SitePoint Sponsor

User Tag List

Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Posts
    15
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Business etiquette?

    I have recently started a design business and I am currently working on a few projects for some clients I have signed up.

    Just by chance I was doing a search for some printers in my area, and came across a site designed by a local web designer. When I went to their page, I saw that they had a pretty extensive list of clients in and around the same area where I live.

    Now, the sites designed by this firm are pretty amatuerish. Here are a few examples:

    http://www.umpirescamp.com/
    http://www.daytonacharters.com/
    http://www.daytonavideo.com/

    Now, I could design more professional sites for these firms with my eyes closed. The question I have is this:

    Would it be a bad business practice to approach these firms and offer to upgrade their current sites to something that doesnt look like it was created in about 2 minutes?

    The design firm in question has a long list of these clients and charges $50 per page with a 3 page mininum. In short, there is potential here for a lot of business, but I dont want to step on any toes.

    Any thoughts or ideas?

    Thanks
    Jay

  2. #2
    ********* Addict jaiem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    New York, USA
    Posts
    1,006
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    IMHO, go for it!

    If the site looks slapped together in 5 minutes odds are it was. You need to show them how you can make the sites better. Not just look better but show how a better site will help their business.

    Good luck.
    Ocean View Host - Affordable web hosting plans for any business.
    Modern Technology, Old Fashioned Value & Service!
    U.S. Merchant Services - Reliable merchant account services for all business!
    Quality People Providing A Quality Service!

  3. #3
    Xbox why have you forsaken me? moospot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Clearwater, FL
    Posts
    3,615
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm in complete agreement! Be a go-getter. Maybe they don't know that there site could be any better. Sell, sell, sell!

  4. #4
    SitePoint Zealot Jason_Therrien's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Sunny Cleveland
    Posts
    167
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Howdy!

    Unless they are under contract with this current company, sounds like you have an interesting potential client list. It's a free market, so I say GO FOR IT! Any company that posts a client list puts these clients up for the potential taking--its just part of getting customers...

    However, be careful about what you say about their current design company. Its one thing taking their list, but quite another thing to hurt their reputation...

    GOOD LUCK!!

    Jason
    www.SmartWebBusiness.com.
    Where "smart" business learn about the Web.

  5. #5
    :) delemtri's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Posts
    579
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I agree, definitely. But watch out, they may not be interested in paying more than they already did.

  6. #6
    What's HTML?
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    1,701
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    As mentioned, go for it!

    I'm sure the businesses will be uneasy about paying someone to create their web presence, again. So I would suggest that you create a sketch of the layout you had in mind, this will help them see the world of difference between your work and the competitor.

    Be very prepared before you go in. Also be ready to explain how their existing website can be doing more harm then good (amateur businesses make amateur web pages, etc.)
    Ryan Kuhle - A Proud Advisor - Got Questions? Just Ask!
    Get your website started for less than $20! Click Here

  7. #7
    Ex-SitePointer silver trophy
    Patrick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Harbinger, NC, U.S.A.
    Posts
    4,126
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Yeah, I see no reason why not.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy
    beley's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    LaGrange, Georgia
    Posts
    6,117
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    IMHO - I would first ask them how they feel about their website, and were they happy with the results. Most of our clients have been burned by other web design companies (or people working out of their house I should say). We showed them our work... our website... our office... and they instantly felt much better about doing business with us.

    However, if they are happy with their current website, no matter how bad it looks you will not be able to convince them they need to redo it. I would ask that first before making a long-winded sales pitch for no reason.

    If they say, "why?" I would carefully explain to them some of the problems on their site.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Addict
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Posts
    258
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I guess I like beley's approach best.

    I'm just thinkin', you go to them and tell them, "Hey, your current Web site looks like crap. But I'll make you a better one for more money!

    Think back to your first Web page. Weren't you ecstatic just to have up anything, whether or not it looked like crap? Without asking how they feel about their current Web site that may be just how their feeling. Then it won't matter if you have your preacher standing behind you they'll think, "He does't reall CARE about our Web site. He's doing this for the money."

    And as you go about explaining why their current site is bad for their business, they'll keep thinking, "He does't reall CARE about our Web site. He's doing this for the money."

    If they're happy with the current Web site, maybe sell them on some new pages, ask if they have additional info that warrants a redesign, or suggest added value for the site by new, more efficient features - of course - warranting a redesign. But IMHO don't be the first one to dis' the other Web design out loud - either let them start it, or let your design work (through examples) show the way
    Total Life Success - Don't give in. Succeed. (tm)

    Total Life Success Forums - the Web's Leading
    Success Community™

  10. #10
    SitePoint Zealot Isaiah's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    169
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hey Jay!

    Like it has been said before, you don't want to approach someone and tell them that their web site looks like crap and offer to re-design the web site to make it more professional.

    Example: I contacted a local auction company a few months back regarding their newly designed "web site". You can still see that design at http://www.k-wauctions.com . I spoke with one of their co-owners and asked him who designed their web site. His reply was, "Yeah, Julie Kreps (other co-owner's wife) put that up for us. Didn't she do an awesome job?!"

    I was caught off-guard because I couldn't see how anyone could possibly LIKE that web site and actually be able to use it efficiently.

    That said, people who are new to the Internet think anything and everything that was put together overnight for their business (or any) web site is absolutely fabulous and wouldn't think of changing it.

    Being designers, we can look at a web site and see the different problems arising with functionality, overall look, and usability. That places us in a perfect position to critique...

    However, don't be blunt when contacting someone about their less-than-desirable web site. You never know if their best friend, co-worker, family member, or boss designed it or if they did it themselves.

    A. Do some research.

    1. Contact the company as a consumer and ask if they have a web site. If they say yes, ask for the URL.
    2. A couple days later call again and inquire as to who designed their web site.
    2a. (Optional) Make your potential client start to think. When you call him back the second time as a consumer, tell him you couldn't find widget A, navigate the site easily, etc. This will get the gears turning in his head and make him a prime person to contact regarding your services.

    B. Send them information.

    Contact the company/person and tell them:
    1. Who you are and what company you are with.
    2. Ask them who and where you need to send a critique of their web site.
    3. Thoroughly show them through a critique/information packet why their web site isn't functional or professional for their business and show them how their site needs to be improved and how you can help them improve it.

    If nothing else, you get your name out to businesses and show them your vast knowledge of the Internet through your critique.

    Sure, they can use that information to their advantage and NOT hire you, but by using that information, they see that you know more than their current designer, and...eventually...they will see that they need to hire someone new.

    Be professional and courteous. Show your potential clients that you care about them, their business, and their online image over the money. Practice this and you will always come out on top.
    Last edited by Isaiah; Jul 25, 2001 at 10:25.
    Isaiah Walter
    Owner / Visionary
    White Wonder Studios - San Diego web design & graphics
    www.whitewonder.com


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •