Have you ever been stuck at the traffic lights in town and seen something you quite like in one of the shops, only to later look the company up online and find a disastrous looking website?
This happened to me on Friday. I was driving my mum home after she had stayed with us for the week. At the traffic lights in the centre of town, she announced “that’s a nice bag”. I looked at the bag hanging up in the shop window. It was a purse with a long, gold strap, and the bag itself was covered in Robins.
Christmas is coming…
‘Hmmmn’ I thought. Christmas is coming up. I’ll check out their website when I get home.
And that I did. I couldn’t remember the name but Crowborough is a small place. It didn’t take long. What I found was terrible. Dare I say, archaic.
Now I know that I’m a designer and let’s face it, I’m likely to skeptical of other designers work. That’s not always true and quite often I’m in awe. There are some great designers out there doing things that I think are great. Sadly, that’s not always the case. There are designers that are focused on offering a cheap price.
The lure of cheap websites
The lure of getting a website on the cheap must be tempting for many small businesses. I know how start up costs can escalate and I know that ticking each thing off the list as quickly and cheaply as possible seems logical. But if you’re in the business of selling either goods, your services, or even yourself to others, it can be a costly mistake.
My reaction in this instance is the perfect example. The company presented itself to me as cheap. Other connotations are still spinning round my head. None of those connotations are making me what to visit the shop to buy the bag (before you ask, they don’t sell online!).
“Can you do it any cheaper?”
The dreaded question from your clients or customers. Everything can be purchased cheaper. You can shop in Primark as opposed to Marks & Spencer or Debenhams. An iPad or iPhone isn’t your only option. There are alternative chocolate liqueurs to Baileys. The list is endless. What these examples highlight to me at least, is sometimes, it pays to pay.
It’s true you don’t always get what you pay for but in most cases, if you pay a much cheaper price, what you get is, well, cheaper. And it’s quite obvious that it is.
This is particularly true when you are investing in a website for your business. Your website is going to express to your customers who you are, what you do, the values you and your business hold dear. If they visit your website and think you website is cheap, of half-baked, or naff, or crap, then the likely-hood is that they are going to think the same thing about you and your business.
Don’t focus solely on price
When you’re looking for website design then my advice would be not to start at the price. Web designers who display cheap lead in prices are after an easy sale. They aren’t focused on giving you the best service or the website your business deserves. It drives me slightly crazy, but I can see why people choose them, especially if they aren’t technically minded or have a lot of experience with websites and digital media.
Instead, take some time to look at a host of local web designers and focus on the work they are producing. Find one that seems to best fit your business and then speak with them to discuss your needs, and if needs be, your budget.
Believe me, having an effective, responsive website in this day in age is vital. It can be the difference in success or failure of your business. There’s a reason that the most successful businesses have good websites – the websites aren’t incidental, they make up a large part of their marketing mix.
If you’re looking for website design in Crowborough or the South East, then give me a call and I will very happily discuss all your needs.
PS: And as for the bag, I then Googled ‘robin bags’ and found a robin umbrella with a free bag that I think my mum will love – oh, and I can buy it online!
Stuart is owner of creative and marketing agency Creative Sprout.