The MAVERICK System is an Onboarding process that happens before we start any project. It’s a multi step process of discovery that allows us to build a solution that is what you need, and not what you don’t.
First, let me start by describing what most agencies do, and what MAVERICK is not.
Step 1. Client and agency meet to discuss a project.
Step 2. Agency puts a standardized, templated proposal together, based on what they always do, what they always sell. I know, because I used to do that, and that’s what everyone else did, so I thought it was normal.
Step 3. The agency sends the proposal with a scope of work in it, a blueprint to build a website, and maybe a few other things, depending on what that agency prides itself on, like SEO, or pay per click ads. This scope of work is written in the language that the agency speaks, with words like “SERP”, and “CMP”, and “CMS”, or even worse, phrases like “LAMPstack” and “PHP, CSS, HTML”.
Step 4. The agency sends the proposal by email and then waits for a response. There is no explanation of what the scope actually says, in english. There is no follow up, except when they wanna “close the deal”, then the sales pressure starts.
Step 5. The closed deal, if you’ve gotten this far, means there’s a kickoff call. That’s the meeting where many important details are discovered, details that should have been brought up beforehand. This is where the client can finally ask about the scope, and talk about what they want, and what their concerns are.
Step 6. The work begins, and it’s crickets, until something is built. So now you have a partially/mostly finished product that you didn’t really have much input on, and you kinda like it, or maybe you do like it, or maybe not at all, but either way, it’s yours, you paid for it, now you’ve got to pay the remainder owed in order to launch it, and actually have something to show for your investment. Not what you wanted, certainly not what you needed, but it’s something. And it’ll do, until it doesn’t, and then you go somewhere else next time.
Rinse. and repeat.
That’s the cycle, and I’ve been a part of it, and I’ve made my share of mistakes using this as a blueprint along the way. Until…
I (eventually) learned a new way.
I listened to my mentors and coaches, I looked at my numbers, but most importantly, I went back through all my client’s communications with me, at every step of the way.
Wouldn’t you know it, there’s a better way!
Instead of making something work, or trying to sell a square peg into a round hole, and squeezing the numbers to make it stick, I reevaluated the whole process. I asked a ton of questions, I studied, I learned, I evolved, and 714Web grew into a new way of starting, and producing, projects.
I call it “The MAVERICK System”. I named it this because a “maverick” is a loner, and in using this system, I give away so much time and value, before I see any return on my investment, which makes me STAND ALONE in my field. No one (except the very few other, wildly successful agencies, with similar programs) gives this much of their time and value up front, before “closing the deal”.
So, what is it? It’s really simple. Here’s the step by step.
- Step 1. We start with a 15 minute call, (which is usually a 30 minute call LOL) to determine if we’re good fit for one another. From time to time I hop on a quick call and find out the potential client is looking for someone to do a quick thing that we don’t really specialize in, or maybe we don’t think we can do the project in their timeline or within their budget constraints. This stuff happens, and so we keep in touch, and look for future opportunities to work together where we have a better chance of success. This rarely happens, but it does happen, and it’s good to get that out of the way up front.
- Step 2. At the end of the first call, we set up the first “discovery meeting”. This is a 60-90 minute zoom call or in person meeting if possible, where we ask and answer a seriously long list of questions. My goal here is to uncover all the facts, and I mean ALL the facts. I’ll ask about long term goals, short term goals, immediate needs, what’s worked in the past regarding your online presence, what has NOT worked in the past, where you are with your social media, all the stuff. Everything that might intersect with something we might be involved with, in the distant and not so distant future. Once I have answered all your questions, and I’ve asked all of mine, We schedule the next meeting. That next meeting is, you guessed it, another discovery meeting. Usually I need 24-48 hours to prepare for this 2nd meeting.
- Step 3. The second discovery meeting. By now I have all the details. I’ve asked, but more importantly, I’ve listened. I’ve heard you, and I’ve taken notes on what matters to you, what works, what doesn’t work, and more. So why a 2nd meeting at this point? Because after reflecting on our 1st meeting, and discussing it with Jeremy and the rest of the team, we’ve come up with more questions. We discuss possible solutions, but now’s not the time to put those solutions into a scope of work and set them in stone. Now’s the time to discuss those solutions, in easy to understand terms, and get your feedback. For example, perhaps it makes sense to me to put a live chat feature on your website, so that someone on your team can interact with visitors when they come to your site. Well, my notes say you’ve never had that before, but maybe I didn’t specifically ask how you felt about that. and maybe you HATE it, because you don’t have time for it, and you have no one to monitor it. So, we
scratchthat idea. By the time we finish the second discovery, generally, we’ll be ready for a “Solution Presentation”.
- Step 4. The Solution Presentation. This takes another 24-48 hours to prepare for. I prepare a list of possible solutions, from the website design, the features, the copy (so so so important), all our recommendations for the online marketing engine, and what we suggest regarding any of the 5 add ons that we offer when applicable. We review these solutions, we ask and answer questions about them, how they work, etc. Once we have a “sign off” of sorts, we’re ready to move on to the scope of work and final proposal meeting.
- Step 5. The Final Proposal. This meeting is very important, because we go over the exact details of what we’re proposing to do, broken out in line items, in english, detailing the tasks, and the costs associated. By now we have an idea of your budget, and you have an idea of our costs, after all, we’ve had 3 different hour long or longer meetings and we’ve discussed ballpark figures and budgets for the solutions we’re presenting. This meeting has an online component. We have a website for MAVERICK, and you’ll have your own page on that site, shielded from the general public by a password. We’ll use that page from here on out. Your page on the MAVERICK site will have all the details, the scope of work, the terms, all the facts and information you need in order to make a decision, and we go through every line together. I’m there to answer questions and walk you through it. Once we’ve completed the walk through of the proposal, we sign a contract right there on the website, again with everything on your page, and you can login and review any time using the URL and the password I sent you by email.
- Step 6. Kickoff! Now we’re set to start out with a detailed plan, and importantly, one that YOU HELPED CREATE!. The kickoff meeting notes go into your page on the MAVERICK website, and we start
crossing offthings on our to do list right away. The kickoff meeting is rewarding, because we’ve both been waiting for quite some time, through all our meetings, to actually get to work, and we’ve put in the work required in order to actually start right.
From time to time, with extremely complicated projects, or especially long term projects, like multiple sites (10 or more), or a custom enterprise level applications such as virtual reality projects, or custom pos systems, we charge a fee for a special deep dive with our developers, to actually work through some of the unknowns. Paying us up front to discover and work out unknowns is a fraction of the cost of overpaying for an entire project because the unknowns remain unknown.
- Step 7. Weekly Meetings. Every week we meet to cross things off our list, bring things for review, and go over the next week’s production agenda. Every meeting gets it’s own space on your page on the MAVERICK website. We have our plan, and we fulfill it, week by week, until we’re launched!
Knowing where we are, where we’re going, and working through the details together makes a project much more enjoyable. No surprises, no delays, no extra costs, just what you want and need, nothing less.
I’m available to discuss this process by phone, zoom or email.
Front of House Manager
From 2011 until 2014, Chuck developed 714Web as a freelancer, making websites for local non-profits, churches, and various small businesses. In 2014, 714Web grew into an agency with staff and larger projects, branching out across the country. With a focus on sales and account management growth, he has helped 714Web grow to over 100 websites hosted, and over 100 accounts as of 2020. Read more...