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Home News Article: How our honesty costs us...

How our honesty costs us business

Published on Monday, August 21st 2017 by Aaron Whiffin

There are thousands of web agencies around and they seem to pop up (and disappear) all the time, so in order to have a stable profitable business it’s important that each of us find our niche.

We make no secret of ours, and we have two core principles:

  1. To do things properly and take pride in our work
  2. To be honest with our clients

It’s amazing how many web designers (even local ones) don’t have the same ethics, and how many we see producing sub-standard products, secretly outsourcing overseas, or shoehorning websites in to substandard platforms or templates. We know this because we inherit a lot of projects from other agencies and get to see what they’ve coded, some is truly shocking (and in some cases illegal). However, we will stand firm with our beliefs, we won’t slash the costs by reducing the end-product, and this is why we’ve been trading 16 years and have almost wrapped up our best year ever by far. Reputation counts!

The second point, being honest with our clients, seems as if it should be a given, but it’s not and this often costs us money in the short term, let me explain…

Consider a large website build perhaps provided by a tender. As most web agencies do, we will look at each point that the customer has asked for and think about the costs involved. Crucially however, we’ll also discuss any implications that their requirements may have, use our experience to delve in to all of the ‘ifs and buts’, and see whether what they’ve asked for is future proof and whether it will give them the return that they are after. We will then report back to our client with our findings, which will usually have an accurate idea of costs, but also give feedback in to what they are asking for and whether we think it will work.

This means that, rather than providing a low cost quote blindly saying that “we can do everything”, ours has a more realistic cost, would include all of the little details that the client wouldn’t have thought of, and importantly provides feedback on what we think will work, and what won’t. The client can then pick and choose what they’re after and make an educated choice on the way forward,

We often lose out on projects like this as another agency has come along with a lower price; they nod and agree to everything the client asks for with pound signs in their eyes, and then realise they’ve either bitten off more than they can chew, or the end result simply doesn’t deliver and the client loses out.

Time after time this happens, and time after time we get people come back to us a while later with a sour taste in their mouth asking us to get their new website up to par.

It’s frustrating for us that we know we’re quoting for a decent product, our prices are reasonable and the website will work, yet dishonest or naive agencies come along grab their clients’ money, and under deliver. Essentially what they are quoting for and what the client is asking for are different - someone is going to lose out.

We’re so honest that from time to time we actually decline work as we don’t believe we’re the best agency for the project, or we think that they may be better off taking a better route.

So should we do this? Should we be this honest even if it means we’ll not win the project?

Absolutely we should; we can sleep at night knowing that we’ve done the right thing, we can take pride in our work, it’s our niche and it’s kept us profitable for years, it promotes our good reputation, and we frequently get the missed opportunities back after someone else has under delivered.

Moving to you guys cost like 5 times as much as I budgeted for, but it was genuinely one of the best business decisions I've ever made.”

If you know anyone looking for a web design agency who will take pride in what they do and give honest feedback, then get in touch.

We are Webbed Feet, we make websites... properly.