What is your time worth? Sometimes I think small business owners under estimate how valuable their time is. If you take into account that you’re the one assuming all the risk, you’re the one creating jobs, you’re the one creating value for customers then your hourly rate might be between $100 – $300hr or more. As the leader of your business the focus should be on strategy, high-level planning, customer service, and all the other business functions that require your attention. How long can you afford to shift your focus away from the business for a website project? Depending on the design requirements I can spend upwards of 20 – 80hrs on a single site from concept to launch. If it takes me that long, how long does it take the business owner to do it?
Websites done by somebody’s nephew or the low-cost webmakers can be hit or miss and generally lack personality. Some WordPress themes are pretty good I have to admit but even then they can have a plastic feel to them if you don’t customize which requires some knowledge of html and css.. Working with a designer can add a nuance or what I like to call infusing your personality to your online presence. Webmakers like Weebly or Squarespace are very good for the Do-it-yourself kind of person and I encourage you to explore these options. If anything you’ll gain more insight into what goes into creating your online presence which will prepare you better for when the time comes to hire a designer. Just be mindful that despite the claims of how fast you’ll be up and running, even with these services good design and content takes time.
I think sometimes owners approach getting a website as an afterthought because it costs money, but they have no problem shelling out hard-earned cash on old paradigms like yellow pages and newspaper ads every other month. A website is much more powerful than static media and when used correctly your website can help you build a targeted target audience to more effectively allocate your marketing budget. Compared to other similar services in the area my prices are low but my quality is high. I don’t have much overhead and I’m not dependent just yet my design services for income so I can do what I enjoy doing and provide a great service at fair price. Money is always a big concern. I’ve been there; I know it’s a struggle, heck I still work in factory to keep a steady income and insurance.
At some point in the future you’re going to want make changes and since it’s in the future you’re not really sure when or what those will look like. So I’m going to make one up just to illustrate. So you’re business is fitness and you finally got your website up and running. Now you want to run a special advertisement to showcase your latest new members offer. You want a banner on your front page above the header in bright yellow, with a link to your special offer. The link will take them to a special’s page that shows details of the offer, pricing, and purchasing options. You also want a landing page submitted to search engines so that when someone searches “I need help losing weight and I live in Neillsville” your page comes up. The landing page is dedicated to just your special and gives the visitor the choice of purchasing or learning more details. Hard to do that with free or webmaker services.
The bottom line is only you know whats best for you and you need to do what makes sense. If you feel a designer makes sense for you then I’d be happy to be a part of bringing your idea’s to life — Jack