In a world where people start an online business one day and are out of business the next, it’s important for you to do business with a company that’s going to be around for the long-term. This goes for any company that’s providing necessary services for your business, but it’s doubly true for your web design company. Creating solid, lifetime partnerships is what’s going to sustain and grow your business. Running a business can be a great deal of fun, but things can go wrong, and that’s why you need someone in your corner who’s going to be there no matter what.
Ensuring you have the correct tools in your toolbelt (i.e. a qualified web designer) can be the make or break deal in your business running smoothly. When you’re looking to hire a website designer to work on your business and brand, you need to make sure that they will be around in the months and years ahead.
Everyone is a Web Designer, Even My 11-Year-Old Nephew!
You read that right – my own nephew is a self-proclaimed web designer. While he can do some amazing things with a web design program, I always have to chuckle a little when he says it. I spent 20 years learning and programming and here he comes after a 6 month class in his school and he gets the same title I do. Talk about life not being fair!
The truth of the matter is that there’s really no certification standard as to what a web designer is and isn’t. When someone is called a Doctor, you know that they’ve gone through too many years of school, but they earned the title and job. The same goes for a lawyer, a graphic designer or other professional career.
There’s a lot to be said for going through the education system and getting a degree in a field, but being book smart and work smart can be very different things. Personally, I’m self-educated in the world of web design, but after 20 years of learning and performing projects for people, I feel I’ve earned the right to call myself a web designer.
Don’t Trust the Website – Meet in Person
This leads us into the next set of things–don’t believe everything you read online. Meeting someone in person goes a long way to judging someone character. The advantage of a website is that someone can spend days or even weeks polishing content that they place on the homepage of their website, and since their end goal is to take your money, you must take everything they say with a grain of salt.
When you’re about to hand over $2,000 for a new website, you should know who you’re dealing with. You should feel comfortable around them and have the ability to ask them questions in person and see how they respond. Have them remove their sales hat and just talk to them as a regular person.
I can’t count how many times I’ve met business owners and had conversations about everything from how the Huskers are playing that year to their favorite brand of Scotch Whiskey. This is also why so many big business deals used to close on a golf course rather than in a board room. It’s important to know that someone can do the job that you want, but getting a glimpse into their character can help put your mind at ease.
Meet at the Web Designer’s Office
This is becoming a more important task every day. Going back to my nephew, if you walked into a business and saw that an 11-year-old was running the show, you’d question whether you should hand over your money to them or not. I have nothing against young people in business, my first venture into business relationships was when I was 16, but I also wasn’t in charge of someone’s marketing and branding image, either.
Having an office isn’t a deal breaker, but it does lend credibility to a business as to whether they might be around a year later. Meeting someone at a coffee shop is a great 2nd or 3rd visit, but generally shouldn’t be performed the first time you’re meeting them. The same goes with visiting a client’s office. It’s generally a good thing to do, but if you’re hiring someone for a particular job, you should see how they operate in their own environment.
Contractors Can Be a Dangerous Investment
There’s a reason that most businesses that need a web design choose not to outsource the work. Some of it has to do with people’s commitment to buying local (or American-made) products and services, but there’s the other scary factor that you really don’t know who you’re hiring.
The same can be said for a web design contractor. Often times, contractors have a regular job and then perform web design on the side. For the same reason you wouldn’t hire a web developer to install carpets in your house, you generally wouldn’t hire a carpet installer to build you a website. A contractor has the luxury of closing business tomorrow and not looking back as they have their regular job that they can fall back on. An actual web design company, someone who has an office and employees, have no choice but to perform their best work every day. This is the career that they choose, and if it doesn’t work, there is no backup plan!
Knowing where their office is, and that you could stop by their place at any point in time, can give you a little extra peace of mind.
Run Like the Wind
How many times have you had a gut feeling about something, ignored it, and then been burned in the end? It happens to everyone at some point or another, and sometimes it’s a repeated pattern. If at any time you feel uneasy about something, just start running. Trust your gut!
If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. If you receive a quote from two web design companies that a project will cost $1000, and someone says they can complete it for $200, there’s probably something wrong. Of course it could mean that those other developers were ripping you off, so you should always use your best judgement. More often than not, though, that low bid would scare me off.
Hire Big Red SEO – A Company with a Commitment
For the past 4 years, Big Red SEO has been performing SEO and creating web designs, much to the delight of our clients. With nearly 20 years of experience in web design by one of the individuals, a degree in computer science for another individual, and a master’s degree in writing by another of our staff members, it’s safe to say that you’re in good hands.
While Big Red SEO does work with contractors from time to time, they are tried and trusted individuals that we’ve worked with for several years. The best advantage to a client is that Big Red SEO is the one that works with the contractor and not the end client. We stand behind our work 100% and if a time should come that something needs to be modified or updated, you can rest assured that we’re not closing up shop any time soon.