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  1. #1
    SitePoint Enthusiast awrowe's Avatar
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    What do you provide?

    This might sound like a silly question, but then again it might not.

    What exactly does the client get with your package?

    Lets say you are a web design company specialising in small to medium business websites. I know thats a pretty broad specialisation, but it will do for now.

    You offer anything from a bog standard static html site to a fully blown dynamic site, capable of being updated daily and perhaps has a component for basic online shopping, not necessarily the full blown eCommerce solution though.

    In terms of actual service, what does the client get for his/her money?

    Email addresses set up?
    Hosting, either referred or you set it up?
    A limited amount of time for 'bug exploration and repairs'?
    The design of course.
    A CD with the design files on them?
    SEO?
    Search engine submission? (like it makes a difference! - another story there I think)

    What else? What are the expectations and how are they met?

    cheers,

    Alan

  2. #2
    Non-Member Egor's Avatar
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    I do design, so that's all they get with the quote including basic seo. Things like email, basic training and hosting set up are charged at an hourly rate as 'consulting'.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    We sell solutions to business problems that provide value and charge accordingly. Not features or web design.

    So the client gets a solution and the benefits that the solution brings.

    That might not answer your question. But there you have it.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Enthusiast awrowe's Avatar
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    Alright, but what do you call your solution?

    Say the client comes to you saying "we think we have several products which would benefit from exposure on the web, but we don't even have a website." Lets also say for the sake of the argument that you have got a contract to do business with them. Its not so much a contract for services, but its a written down acknowledgement that they have chosen you to provide the a website for them.

    Do you design the site for them, organise the hosting, give training on the system you offer them and offer a certain amount of support at a "take it or leave it" price?

    I guess what I'm asking is, where do you stop? I can think of dozens of business I could go into with the intention of providing a website and come out of thinking "damn, there is a full time job there for someone to deal with JUST the IT section of the business."

    Where do you draw the line?

    Alan

  5. #5
    SitePoint Enthusiast awrowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mstwntd
    I do design, so that's all they get with the quote including basic seo. Things like email, basic training and hosting set up are charged at an hourly rate as 'consulting'.
    That sounds like a sensible way to do it.

    In fact that makes a lot of sense.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Depends what the solution is. Could be called a Client and Project Management System if that is what it is. Could be called something else.

    That is why you scope the project in the proposal. I wouldn't have a contract to do anything for anyone unless I knew exactly what was required of me.

    If your service stops somewhere and the result of that is that your previous work is of a reduced value to them then your solution isn't complete enough. Its the difference between building a website and providing a solution. SEO, web hosting, domain name registration, setting up email, etc could all be part of a total solution that we offer.

    For ongoing items such as hosting, maintenance, etc there is a retainer.

    Hope that helps.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by awrowe
    I guess what I'm asking is, where do you stop?

    Where do you draw the line?
    It depends on your resources. If you have staff or are willing to get staff, there's no reason why you can't handle everything for a company from grphaic design, web development through to ongoing support, marketing and consulting

    If you are on your own and intend keeping it that way, you do need to draw a line otherwise you'll drop dead from exhaustion. I have reached that point - I offer far too much for a sole trader - design, development, CMS, e-commerce, seo, SEM, onoging support, hosting, graphic design, ongoing maintenance - christ, it's just too much - and I need time to work ON my business as well (oh yeah, and the accounts ).

    Personally, I'm either looking to drop alot of stuff and concentrate on one or two things (CMS and e-commerce), or I can bite the bullet and get staff or contractors (but worried that the quality will drop). Actually, I'm probably going to just concentrate on CMS development and leave it at that - I like the idea of being a specialist in one field rather than a 'jack of all trades, master of none...'.

  8. #8
    _ silver trophy ses5909's Avatar
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    It might be easier to give an example. Let's say a realtor enlists me to do a website for them. They will need design, hosting, email setup, SEO,Connecting to the MLS database.

    I include all of this in the price of the package. Now, if they don't host with me, I charge for the setup of the site on the host and any email setup required. I will also include in the package an hour long training session.

    Most everything else I will chare as consulting.
    Sara

  9. #9
    Compulsive Clubber icky_bu's Avatar
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    I do the design and the programming.
    So, although I present prices separately I end up doing the whole thing. I just separate each task so the client can opt on what he wants.

  10. #10
    Webwellwisher Robert Warren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowbox
    It depends on your resources. If you have staff or are willing to get staff, there's no reason why you can't handle everything for a company from grphaic design, web development through to ongoing support, marketing and consulting
    It also depends on your marketing. When you add or subtract services, you're invariably going to be altering the nature of your target audience; some folks want a specialist, while others want a generalist. You can have a small staff and a narrow service range and still make more money than a big firm that does it all - it all depends on what specific value you're addressing. Change that value, you change your market; adding services can sometimes kill more business than it creates.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Enthusiast awrowe's Avatar
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    Thanks people, I appreciate all your answers.

    The reason I ask these questions is because I'm trying to figure out how to present myself to the market and indeed what section of the market I should be approaching.

    I have a personal belief that there are a lot of businesses out there who don't have websites or don't see the need for websites, simply because a) they believe its too expensive to get a website and/or b) they don't see the benefits of having a website.

    In addition to this, I am tending towards wanting to work with CMS and templating for them, with a sub-belief (if such a thing exists) that in a lot of cases, the front end of a lot of these things is far too complicated looking and intimidating for the average businessman.

    My problem is, how do I attack this market and how do I educate them into the realisation that something like this can work? I am talking 'educate' rather than 'convince' as well - simple, clean and easy design is something I am a bit of a fan of. When I say easy, I don't necessarily mean easy to do, I mean easy to look at.

    I'll have to think about that some more I think.

    cheers,

    Alan


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