In today’s digital marketplace, there are a lot of Web Builders out there. Claims that you can build your website in just a few clicks, without any code. Wix, SquareSpace, Weebly, etc.. Not to mention every Hosting company has a web builder. Even in WordPress Development there are web builders. Ithemes Builder, Beaver Builder, Divi, Visual Composer, etc.. All claiming to build you a website with no coding experience, some of them even claim to be free. OK so now that you have noticed that this is an article about how to sell in a digital marketplace and not an instructional manual on how to open you own Drug Cartel, if you’re still interested, let’s move on.
Have you ever heard the saying “there is no such thing as a free lunch”? Well it is my belief that this saying rings true ,”Always”, someone always pays for it in some way, if you do get a free lunch it is only free to you, someone paid for it. Even freedom is Not Free, we own our military veterans for that debt. Now that we have the “Free Myth” out of the way, let’s move on to your Business online.
So you are a business owner, and you are looking to build your brand, grow your business, and/or Advertise & Market your products or services. Why would you open a business location? You can sell that stuff out of your garage and it is free. If you are a shadetree mechanic, that might work for you, but if you are a serious business person then you know that is not how the business market works, you can either get a retail location, an online business, or both.
As a businessman myself, I know you have to watch what you spend, and some things are just not worth the price that is being charged. You might recall hearing your Mother or Father saying “You get what you pay for”. That too, is true in most cases, it is funny to think as you get older you notice that your parents were not as dumb as you thought. They have something called “Experience”. So as a business person you need to balance the price, value & experience.
Every project has three main components;
Each of these are considered resources, you have to balance the three to complete a project.
So if you are a small business you need to figure out how best to spend your time and money while trying to get the best quality.
Let’s run a scenario
You are coaching a little league team and you designed some tee-shirts and now people are raving about your designs and wanting you to make some tee-shirts for them.
You decide to go into business, after all, there is a demand for your product. You talk to the business manager at the mall and you find out it is really expensive to get a kiosk in the middle of the mall around $3000 a month, just for a small space, smaller than your garage and there is not even enough space to make your shirts. So you decide you can use your workshop in your garage to make your tee-shirts and sell them online. So you figure you can design a tee-shirt how hard can it be to build a website. Here begins your quest (later a lesson) you go out and find a web builder on your really cheap web host (no names, not judging! 🙂 You find it seems a bit more difficult than you thought, you don’t even know where to start, the template looks nice but you can seem to get your stuff in there to look as nice. You see an ad on TV telling you that Web.com will build it for you for free! Wowzer! (yes I really said that)
You run to the phone and call them, they are happy to help you, only to find that once your site is built, if you want to keep it, it will only cost about $400 a month, wow you are not making that kind of money, you are just starting out, but wait… think like a business person, it is better than the $3000 a month. You decide that you don’t have that kind of money, but you’re gonna give it a try, that said I can cancel at anytime. things are not going as planned and you can’t afford to keep laying out the $400 a month, so you cancel your account.
You now find a local web design firm and ask them for a quote, they start to ask you a bunch of questions that you don’t know the answers too, you have not even thought about the layout or colors, they ask if you have a domain name? Well you had one, but web.com really owns it because they registered it for you.
Do you have hosting? well you had hosting at first, but you canceled it when you went to web.com and the hosting you had there ended when you canceled your account.
What is the budget you have set aside for the project? What budget do you have set aside for the marketing? Wow you did not realize there was that much to do and how much it all costs. Here is where this has all turned into a valuable lesson, and we go back to the Three components of a project, how much time have you wasted figuring this all out, how much money have you wasted buying things that did not workout the way you thought it would, and how many tee-shirts have you sold to recover any of that time or money? You’re probably operating at a lost, everything is coming out of your pocket, and you are getting very little return if any.
See dealing with professionals allows you to save time and money, they know what it takes to build an effective online business, they know how to reach your target demographic, they know how to plan and execute a marketing campaign. Sure I could go on with tons of other stuff that you have not even considered, but what is the point, I think we can agree, that free does not exist, cheap, is cheap, and if you want something done right, you should put the time and money into getting it done right the first time. I have a business attorney, he is expensive, but he saves me money in the end, I have a business accountant, she is expensive, but she saves me money in the end as well. Why did I hire both of those people for my business? You see I don’t have a law degree, nor is my degree in accounting, so I hire professionals to do those (Very Important) jobs for me so that they get done right.
It is always tempting to some people to take the chance on the cheapest bid, on their neighbor’s, cousin’s nephew who is good with computers, but that rarely ever works out well. SO how to I sell Snow…. I don’t, I simply advise a potential client the best I can, advise them of some of these pitfalls, and allow them to make there own decisions. I politely thank them for their time, and explain that my firm might not be the best fit and tell them that if anything changes in the future, feel free to reach out to me. This has resulted a several clients going out and doing just what I have described in some fashion, and returning to me once they see the value in what we have to offer.
I am not saying that these other services or products are not good services or products. I am simply pointing out, that in any business industry there are the professionals that have experience, and those who have a cursory knowledge of a few of the tools and have yet to achieve the experience necessary to undertake large scale projects and deliver on the promises they make.