More and more frequently, frustrated business owners have called the I2D offices looking for help. What are they frustrated about? Nine times out of 10, it's their web development company. I know we've talked about the complaints we hear about projects that run way past deadline, or that never materialize, designers who resent their purchased work being given away to others - after its paid for, designs that don't look anything like what the client and supplier discussed... the list goes on.
But today, a different and perhaps the most disturbing type of frustration call came in. Today, a business owner called frantically looking for help. Without going into every detail, suffice it to say that she had an ecommerce website built and published in November, and since has had one sale. Her statistics show that visitors come to her site, but never get past the home page. And after looking at her site, anyone would agree with those fleeting visitors. The company she'd hired to design and develop her site had done so without any thought to merchantability or design sense. To make matters worse, they developed her site with no search engine optimization, no content input or advice, and worst, no consideration of customer experience...
BUT they offered to fix all of that by redesigning the website -- at an additional cost! Outrageous! Basically, there are two types of companies: the ethical and the not. Companies that string clients along, milking the cash cow through bait and switch tactics are not only questionable -- they're unethical and, in my book, downright slimy. Our best advice is to educate yourself before you hire a contractor or company for any job -- whether it's plumbing or web development. Check the company's records, check their references, look at their work, and get a few estimates. Talk to different size companies, bigger is not always smarter, better or faster.
Armed with some good reference material, solid background information, and a handful of educated facts, you'll be so much better equipped to spare yourself months, even years, of wasted time, spent energy and money out the door on a sales tool that's doing you more harm than good. The caller today called her company the "best kept secret in Deerfield". It's sad to have to say this, but based on her current website, that's not far from the truth. Protect yourself and your business - read blogs like this one, read articles on marketing, SEO, web development, direct mail, printing, etc. whatever it is you're hiring for, get educated. Contact us before hiring anyone to design, host, optimize, print, or create any marketing or advertising materials for your business, we always promise a free consultation.