I’m asked approximately once a week to take on a project coming directly back from a retail client. In almost every case I turn down the job. I do not believe the amount money saved will benefit the client in the long run. A local web design, development, and marketing agency that is well staffed will be better suited to understand and respond to the technical needs of their clients.
Understanding Cost vs Value
A professional agency will be able to provide design, web design, marketing and in many cases general business strategies. The normal cost can be 4 – 10 times what an individual is asking for in compensation. Even in the small to medium size agencies, everyone is performing based on their particular skill sets. I have seen only in rare cases where a single individual is capable of developing a design, development, and marketing strategy that leads to tangible results for their clients.
Finding a Reputable Agency
Finding a reputable web development and marketing agency is critical to the long-term success of your online business. Many times, the agency will have certain specialties of strengths that play well with one category of business over another. I have outlined some key elements I look for when recommending an agency.
Check Out Their Office
I strongly believe even in the digital age that there is an inherent value to the brick and mortar office. The established office is another sign of a stable agency. The face to face time an office allows, goes a long way to being able to understand the full web design and marketing needs of a retail client. A conference room is one of the first things I look for within the office. Most agencies should have one dedicated for the purposes of client meetings.
Get Recommendations from People You Trust.
Some of the agencies I recommend are based on recommendations from other web developers and marketing experts that I have a trusted relationship with. Knowing the experience others have had can be a great gauge on what to expect.
Google Prospective Web Agencies
I recommend this early on any business relationship, but a quick Google search can prevent similar negative experiences others have had. It is good to weigh the amount of web traffic, the number of reviews, as well as the general web footprint from the agency.
Check Out Previous Work
The best way to predict the future is to look at the past. This is never more true than when selecting a web development and marketing company. Looking at the portfolios and other examples of completed websites / case studies, will be good way to determine the capabilities of the agency.
It will be always in the best interest of the prospective client to learn as much as possible about the latest trends and technologies. A weekend spent on Google, can be beneficial for the client as well as the agency.