homepage Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 54.227.215.139
register, free tools, login, search, pro membership, help, library, announcements, recent posts, open posts,
Become a Pro Member
Home / Forums Index / WebmasterWorld / Professional Webmaster Business Issues
Forum Library, Charter, Moderators: LifeinAsia & httpwebwitch

Professional Webmaster Business Issues Forum

    
Streamlining the 'budget' web design process
Sample Documentation for forcing client to do the thinking
Daithi123

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2066 posted 6:25 pm on Oct 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Advance warning - This post might not go down well with all readers!
Stellios and O'Leary have done it for the airline industry and Dell did it with Computers.
I want to introduce a 'super-low' fee for basic website design and basically it would involve getting the client to fill in a 'Complete' document which specifies the 4 or5 pages they require, and any other relevant info. There would be no on-site meeting and any updates and amendents would be charged extra. This model would cut out a lot of the 'expense' in web development -i.e., the time it takes to meet the client, fully spec out the requirements, wait for the content, revise the content, wait for the content, etc etc, wait for the content (did I mention that bit?).
So basically, I'm just wondering if anyone has any sample documentation or advise on streamlining the process that enables them to deliver websites for a lower fee?

Any thoughts appretiated.

Daithi

 

Frequent

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2066 posted 7:39 pm on Oct 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

I had a very long responce written out but changed my mind.

In this case, just sell them cheap hosting with a built in site builder tool and let them take care of it on their own.

You are not going to want your name associated with the design and quality of the site.

Freq---

goingincircles

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2066 posted 11:04 am on Oct 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

Have you had much experience with the sort of people who would go for this sort of thing?

Whatever you do will enough be enough, whatever you charge will always be too much.

I have tried a similar scheme with hosting, and it did work to a certain extent, but the 30hrs + technical support we gave to some clients in return for 30 a year hosting really didn't inspire me to continue.

Almost none of your clients will have any success with their website. They will want to know why. When you say "what do you expect for #*$! a year?" they will think you have ripped them off, sold them something that is of no use.

Many big hosting companies offer pre-designed templates and online WYSIWYG editors that people use. How are you going to compete with their advertising budgets? You can't offer better customer service because you aren't charging enough!

The budget airline industry, much like supermarkets, are not cheap for everything! They have 'loss-leaders' - a seat for 9.99, two chickens for 5 (don't get me started on the ethics of that one) - that they don't make money on but it attracts people to them. They then say 'oh, sorry, no seats at that price - buy one for 200', and people do. They say 'as you've bought that cheap chicken, you can afford to spend 10 on a bottle of wine to go with it', and people do.

What are you going to offer to compensate for your loss-leader?

You can't say 'sorry, we've sold out of websites at that price' - people know websites are not a finite commodity!

Perhaps you could email me the website addresses created in this way after six months, I will contact the owners and offer them a price to actually make their failing website work, then I will pay you a 10% commission on any work I receive.

That's probably the best way to make money from it!

vincevincevince

WebmasterWorld Senior Member vincevincevince us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2066 posted 4:15 pm on Oct 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

I understand the thinking behind what you want to offer - but I'm not sure your approach will work. It's often the case that the less people pay the more they demand.

You can't say 'sorry, we've sold out of websites at that price' - people know websites are not a finite commodity!

You can, however, say websites from only $100, or whatever you have in mind. Present them with a form which adds up to $100.

Webhosting: None (I will provide my own)
Pages : One front page + one template
Contact : Direct mailto: link for email
Graphics : Please use my own logo
Content : I will supply this in plain text ready for use
Support : No support

Well, the idea is to give them a website for $100, but leave out all the things that cost time. And leave out some things which don't cost time but people feel are useful.

By the time they have customised the dropdowns you have:

Webhosting : 100Mb shared hosting (recommended)
Pages : 5 Pages
Contact : Online form (hides email address from spam)
Graphics : Template based design with logo and buttons
Content : Supplied by word document, please prepare for me
Support : Bronze (50% less than if bought separately)

Total: $1000 + $50/month support.

Take a look at Dell's 'offers'.

Frequent

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2066 posted 4:31 pm on Oct 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

Excellent post vincevincevince! upsellupsellupsell

Freq---

Tapolyai

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2066 posted 4:39 pm on Oct 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

I understand the concept, but why would I even pay you $100, if I can make all my web pages through Microsoft Word and pay $100/year (or less) for hosting and domain name?

I don't see the "attractor". In the case of airlines, there are just very few airlines fly to a specific location. In the case of web site development there are literally millions of people doing it.

Same with Dell - they have a a very limited competition base. Can you list the top 10 online computer vendors? Maybe you can, but "general business public" would have a hard time listing the top 5.

Just my thoughts.

goingincircles

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2066 posted 4:40 pm on Oct 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

I do see where you're coming from - that's the identical model I used for my hosting websites (which were making some money, but I decided I didn't want the headache of all the support!).

Hosting - 30 a year! Click here to sign up...

Would you like statistics? 20 please

How about spam filtering on that POP account you want? Another fiver!

I agree that it can, and does, work as a model. What I disagree with is that it can be used to produce successful business websites. If you are happy to churn out websites for people, and be strict about how much (or little) support you give people then it could probably make you money.

You would need to think very, very carefully about the application form though. People using this are unlikely to be very web-savvy (based on my experience of clients who used to use online editors before they came to me), and are unlikely to understand even basic terms such as 'mailto' link for example.

I have seen enquiry forms on web designers' pages saying things like

"What language would you like your website programmed in?"

"Will you require CGI forms?"

"How many MB of webspace do you want?"

A lot of people, perfectly intelligent people who run their own businesses, couldn't answer any of those questions.

You may note a hint of bitterness from me on the subject of cheap websites for small clients who don't want to spend a lot. It is a case of having the T-Shirt - you will make a bit of money from a few people who want a website address for no more reason than to be able to put it on their business cards and show they are 'with it', but you will get a hell of a lot of grief from those who are expecting some orders or enquiries, and however clear you make it at the start they will be expecting some orders and enquiries.

I'm sure it could work for the right sort of person, but I think I would have a breakdown if I even wrote about some of the nightmares I used to have with 'off the shelf' website design.

Frequent

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2066 posted 4:46 pm on Oct 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

Tapolyai,

Clearly this model is not aimed at experienced webmasters such as yourself.

This is aimed at the great unwashed who have no clue about the internet or websites. They just know that their competitors have websites and they want one too.

Those of us "in the know" wouldn't dream of paying more than $50 a year for a typical local oriented multipage site with no ecommerce. And that $50 better include hosting, email, and the domain.

Freq---

johntabita

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2066 posted 8:56 pm on Oct 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

Advance warning - This post might not go down well with all readers!
Stellios and O'Leary have done it for the airline industry and Dell did it with Computers.
I want to introduce a 'super-low' fee for basic website design and basically it would involve getting the client to fill in a 'Complete' document which specifies the 4 or5 pages they require, and any other relevant info. There would be no on-site meeting and any updates and amendents would be charged extra. This model would cut out a lot of the 'expense' in web development -i.e., the time it takes to meet the client, fully spec out the requirements, wait for the content, revise the content, wait for the content, etc etc, wait for the content (did I mention that bit?).
So basically, I'm just wondering if anyone has any sample documentation or advise on streamlining the process that enables them to deliver websites for a lower fee?

Any thoughts appretiated.

You may have heard the saying, "Price, quality, service. Pick two." No business can successfully or consistently provide the best service and the highest quality at the lowest price. Most of us tend to focus on providing service and quality. For me, service means the consultative process I take clients through to determine their goals, objectives, what results they want from their website, etc. What you are doing is removing 'service' from your sales process and competing on price and quality.

In theory, what you're doing is completly feasible. How the market responds to it is another thing entirely. Keep in mind that you've now become a commodity and, assuming your quality is equal to that of your competitors', your customers' primary buying criteria will be price and price alone.

Be very, very careful to completely automate the service process and not get sucked into any consultation. Getting caught into a consultative sales process with price-driven clients is a losing proposition. So make sure your questionaire is thorough, includes FAQ's, and so forth.

Fortune Hunter

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2066 posted 12:45 am on Oct 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

Daithi123

I think you are going down the wrong road here. Let me tell you from experience that I have done the low end web design thing for cheap clients and it really stinks. They end up wanting the $5,000 dollar site that is listed at the top of the search engines and pulls in tons of inquiries and orders, but they want to pay no more then a $200 for the whole thing.

These people are trouble from the word go. They will always be demanding more, new designs, saying they don't like it, etc. Now you can tell them at this price you get X, but let me be the first to tell you that they will be the first one to tell 500 of their closest friends to never use you because you rip people off.

With all the "templates" for $50 on the web and all the "design it yourself" services already offered by the hosting companies I think the cheap low end client is well served.

Your best bet is to go for the high end client who appreciates having a well designed site with excellent content and great service. You do that for the right clients and you have a business.

I have some low end clients right now that trust me when I say when the job is done I am telling them that I can't provide service and turning the headache over to someone else. Maybe someone like you who wants to deal with these type of clients.

Fortune Hunter

Daithi123

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2066 posted 5:59 pm on Oct 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

Some great feedback there folks. Thanks for this.

One clear signal I am getting is the idea that the 'price consious' buyer is always going to be a headache - always looking more for less.
I'll only live once, so I'm going to take a chance and try it out for a couple of months, with strict rules and conditions in place - and I'll let you know how it goes.

D

Global Options:
 top home search open messages active posts  
 

Home / Forums Index / WebmasterWorld / Professional Webmaster Business Issues
rss feed

All trademarks and copyrights held by respective owners. Member comments are owned by the poster.
Home ¦ Free Tools ¦ Terms of Service ¦ Privacy Policy ¦ Report Problem ¦ About ¦ Library ¦ Newsletter
WebmasterWorld is a Developer Shed Community owned by Jim Boykin.
© Webmaster World 1996-2014 all rights reserved