You’ve worked long hours, given up vacation and cottage time out at Winnipeg Beach, sacrificed in more ways than anyone else can possibly understand and now, years later, your Manitoba business is flourishing.
Now you’re turning your attention to the web. Maybe because you see that your kids are on the computer constantly, or maybe you receive far more email than you can possibly return in a day, or maybe the name eBay™ keeps getting hammered into your subconscious over and over again everywhere you turn. Whatever the reason, you’ve now become “Web Aware” and you’ve started looking for a way to get your business online.
Whether you’re battle-hardened CEO with years of experience running a multi-departmental corporation or the quiet owner of a small non-profit organization with only 5 employees, choosing a web development company can be a challenging task. The search engines are chock-full of developers ranging from “Fred” who works out of his basement to Industry Leaders developing for companies the size of Ford Motor Company™ and McDonald's Restaurants™. To make matters worse, there are literally thousands of developers who know just enough about developing to make them dangerous to you and your business if you’re not careful in your decision.
So the question is, “How do I find the right company to bring me online?”
Here are some quick guidelines that should help:
- Older & Wiser – Web Companies spring up like weeds in the spring and frequently die in the fall. Watch for shops with big claims who haven’t been around long enough to warrant them. When in doubt, check them out.
- Client Portfolios – A web development company’s portfolio will give you some insight into who’s worked with this company in the past. Click the portfolio links to find the size of these companies and if they’re still around. Most importantly, match the size of the companies in their portfolio to YOUR company. If your company is larger and the portfolio companies are smaller, they may not be able to handle your business. If anything looks weird here,or even worse, there's no portfolio page, it’s time to turn and run.
- Hype, Hype, Hype – Ever notice how Chihuahuas have the biggest mouths and St. Bernards are generally quiet? Smaller companies looking to make a name for themselves will generally feed you hype. Don’t fall for it. Rule of thumb on the web: If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
- Your Cousin Probably Can’t Do It – In Part II of this series, "Common Mistakes When Choosing a Web Development Company", I’ll go over with you the reasons against making this all too common mistake. Frequently, businesses will turn to trusted family members or friends who “know a lot about computers” to develop a website. E-Commerce is a multi-dimensional undertaking. This means that there are considerations beyond programming which, if not done correctly can hinder or even damage your online presence for a very long time costing you some serious money.
- Stick To Your Guns – Before you make that first phone call, decide what you want your website to do, write it down, and stick to it. Nothing screams “easy money” to a shady web development company faster than hearing, “I’m looking to have a web site done but I don’t know much about it” It’s better to hear, “I’m shopping for a web development company and I want my website to do THIS for me. Can you tell me a bit about your company and why I should choose you?” Watch for part III of this article series where I’ll go over with you the importance of clearly defining your online goals and how this will affect your final product and cost.
To your business success,
Michael Dela Cruz, Web Marketing Specialist
Canada’s Web Shop
Located on South Pembina Highway, Canada’s Web Shop Ltd. provides web development and internet marketing services for medium to large scale businesses. Find out how our
Exclusive Content Management System (CMS) and Customizable E-Commerce Solution (C2) can literally drive visitors and new revenue into your company.
Unit 208 – 2989 Pembina Hwy R3T 2H5
(204) 889-1906 or toll-free at 1-866-889-1906