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Business Consulting For The 21st Century Via A Holistic & Intelligent Approach

The same thing but different?

Answered => “When should I hire a design firm vs. freelancer(s) for web/ui/ux design?” on Quora.

=> My answer…

Anyone mind if I take a slightly different approach to this answer?

When? When you’re ready act, motivated to participate and willing to have reasonable expectations. These are not another version of: Fast, Cheap, Right – pick two. Ready, Motivated & Reasonable is a pick three.

Presumably you’ll be looking for a resource to add value. The key word here is add. Ultimately is it going to be you/your firm that creates the value to which the resource adds to. Your project will not miraculously move forward if your resource asks for input or a meeting and it take you 3+ weeks to conjurer up that time and answer. Regardless of type of resource (i.e., firm vs freelancer) and what you’re paying, no one is going to be a magician or a mind reader. If you give them a long rope (e.g., “I’m too busy, just run with it.”) and they come up with something unacceptable, then whose fault is that?

As others have mentioned (Desiree Colonna Scales, Angus Fretwell), there are some freelancers who follow questionable practices. That being said, there are plenty of clients who expect – if not demand and/or seek – questionable practices be followed. I’d be curious to know how many of Desiree Colonna Scales’ clients have said, “I screwed up. I wanted to save money so I asked my previous resource to cut corners.” or “I screwed up. I went with the low ball estimate instead of the best qualified.” or “I screwed up. My resource asked for my participation and I was never available.” Something tells me most clients are not that honest with themselves, let alone transparent with their next resource.

Let me just leave you with two more thoughts:

1) “If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.” – Paul N. (Red) Adair. (Thanks to Mike Little and Note: Adair isn’t talking about title or pay rate or business model, he’s talking about capabilities (aka chops.)

2) If you decide to go with a design firm then be very specific about asking who’s going to work on your project and what their work is like. Much like freelancers there are firms that are not always as transparent as they should be. That is, they’ll show you work of a senior team or of people who no longer work for the firm, and then they’ll assign your project someone junior or not the ideal match for your project.

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