What are the pros and cons of starting a project from scratch?

Please note: this post is coming from a design, development or SEO project perspective and may not be applicable to your project.

A simple answer to this is there are no cons to starting a project from scratch. Why? If you haven’t started anything, nothing has gone wrong. It’s only when you start a project that various issues can arise and problems need to be addressed. You can minimise the risk by planning out your project in advance. See my tips below on what you should do before starting any project:

  • Golden Question – Ask yourself the most basic question imaginable that can make all the difference: what do I want? If you can’t answer this question from the outset, your project will experience setbacks, issues or failure.
  • Research – Conduct market research or considering the multiple options you have available.
  • Options – Choose a platform or solution that is the best fit for what you are trying to achieve. Did you read about how Shopify is the best out there and a must-have platform? Don’t rush to conclusions. Your approach to business and/or products might entail an expensive customisation of the platform that could run into double or triple digit budgets. Maybe Magento might work best out of the box.
  • Focus – Do not rush to start a project without having a basic outline of its requirements. Writing a novel is a good analogy: you need to have a plot outline before you start a draft, otherwise you will meander through it and end up frustrated at yourself as a writer.
  • Cost – Prioritising cost versus quality. The cheaper bids are not always the best bet but the same applies to higher bids. Cost/expense is not always the main factor. The price tag a company puts on display does not mean their service will meet your expectations nor is it a guarantee that they will deliver a finished product.
  • Communication – Make sure your point of contact(s) know what they are talking about and not talking you into something. A good company will not force anything on you. They will outline what they can offer. They will take notes. They will point out why something costs as much as it does. They will work with you to offer a solution not make a sale.

Let me answer the opposite of this question: what are the cons of picking up an unfinished project?

  • You will spend more time on solving issues or de-bugging.
  • You will spend more money trying to fix or finish an unfinished project.
  • Developers are hesitant to take on unfinished projects because it’s just a headache.
  • You will still have to sit out and re-think the whole thing or initial approach.
  • You might need to switch platforms.
  • You may need to pay the former company and lose a deposit. This is a major painpoint for clients: web designers or developers can basically ignore any refund requests if they choose to and you will not be able to get your money back no matter what threats you dish out.

The best bet overall is to start your project from scratch even though this might seem like the costliest option to you. It would be less expensive to start from zero, but consider a consultation with an agency that can help you plan your project, such as Smokyfish Ltd. for example! : )

Contact us if you have any questions.

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