The short answer to this question is that I don’t, their business does.
A mantra that I’ve always lived by for my business is “Let the business drive the technology, not the other way around.”
The simple truth is that technology changes much faster than a business can. So if the technology were to go away tomorrow, would the business still be viable and run or would it be out of business?
Last week YouTube went down and the internet lost it’s mind! There are a great deal of people who build their business on YouTube. And if you don’t listen to those smarter YouTubers like Roberto Blake, Sunny Lenarduzzi, and Amy Landino who always talk about building a business on YouTube, but then say that it’s an absolute must to get customers onto your mailing list. It’s for that exact reason.
To answer today’s question though, you want to listen to your client extremely closely and objectively.
Be overly objective
My wheelhouse is WooCommerce, Subscriptions for WooCommerce, Drip, and ConvertKit. That is the technology that I work with and on for clients.
If I hear from my clients that they need a different ecommerce platform such as Shopify. Or an email marketing platform such as Mailchimp, then I don’t hesitate to share that with them.
There is any number of reasons why technology may fit or not fit for someone. Price, features, existing knowledge, existing business software, and timeline.
As a professional, you will want to give your clients the expertise that you have in order to provide them with the best possible solution, even if it isn’t your own.
If you don’t, you and your client will find out later in a much more painful way. If you don’t like having hard conversations then best to over-communicate early on.
Not every client project is a fit for you. What happens when you take on projects that are not is that your profits and time go right out the window.
What I mean by this is that if you provide a solution that your client is looking for and you shoehorn the technology that you know into it, there will be a high likelihood that further down the road your client will ask for something that the technology may not do, or do well.
When describing the requirements for the project, your client is coming from their perspective and knowledge of what they need.
That knowledge comes from their experience with the problem so far. There is no way that you’ll know every detail of the problem within a 30 or 60-minute conversation.
Rest assured though, you’ll find out the hard way when it arises.
It’s hard for me to cite exactly what to watch and listen for here. Every case is different. However keep in mind the phrase “If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, then it’s a duck.”
If you’ve got some gut feeling or the dots connect to form a specific technology that fits perfect, then that’s the answer. Don’t try and make shoehorn the business into some other piece of technology.
Here are some further resources that you'll want to check out that directly relate to the show.
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