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  1. #1
    SitePoint Addict michaelwheaton's Avatar
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    Your ideal team...

    If you could have three people to work together as a website producing company, what would each of them do? Do you think that three people is too many people to have working on a single website, or not enough? I personally think that a team of one graphic artist/designer, one programmer, and one person to run the business and be a salesperson would be good. What do you think is the perfect combination?

  2. #2
    :) delemtri's Avatar
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    One person for graphics/Flash, one person for Windows systems, and one person for Unix systems.

  3. #3
    I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaack! Fluffykins's Avatar
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    My ideal team would consist of four people.

    1. A graphic designer and photshop whiz
    2. A technical programmer
    3. An all-rounder with intermediate knowledge of most things webesque, good people skills and the ability to write reports, sales copy etc, who is also able to collate the work of the others into the site and make it all work together. (This is me!)
    4. An administrator to handle billing of clients, the handling on enquiries, managing accounts and all that.

    That's my ideal team. We currently consist of one number 3 (myself) and a dedicated web designer who i'm hoping to turn into a number 1 before too long. We tend to outsource all our number 2's and I end up doing number 4 because i'm the only one who knows how to do accounts. Would you like fries with that order?

    Ady
    v-technologies - Freelance Goodness.

  4. #4
    Prolific Blogger silver trophy Technosailor's Avatar
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    hmmm, 3 PLUS me.....

    1) a database guy (PHP and ASP, in particular)
    2) Java/javascript programmer
    3) Marketing
    Aaron Brazell
    Technosailor



  5. #5
    SitePoint Evangelist mad-onion's Avatar
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    I would have 2 awesome sales people, and one person to talk to clients and outsource building their sites (basically a colaborater)!
    Then there would be sitting on a desert island sipping a tall glass of....and thats when i woke up!
    SiteOptions >> Services :: Products :: Contact
    Developers of PHP, C++, Visual Basic, MySQL, and more!

  6. #6
    SitePoint Zealot
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    If I had two other perfect people besides me, they would all be dedicated to the company as much as I. All three of us would be responsible for bringing in clients and spreading the word about our work.

    One would be a programmer (ASP, PHP, PERL) and the other a whiz BANG graphics ARTIST.

    I would coordinate with the customers and deliver the work to the other two/do anything I could to help.
    Come get 5,000 Full Color - High Gloss(front and back) business cards for only $270!
    www.diamondqueue.com

  7. #7
    SitePoint Addict michaelwheaton's Avatar
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    I like heavy's idea the best, but I guess it depends on what your skills are and what type of websites your company would be designing. Right now I am working on getting myself set up legally as a business and making a website for it. Then hopefully I will be able to grow it enough to hire a couple more people, but that's probably a long ways off.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Enthusiast Stallion's Avatar
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    Four, but no more. :)

    Project Manager - client communication, team organization, manage deadlines, market trends, caffeine stock boy.
    User Interface - advanced HTML & client side scripting, works with WYSIWYG in his head.
    Graphics Artist - both on paper and on the computer, Flash, Photoshop, MSPaint, you name it.
    Server Programmer - manages server OS, all server side programming, and any database work

    I'd probably fall under either Project Manager or Server Programmer, but definitely NOT graphics artist.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy
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    Well, at our company we're ALMOST where I think we need to be when it comes to the "perfect" team...

    My perfect team would consist of:::

    Project Manager - coordinates development and deployment

    Designer - creative side - designs layout, logos, interface - also lays out pages of the site, some html coding

    Programmer, coder - all clientside and server side scripting, asp, some html, etc.

    Page Layout / copy - inputs all content, writes copy, scans and retouches images, etc.

    Hosting / DNS - responsible for setup of server, directories, permissions, domain name (transfer if neccessary), and email.

  10. #10
    SitePoint Evangelist Timothy's Avatar
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    This would be my ideal team for a content-based site.

    1. Graphics Designer - Design all graphics, logos, and banners for the site

    2. Programmer - Program anything needed for the site and also debug code, check over HTML, etc.

    3. Idea Person - Someone not directly involved with the project just to give opinions, criticize things, and come up with ideas

    4. Marketer/PR Manager - Someone to promote the site, create META Tags, submit site, handle public relations, etc.

    5. Business Manager - Handle all business related aspects of the project including ad sales, billing, partnerships, legalities, finances, etc.

  11. #11
    ********* Callithumpian silver trophy freakysid's Avatar
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    Some crucial roles not mentioned above:

    - Espresso machine operator,
    - Martini mixer.

    Ideally, two members of the team can take on these roles as well as their other duties.

  12. #12
    Prolific Blogger silver trophy Technosailor's Avatar
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    So Sid...you're big on multi-tasking as well, eh? You can't forget to include one other position. As a musician, I'd call him a roadie, but not sure what to call them in the IT industry. He's the guy that waits on you hand and foot, grabbing a cold one, running to CompUSA, Answering the phone (Read:running interference between you and your clients), feeding the dog, and any other activity that you need to have done.

    Sketch
    Aaron Brazell
    Technosailor



  13. #13
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Jeremy W.'s Avatar
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    oooh, roadies, yeah, I hate setting up my drum kit, gotta love roadies

    Only thing is they're not as enthusiastic in an office environment...

    Anyways, all of our contract teams look sorta like this:

    Project Manager
    Customer Service Rep
    Lead Designer
    Backup Designer
    Lead Developer
    Backup Developer
    Editor (proof text/design)

    However, 4 people (minimum) are what generally do the full-time hours.

    Great thing about this scheme is that it's easily scalable for larger projects (bump the backup designers to designers, add more backup designers under them, etc) because I trust the people I work with.
    SVP Marketing, SoCast SRM
    Personal blog: Strategerize
    Twitter: @jeremywright

  14. #14
    ********* Callithumpian silver trophy freakysid's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Sketch
    As a musician, I'd call him a roadie
    In film making this person is known as a gopher. In the business world this person is known as a Personal Assistant.

  15. #15
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
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    There is a "roadie" equiv - Accounts/Admin Bod. CRUCIAL if yer gonna do serious business.

    Am also a moozician. Twang a little geetar. Wonder if there should be a sitepoint band (groans!)

    H
    ~The Artist Latterly Known as Crazy Hamster~
    922ee590a26bd62eb9b33cf2877a00df
    Currently delving into Django, GIT & CentOS

  16. #16
    Prolific Blogger silver trophy Technosailor's Avatar
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    Guitar, bass, drums, piano, sax and flute....all at once!

    Sketch
    Aaron Brazell
    Technosailor



  17. #17
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    Idea Person

    Timothy, I like your idea of having an IDEA person. I've always wanted to be THAT guy. Most companies, our's included, are so busy dealing with the day to day items that no one is thinking about the future...

    If I had to choose three people, I would have:

    1.) Internet marketer / Sales. This person would drive traffic to the sites you create (for a fee). They would also fine tune sites for search engine indexing etc. They would also drive customers to my development company's site.
    2.) Graphic artist. This person would design layouts, logo's, banner ads, etc.
    3.) Programmer. This person would do all of the server side and client side scripting and handle all of database work.
    Last edited by rgremill; Jul 10, 2001 at 12:49.

  18. #18
    SitePoint Enthusiast Jackman's Avatar
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    Smile

    Hello Michael

    Great question. I think you may have generated a few ideas in people here with your 'team' question.

    Here's how I would look at it. Identify your perfect team, which most people have. rgremill, Stallion and heavy have all identified themselves as the leader. Why not take the next step and get that team that you've identified around you (outsourced) and you're done.

    From experience I know that there are some exceptionally talented people who visit these forums. You can help some of these guys start their career in something they love, whilst at the same time developing a great business for yourself.

    You can have 2 or even 3 of each team member to ensure you pull the job together at the right time at the right price. The perfect team, competitively priced, you're the boss, and you run your business exactly how you want.

    That is a great way to do business. No overheads, no staff hassles, no sick leave, no huge capital costs. Instead you've got a motivated workforce spread across the globe.

    Here's a take on what I'm doing at present. And a few Site Point regulars will recognise themselves below.

    I am trying a few people in various jobs (some people I've communicated with via Site Point, some from Elance). I have someone designing a graphic (which if the service continues along the same quality lines will lead into a logo which will lead into a web site). I have someone else designing a site (again, if the site and service remains first class then that will lead into other sites).

    I have another 2 people doing other sites.

    I have a guy from Elance who has written a cgi script for mailing for me.

    I have been searching for someone to install scripts for me (maybe the guy above). I need a database guy.

    I'll find all of those people. People who I'll pay a decent $ and treat well. People who will be keen to work with me again. People who will be part of my team.

    It is important that people recognise their strengths and don't get caught up in trying to be all things to all people. Quick example: one of our biggest clients is about to spend $30-40,000 on redeveloping 2 sites, doing a new site and changing his database from offline Access to web based.

    The client wants a Bulletin Board put up on the 3 sites (which will be linked). He is a visitor to a forum (mountain biking) that uses vbulletin and suggested that as his preferred bulletin board, as he really likes it. Cost is about $400 to license and install. At the meeting my programming guy pushed using phpbb (which is free and very similar to vbulletin) because he wants total control over everything and wants to install it himself and has an aversion, as a programmer, to buying something that you can use/develop for free.

    What would you do? Install the phpbb and save the client $400? If that's your answer smack yourself across the head. Do it now and do it hard. That's crazy talk. The client is spending $40,000. If we install phpbb he will be very, very annoyed everytime there is a glitch (and there will be glitches). And you have just basically told him he is wrong for making the suggestion.

    We install vbulletin (which he now feels very responsible for and will forgive any technical problems as we get it working the way we want. He has 'ownership' of that bulletin board) and he is thrilled that we took his advice (especially when we tell him what a great bb it is and how clever he was to find it and that even the famous Site Point use that bb!!! And believe me, we will be telling him all that.).

    The point of all that is that that is my strength. A lot of people would go the phpbb route and would, without realising it, undermine the relationship with the client. I have no idea how the bb works, I have no idea how to install it and I have no idea how to design a site. But I hope you can see that if I get the people working with me who know their stuff as well as I know mine, then we would be unbeatable.

    I have a decent size web development business and the difficulties in employing the right people are enormous. From sick leave, holiday pay, superannuation, capital, rent, etc, etc. You've stumbled onto a better business model than the one I currently have, but the one I hope to develop in the next couple of months.

    Why don't you start putting together your perfect team now?
    If I can do it (and I know absolutely nothing about any technical aspect of web development) then you can too.

    Anyway, enough crap from me. Here's the team I want:

    * Ideas/Leader/Client Consultation (Me)
    * Salesperson/Proposal writer
    * Designer/Graphic artist
    * Programmer/Tech person
    * Web marketer (does the business marketing too...PR, etc)
    * Admin

    That's more than 3, but I would make sure they are all really short. That gets it down to about 4 1/2.

    Thanks Michael, for a terrific question.

    Regards

    Jackman

    PS: Timothy, the Ideas person is usually the leader (only because no-one usually cares as much about the company) but your idea of having an independent person is a great one. My brother is a landscaper and gives me probably the best input into my business that I receive.

  19. #19
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Jeremy W.'s Avatar
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    Jackman, to be honest I think there is only one problem with your example. In playing to the client's interests by default you have 2 problems:

    1. You undermine the staff you seem so proud of
    2. You may be making a decision which is bad for the client in the long run

    For example, as a designer if after extensive market research into a given area I suggested a certain colour scheme and the client wanted something else I could easily present my data. If you decided to forego said presentation of data simply to pamper the client and get him to come back I would probably quit on the spot unless a justifiable explanation was presented beyond "it's good for business".

    Why? Because, the cost of training and bringing a new staff member up to speed every time you pamper a client (or even 10% of the time) far outweighs any financial commitment a client may make to your company.

    Straight up, pissed off staff work less, produce lower quality work and piss other staff off (thereby producing a rather vicious circle).

    You sound professional so I'm sure you didn't just slight your developer for wanting to use a BB he was both comfortable with and had experience with to a db that he hadn't used and wasn't entirely willing to seek his teeth into.

    The second point is that by pampering the client and not doing your professional duty in suggesting market studies as well as trial runs on both pieces of software you may have done an injustice to him for 4 months to 2 years down the road. It will be at that time that you get the blame, not him, and with good reason.

    All of that said, if you treated your staff well this DID work in this situation and I'm not faulting you personally, just the concept of the idea.
    SVP Marketing, SoCast SRM
    Personal blog: Strategerize
    Twitter: @jeremywright

  20. #20
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    Installing a BB

    I have to side with Jackman on his decision to give the client what they want. You shouldn't avoid using a bulletin board system because it cost $$$ and the programmer you use doesn't know how to work with it. There are times when you should persuade a client to do the right thing, but I don't see this decision as being a wrong one.

    Jackman, I have used elance in the past for graphics work. The nice part is that someone clear across the planet can create the graphics while you sleep. The ultimate virtual company would involve having talent on both sides of the globe working 24 hours a day. Image the surprise on your customer's face when you present him/her with a fully functional website created in just a couple of days.

  21. #21
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Jeremy W.'s Avatar
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    I didn't say I was siding against products that cost $. Nor did I say I was against clients getting what they want.

    I AM against designers pampering clients with what they want when it isn't in their best interest.

    I am also against business managers subordining the opinions and knowledge of the people they hired to have those opinions and knowledge in the interest of immediate profit.
    SVP Marketing, SoCast SRM
    Personal blog: Strategerize
    Twitter: @jeremywright

  22. #22
    SitePoint Enthusiast Jackman's Avatar
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    Thanks Jeremy

    Appreciate your response and input.

    Couple of good points there that I agree with. Especially in regard to not devaluing the contribution of the team member.

    For the purpose of the example I focused on the client preferences as being the major determinant for the decision.
    But of course the decision to go with vbulletin is based on a few other considerations.

    # 1: The best solution for the client. In my assessment of the criteria we established I believe that vbulletin is the best solution for a number of reasons. I've taken into consideration the input from my guy, but don't consider it to be in the best interests of the client to proceed with my guy's recommendation for a variety of reasons. I can't recommend phpbb because I don't believe it is the best solution for the client.

    # 2: Ongoing. Vbulletin provide support. If we put up phpbb we then have to provide the support and it's simply not commercially viable for me to provide the level of support for phpbb. We could only charge $135 to install it (that's what vbulletin charge to install their product) and when the glitches appear we would find it difficult to provide ongoing support that we could charge for.

    Importantly, our unfamiliarity with phpbb means that the downtime would be more than with vbulletin.

    # 3: Vbulletin is being used by industry leaders (ie. SitePoint) so has established credibility.

    # 4: The use of vbulletin is based on quite a bit of informal research and we'll certainly review it on an ongoing basis to ensure it continues to meet the needs of the client.

    # 5: See # 1.

    It does always get get back to providing the best solution. My main focus as the leader is to review all input, research as much as possible and then provide the options to the client (with the pros and cons of each) and then give the recommendation based on ensuring that best solution.

    Devauling the contribution of a person is the biggest danger, but if the communication is there and you are acting in the best interests of the client, then it isn't usually a consideration.

    Would I go with something (such as the phpbb) because the client wanted it. Yep, of course, but only if I had presented all of the options and made a recommendation and he still wanted to go with it.

    Regarding this "Straight up, pissed off staff work less, produce lower quality work and piss other staff off (thereby producing a rather vicious circle)." - couldn't agree more. It becomes a nightmare. Whenever it starts to happen now I just get rid of the person as fast as I can.

    If my guy gets annoyed and negative because I recommended vbulletin then he's not the person I want to work with me. He has got to feel comfortable, and understand, that I'm making the decision based on a variety of factors, including his input, but in the end it's my call. That sounds harsher than what I want to articulate, but I'm sure you know what I mean.

    rgremill - I've had a lot of luck with Elance. The person who wrote my mailing script said it will take 1/2 hour and it did and it works perfectly.

    Regards

    Jackman

  23. #23
    SitePoint Addict michaelwheaton's Avatar
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    It's great to see all of these posts, and Jackman, you really should write an article. :-) Thanks for all of the suggestions and I have been thinking about building a "virtual team" or whatever it would be called. I like the idea of having my own office with a few computers and some guys working right there, but right now I do not have enough jobs coming in to support this. So for now I'm gonna get some people together and see how it goes. Thanks again for all of the help!

  24. #24
    SitePoint Enthusiast Jackman's Avatar
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    Jeremy, didn't see your response above before I hit the Submit button.

    You've made some points there that I do feel strongly about.

    Firstly, I want to say that I don't think you're suggesting that I make a recommendation based upon securing the biggest profit. If you are then I'm a clown for not recognising the insult!

    What you wrote:

    "I am against designers pampering clients with what they want when it isn't in their best interest.

    I am also against business managers subordining the opinions and knowledge of the people they hired to have those opinions and knowledge in the interest of immediate profit."

    is something that I see all of the time. Designing a good looking site that does nothing drives me crazy. Then the client sees no value in "this Internet thing" and misses an opportunity to build their business.

    Michael - thanks for your kind words. Having an office is nice, and having people to bounce ideas off is very important, but the "virtual office" has a lot of advantages. Might be worth looking into. Good luck!

    Regards

    Jackman

  25. #25
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Jeremy W.'s Avatar
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    Jackman, I'll take these one post at a time

    First post:

    I agree completely. How couldn't I, it's what I meant to say if I didn't. I wasn't trying to imply your decision was wrong (I believe I said this), simply that your tone indicated you believed that always going with what the client wants is best, and I simply didn't agree (as I've already explained).

    Again, I would like to say that in this case, I firmly believe vbulletin was the best choice for every reason you outlined.

    second post:

    It was not my intent to insult, so please forgive me if it came across that way.

    My point was that MANY people (not necessarily yourself) will recommend something to the client because it secures cash initially without realising the long term effects on teh client and your relationship with him.

    And, since I'm not entirely sure if you think that "Designing a good looking site that does nothing" is something I do or not, I'd like to assure you that I am one of the primary advocates of thoroughly evaluating a client's needs and the appropriate solutions. Design is a by-product, not the goal of any site. I've got a large amount of forms we use on every single project (http://www.studiococo.com/report/ind...rojectdocs.zip) to assess the needs of teh client as well as the desires of the userbase so that the client not only gets a site that looks good but one they will get compliments about for several years to come.

    The essence is that design fades but the impression a site makes and the ease with which users can get the infromation they want, and do what they want to do, is essentialy.
    SVP Marketing, SoCast SRM
    Personal blog: Strategerize
    Twitter: @jeremywright


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