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Wild Apricot Tips & Tricks, Part 2: Get Buy-In From Your Board

Wild Apricot Board To Dos In this our second installment of our 5 part series of Wild Apricot Tips & Tricks, we want to discuss tips on Presenting Wild Apricot To Your Board. Now, before we get too far along, let us address the elephant in the room and address the obvious question; why do you need help presenting the platform to your board? Well, the easy answer is – we can all use a little help once in a while. But the other side of the coin is that unless you know the ins and outs of the platform, it is hard to gain the confidence you need without asking a few questions.  A few answers from an expert can’t hurt right? When it comes down to it, which do you rather do? Present once or have to come back a few more times to answer questions you did not anticipate? Personally, I would like to do it once and get it over with. So, with that in mind… here we go!

Points to be addressed are:

1- Pricing

2- Features

3- Support

4- Good, Better, Best

5- The right partner for the job

Pricing – you can pretty much get the price / plans offered by Wild Apricot here –> Pricing. But notice a few things; the plans increase Wild Apricot Featuresaccording to the size of your  contacts db. This means that if you have a set number of records that are contacts, or members with expired memberships who have not opened your emails for more than a year, well then why carry them over? Also, on the higher end of the pricing note that there is a jump from 2000 records to 15,000.There is a 10% savings as well when you pre-paid a full year. If you want to migrate your existing site’s look and feel to Wild Apricot, migrate or import a member database  and site content, these are things you can do yourself – or secure the services of a Wild Apricot Partner to assist.  If you currently use a list manager like Constant Contact. you may be able to save that cost as the platform offers a mailing feature. You are not paying per seat. So, you can have or set up as many administrators as you’d like.

Features – standard features are all listed here. Just scroll to the bottom of the pricing page to see the list. Please see that we highlighted in our  first article – the basic notion and importance of creating an account and taking full advantage of Wild Apricot’s Free 30 Day trial. In doing so, you will discover many other features that makeWild Apricot a world class membership and event management leader. Things like site search, financial reports, member only pages, animated image slideshow, global JS editor, file manager, photo galleries, multi-level managed member profiles, and much much more. Well, you get the picture – we love this platform, and so do our clients. If you had to build / develop these features on another CMS – you know the cost would be almost prohibitive.

Support – there are multiple options for support when it comes to Wild Apricot. Before I touch on them, I think it is important to delineate between support and maintenance. Maintenance services are provided free of charge by Wild Apricot. That is the upkeep and server side maintenance is all performed for you by Wild Apricot and this is included in your pricing plan. Support on the other hand can come from multiple sources. So, first there is an 800 number for support [877-493-6090] note there are limited hours. Please refer to contact us page. Next, there is email support via support [at] wild apricot .com. There is an extensive knowledge-base as well. Finally, there are service partners [like Nicasio Design] that can lend a hand as well. Note that service partners may charge a fee for their services while support from Wild Apricot may not. Oh and there is also a support form submission too if you are the form type. The point is there are many ways in which you can receive support, but I like to add that taking the training wheels off and riding it yourself is the best way to master it. It is good to know though, that if you need a hand or an answer to a question – we are here to help.

Good, Better, Best – when presented with too many options, human beings tend to do one of two things; get stuck making a decision, or worse yet – change our minds after making a decision multiple times. See ‘Predictable Irrationality‘ by Dan Ireley. The best way to reduce the chances of this happening to you perhaps is to present options in a clear path of good, better, and best. Now we all know budget plays a role in the decision making process and we cannot get around that. But presenting too many or few options can only confuse the situation. But before we go any further, Wild Apricot has some wonderful resources available to help you compare what is best. Visit the Software Selection Guide for a wealth of information and pre-designed documents that allow you to plug in information and automatically generate some comparison costs.  In a more practical sense, however how does one present to the board a clear outline of costs associated to the project? Well, what we do here are Nicasio Design is that we offer 3 plans:

A basic header customization, a theme customization, and a full fledge customization of the site design and layout. We also offer a set of a la carte lists for each item which false outside of the design aspect of the project. So, for example a client may want a custom design with a custom image slider, member database import, and migration of site content from another platform. The custom design is priced separate from all the other items. Why? Well, when you present the project costs – it may be good to have them listed out and separate for each item. Perhaps the image slider is not a priority, and thus knowing that cost you can remove it from the overall project cost and proceed to secure a project budget.

The Right Partner For The Right Job – during a client call one day I was asked ‘Felix. Tell us why you are [Nicasio Design] the best partner for our project.’ My reply was simply and very honest. ‘I cannot tell you who the right partner for you is. Every organization needs to evaluate the vendor, check references, and make a decision based on factors completely outside the control of the vendor. If Nicasio Design is the right partner for you, you will know it and select us. If we are not, then you will also know it and select the best fit for your organization.’ To my surprise I heard silence on the other end for a bit. You know that uncomfortable silence? Then one of the persons on the other end replied ‘wow!’ How refreshing it is not to hear ‘we are the best because…’ Due diligence, ask the tough questions, and present the best options. Your board will appreciate your hard work.

Nicasio Design & Development specializes in custom Wild Apricot, WordPress, and Magento solutions and the occasional new beer or wine. Contact us and let us know how we can help, what you think, or to talk about the weather.

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