part of my series on simple business metrics, here is an elaboration on metric #3 – Project Size., to wit, what is the right size for web development projects for your firm? The answer is not necessarily “Larger”.
I’ve found that my projects consist of varying percentages of:
- Graphic design
- Client Management
- Project Management
- Web Development
- Estimating, proposals and accounting
Each of the above varies by client of course.
Each of the above tasks requires some overhead in terms of dollars, time and energy. The cost of client management and project management will increase disproportionately with the size of the project. Maybe you are an extrovert. Higher amounts of items client management and project management will be easy for you. If you’re an introvert you will prefer graphic design and web development. Client management and project management will be draining for you. The percentages that are right for you will depend on your skills and personality.
After a few years you will have some notion of what the right size is for you and your company. Too far below this size and you find yourself spending too much time and money on estimating, proposals and accounting for the project to be profitable. Too much above this size and you find yourself outside your comfort zone and spending too much time and energy on client management, project management, and one time capital items. You can lose money on projects that are too small or too large.
However, one happy thing about doing multiple projects for the same client is that client management and project management will decline over time (as percentages).
So, in sum:
- There is a right size for web development projects.
- That size will vary from firm to firm
- That size should vary by client.
- The right size for web development projects should increase over time.
In closing – I ran this by several friends as I was considering the article and got a wide variety of opinions, some agreeing with me, some not. This is only my experience, your mileage may vary, etc.
This blog post originally appeared on the Profit Awareness Blog - as that app is up for sale, it has been consolidated into the main Digital Tool Factory blog.
Written By Steve French