I’ve witnessed firsthand the potential for disaster in a major website overhaul. A company couldn’t wrestle its website’s source code from its vendor, which subsequently goes under. I’ve worked with a company that was billed over $10,000 for a fairly generic website redesign specification, which contains a rate with a $60,000 margin of error. These sorts of names-withheld horror stories start innocently enough, with the vendor and client happily choosing to work with each other. But then the vendor goes astray, often without the client even being aware of it. These things happen, but know that ultimately, your design firm is probably a sensible, passionate group of real people who most likely also want to please you with a design. In fact, if you’ve ever read ClientsfromHell.net, you know that sometimes we are the source of error. Often, the problem can be derived from lack of contact, miscommunication, and lack of adequate resources provided. Creating a clear way for open communication is the first step to preventing disaster. The real ticket is to create an environment where both of you can work together in a relationship of trust, respect, and understanding. There are ways to prevent yourself from being put in a bind, but these should be executed only in partnership with changes to your own actions to work with the designer. It is not only an issue of general respect; these are the conditions to which you will see the best results. Often, designers and their business clients are coming from very different perspectives of understanding. Here are some tips that will keep both you and the consulting firm at a good working place.