Top 5 reasons small business owners pay too much for their website
Having been a part of hundreds of web projects throughout the years, nothing makes me cringe more than seeing a small business pay too much for their website. Money is an extremely important resource to a small business, and I believe the money used to develop a website should be an investment that pays dividends and not “a cost of doing business”.
Here is my list of the top 5 reasons small business owners pay too much for their website.
1. Hiring a lazy web developer
As cliche as it sounds, time is money. And during the time your website is offline, business opportunities are lost. What does this equate to? You guessed it, money.
Tip: Ask for quotes on multiple items and see how prompt they are in answering you. This will be a good indicator on how they work.
2. Hiring an in-experienced web developer
Most web companies will either charge by the hour or by the project. The longer it takes them to complete the website, the more you get billed. It’s that simple. So who do you hire? The experienced web developer who charges $100/hour and can get your site done in 10 hours? Or hire an inexperienced web developer who charges $50/hour and takes 60 hours to complete your website? You do the math. Also keep in mind, the less knowledgeable and experienced they are, the less effective your website will be. No one wants to pay for anything useless.
Tip: This is a “no brainer “, but ask for five to ten samples of their work as well as testimonials. This will instantly let you know that if they have made these customers happy, they can do the work you need.
3.The website doesn’t have a goal
You know the saying, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” That adage is true here as well. The company or person you hire to develop your small business website should ask you the following question before starting… “What do you want to accomplish with your website?” If this question is not asked, your website could lack focus and ultimately be less effective.
Tip: This lies in your hands; make sure you communicate with your web company what you want the website to accomplish. ie: “I want the customer to call me.” “I want the customer to fill out a contact form.” “I want the customer to subscribe to our company newsletter,” etc. There isn’t one set answer; you know better than anyone else how your business makes money. So let your web developer know what these goals are, and they will make those an important part of your website.
4. Over thinking the website
Your small business is your baby and your lifeblood. You want everything to be perfect, and there is nothing wrong with that. But sometimes, the persuit of perfection is a waste of everyone’s time, and as I said earlier, wasted time is wasted money. I am a firm believer that as long as your website has the most important information: contact numbers, product pages, contact forms, etc. your website will be effective. And more than anything, this lies in the planning of the website. But remember, last minute changes, adding more and more features that don’t help sales, or multiple meetings and debates about the placement of a banner image, will result in you spending more money than is needed.
Tip: Avoiding this “perfection” mistake can be helped by having thorough planning before the project even begins and, more importantly, sticking to this plan!
5. Not leaving it to the professionals
This can be said about any profession or service. You wouldn’t tell a car mechanic how to replace your transmission, or tell your doctor how he should operate on you. The same can be said about web professionals. If you hire a quality of company, it is safe to say they know more about how to build an effective website than you do. Not leaving it to the pros will result in you paying for features that will probably not translate well on the web, as with the rest of the items on this list. This is another waste of time and money.
Tip: Hire the right company and listen to them! I know this is easier said than done. This is why it is imperative that you hire the right company. When you do, they will be able to tell you what you should be doing for your website, which makes it easier for you to get out of their way.
There are so many factors that can go into paying too much for a website and I came up with more of them as I was writing this. But, if you can avoid the 5 mentioned above, your chances of overpaying will be greatly diminished.
Let us know, in the comment section below, about any experiences you’ve had or tips that could help other small businesses avoid paying too much for their website.