People often ask us how we can build high-quality websites at a price most of our rivals can not come close to matching.
The answer is that it's not easy. But by focussing on making our processes as efficient as possible, we can build websites for businesses (and individuals) at a fraction of the cost others charge for work that is a similar quality.
In fact, one of the reasons we set up The Smarter Web Company was out of frustration with the way many of the larger web design agencies run their businesses and how we feel that, to a certain extent, they are ripping off their clients.
One of the things we have done differently since the very start (10 years ago!) is that we do not get involved in the "beauty parades" that are traditionally used by businesses to select a web designer. In recent months it has been great to see some of the large agencies adopt this approach as why should an agency devote considerable resources to creative work for a number of potential clients when it will only be the actual clients that progress who fund the agency and as such clients then subsidise non client work?
Many small businesses suffer because they are not making the most of the huge potential for generating sales and leads that the internet offers.
Clients tell us that one of the reasons they have not done so are the fees many agencies quote for building a website and for the online marketing services that are often needed to help drive traffic to it.
To be fair to other design agencies, they do have extra [unnecessary] costs. It is just that we think these are extraneous to the business of building websites and offering online marketing services.
Here is why:
1. For starters, agencies often have a sales force; plenty of agencies will give you slick presentations "proving" how they are "the best". The salesperson is only interested in getting you to sign on the dotted line and the reality is that after you have signed the contract you will not see that person again as most agencies have different people dealing with “getting business” to those that “deliver business”.
2. Next are account managers; these are people paid to act as go-betweens, forming what in many cases turns out to be a frustrating block between yourself and the people who are building your site.
3. They also pay both designers and web developers; many agencies pay one person to create pretty mock-ups of new sites, and others to build them. This not only often creates problems when the tech guys find that the designers’ ideas are impractical or impossible, but also adds another layer of cost.
4. Bloated business costs; agencies often have large, expensive offices to rent, with HR teams and administration staff. At The Smarter Web Company we do not employ anyone that does not add to the client project and even our directors work on client projects!
5. Outsourcing of work; they may even outsource the work to third parties, claiming they are doing it in-house when they are not. Again, this adds another level of expensive complication and increases the potential for communication problems.
We roll many of these things into one: We have no slick salespeople, or pointless account managers, HR teams and expensive offices. And our designers are the people who build the actual sites.
All this allows us to reduce the cost we pass on to clients for building their websites and running online marketing strategies for them.
It also means we have a powerful editing tool that you can use to manage and develop your site once it is up and running that many of our competitors would charge much more for using.
Another of the benefits is that you do not talk to lots of different people through the process of building your site. You can get straight through to the individual who is creating the site. They will listen closely to your needs, give you unlimited revisions to the design until you are happy with it, and you can get in touch with them at any time during the actual build to check and re-check on the work.
But this does not mean we compromise on quality, quite the opposite in fact. It allows us to focus to a greater degree on the final product; your website.
And it also means you should not have any problems keeping up with the development of your site.
We keep the build process as clear and straightforward as possible, helping you to understand what is happening and allowing you to clearly communicate your needs and what you want from your site.
You can see how simple and easy our build process is:
Step one. We ask you to sign up via phone or email, talking with you about your requirements to make sure we can help.
Step two. You complete a clear, simply laid out design questionnaire. This is put together in a tried and tested way to help you formulate your thoughts and communicate them to us. Again, you can speak to us or email us at any point to discuss this.
Step three. We create a design mock-up for you and send for your approval. Most importantly, and unlike many of our rivals, we offer unlimited revisions to these. We won’t be happy with it until you are and although we try and lead the creative process you have the final decision on the design elements.
Step four. This is the build stage. Once you have given us the green light on the design mock-up, we then build the site itself.
Step five. Finally, your site needs content, such as pictures, products and company information. You can either add this yourself using the powerful publishing system that comes with the site, or we can do it for you all within the fixed price that we have agreed at the outset.
If you are thinking about improving your existing website or perhaps you are starting a new business, get in touch to talk through what we can do for you.