Whoever coined the phrase “you get what you pay for” must have worked in marketing because truer words were never spoken.
As I reflect on the past 12 months, I am struck by the influx of cheap (and I use this word literally) web designers, online marketing services and social media solutions offered to SMB owners looking, understandably, to save a few bucks on their “marketing” solutions.
These companies seem to swoop in like vultures after their prey, with no regard to meeting the client’s needs, but to make a few bucks and move on!
My warning to all SMB owners is to ask questions of your vendor. Below are some helpful suggestions and tips!
- Ask them for references from other businesses you can actually call
- Ask them to show you their office so you can see what work is being done there, and by whom
- If you can’t see the office, ask if the work is being done in North America
- Ask them for a critical path
- Ask them if they own the WordPress template they are using for your site
- Ask them if they understand your brand – can they explain it to you?
- Ask them if they have professional content writers on staff or if it is outsourced and to whom?
- Ask them what their process is for writing the site (interview, meetings, etc.)
- Ask them if they work with a contract and what the terms of ownership are, specifically cancellation of the contract if for any reason you are not happy with their work
With more and more vendors, yes you will have more choice, but do not make your business decisions, especially marketing ones, based completely on budget. At the very least, check in with a trusted expert in the field and get their input before signing any contract with an unknown vendor.
Have you ever felt “taken” by a vendor? If so, how have you handled it? If not, how have you avoided this? Do you have any stories that might be helpful for others? I look forward to reading your comments below.