I’ve been building a fence in my garden using pre-existing hard concrete posts, and my cordless Black & Decker didn’t have the battery life to drill in to very many, so I needed to buy a corded one. So off I went to eBay, found a cheap one, and set to work.
Well the drill did what you’d expect, it span around, it hammered and it worked… well, it kind of worked. It was very slow at drilling, and despite being 710 Watt it seemed underpowered. More importantly the hammer part didn’t hammer very hard, it was more of a tap, and as such every drill bit I used overheated after just one or two holes.
The end result was me wasting several drill bits, taking an age to drill my holes, and giving up and buying a better one from B&Q. Although only 680 Watt, this Bosch one drilled the wall ten times easier, and was better in every way.
There’s an old proverb, “buy cheap, buy twice”, which in this case is so true… I had to buy another drill.
How many times in your business have you had to go and fix someone else’s mess, or start completely from scratch?
So why am I telling you this? Well we spend a lot of our time fixing issues caused by other web agencies, and although it’s nice to get the work, it disheartening and makes me feel for the customers as they’re paying us for something that should have been done properly in the first place.
Now here’s the tricky part. The hammer drill that I bought does do what it’s supposed to, it drills, and it hammers, it’s just doesn’t do it very well. In short it’s not fit for purpose.
Well websites are the same, there’s no governing body to check work is up to standard, and a web agency could deliver a 10 page website exactly to specification which quite simply doesn’t work.
The issue is that, if a drill doesn’t drill holes it’s obvious, just as if your car doesn’t work you'd quickly notice. But websites not working effectively may be harder to judge; what if a website gives you an enquiry a week, it is working, but is that above or below the standard for your industry?
When buying things, and by ‘things’ I don’t just mean websites, it’s important not only to compare prices and features, but also the build quality and brand. We do it every day on products we can see, examples varying from Heinz ketchup to Mercedes cars, but with the service industries it’s often far trickier to judge.
The website and online marketing industry is no different, products and services are most certainly not like-for-like and as such prices will vary.
So what should you do?
Firstly ask yourself if your website is performing as you’d like as even if you’re not an expert you probably have a fair idea.
Then find a professional in the web design industry, and ask them for advice. But before you do this make sure you do your research on them. Phone some of their clients (not just the ones in their portfolio), if they’re local ask about, look at their Google ratings, see how long they’ve been in business, how many staff they have, whether you can get through when you phone them, and only when you’re sure they’re right, pick up the phone.