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Why Hiring a Web Design Agency is beneficial to Your Online Business Strategy

by | October 3, 2016

Capitol Tech Solutions gives back to the Sacramento nonprofit community by offering $10,000 in digital marketing services to one of the finalists for the Social Venture Partners (SVP) Fast Pitch project. As a platinum sponsor of the Fast Pitch project, Capitol Tech Solutions is proud to offer this level of support to Sacramento’s nonprofits.

With so many cheap services and tools out there that allow you build your own website how do you determine if you should hire a professional web design agency or just do it yourself?

We can tell you from years of experience and customer feedback that the do-it-yourself systems are not as easy as their advertising makes them sound. Moreover non-website professionals don’t understand the technical complexity involved until they have invested significant time and resources into the project.
Eventually they become stuck or overwhelmed trying to learn on the fly how to configure systems and understand HTML Heading Tags Navigation Structures Frameworks Embedding or JavaScript Code. There is an often overlooked level of sophistication that professional website developers have attained from years of experience that enables them to make effective business web sites.

Sure you can do it and people will tell you that it is easy; even that the website looks great but if it is not optimized for the search engines it will never be seen by your potential customers. No Search Engine visibility no customers no revenue and no profits.

Compare developing awebsite to creating a Bob Ross painting. He makes beautiful artwork witheasy brush strokes telling everyone they can easily do it too. Really? Have you tried to make a painting like his in 30 minutes? Bob says: “We don't make mistakes. We just have happy accidents.” Sadly on a website a simple mistake can not only drive you crazytrying to find or fix a mistake without the technical knowledge professional toolsor resources a do-it-yourself website entrepreneur may never find the correctsolution.

Because simple mistakes like missing a comma or semi-colon within the hundreds or thousands of lines of code on a website can take it down completely someone without the troubleshooting experience to recognize the issue and know where to look to find the mistake will spend many hours searching for answers trying to resolve the issue. The cost of inexperience adds hours of time to your website project and a lack of website optimization knowledge can create a completely ineffective marketing tool. Can your staff implement or troubleshoot a URL Redirections 404 Errors Retargeting Pixels JSON-LD Scripts Google Analytics or Schema?

Real Customers and Real Ecommerce Website Functionality Issues

We recently had a customer contact our office. They were trying to build themselves an ecommerce store on one of the many “easy to do yourself” online platforms. They worked on the project for six full months before contacting our office.
While the basics of the ecommerce store were easy to setup online and they were able to upload their products they had several issues with the more technical details required to be able to conduct business online such as:
• How to setup a purchase order before taking the user to a cart?
• How to provide the details for advanced shipping requests?
• How to integrate with their invoicing system?
• How to provide multiple options that create unique SKUs.
These were all issues holding back their online business website launch yet even after their six months of trying this themselves they still didn’t have the ability to implement standard ecommerce functionality themselves.

Overlooked Real Costs of the Do-It-Yourself Ecommerce Websites

As with most businesses “Time is Money” so the objective to generate revenue as quickly as possible is why you would hire a professional with the specific expertise to get the job done right the first time. The objective of creating an ecommerce business website is to:

• increase Sales and Marketing Customer Reach
• Increase Automation of Product Sales Delivery and Inventory Services
• Reduce Customer Acquisition Costs
• Reduce Operational Man-hours and Overtime Expenses
• Provide Better Customer Service and Business Reputation
• Sell More Products or Services
• Increase Profitability

When a business uses a staff member for a different purpose than the hired position like on a website project. The business incurs the indirect costs associated with the loss in productivity for the original hired position. Additionally this staff member is now working as a website developer and being paid to work in a position that is not likely their area of expertise. An inexperienced website developer could easily take them two to three times longer to create a website but the website they create is unlikely to be the functional ecommerce website that a professional website designer would produce.
This was the case of our recent customer who was able to get started with their do-it-yourself ecommerce store yet they were unable to complete the website with the necessary business functionality because they did not have the experience knowledge or technical skills necessary to add the functionality of an ecommerce website.

Cost Comparison: Professional Web Design Agency vs Do-It-Yourself

The indirect costs of the do-it-yourself websites are overlooked by many entrepreneur business owners with their desire to save money. The below indirect staff cost analysis shows that when the business does not have experienced technical staff to develop an ecommerce website it is much more cost-effective to hire a professional web design agency vice doing what our recent customer did in the scenario above. Below is a way to calculate the indirect costs of hiring a professional web design agency compared to the do-it-yourself website:

  1. Do-It-Yourself: ((1 Staff Salary X Man-hours) + (1 Staff Salary X Lost Productivity Man-hours)) X 6 Months = The Cost to create a website still missing functionality to conduct business online; cannot generate revenue; AND still requires the hiring of a Professional Web Design Agency to complete the website. (Costs in Salary and Lost Productivity of the staff member who was hired for a different functional position with a low salary over the six-month period.)
    1. Cost using a $20.00 Per Hour Staff Member for Six Months to Build the Website: (($20.00 x 160) + ($20.00 x 160)) X 6 = $38400.00
    2. Should the business not wish to recognize the associated Lost Productivity Costs for the Salary of the staff member; the costs of the incomplete ecommerce website still exceeded $14000.00. If there were more staff members involved the cost is much greater.
    3. The additional costs to hire the Professional Web Design Agency to resolve the functionality issues and complete the ecommerce website cannot be calculated until the Web Design Agency first analyzes the website to understand what needs to be fixed what needs to be added and finally do the work to complete the development of the website.
    4. Regardless of the completeness of the website when the new web design agency is hired to finish the project they must review everything and end up doing the same work they would have done if hired to develop the website from the beginning just to ensure it is done right.
  2. Hiring a Web Design Agency: The Professional Web Design Team will work with the business to create a completely functional ecommerce website that will start generating online revenue in 30-60 days. It will be fully functional optimized for Search Engines Social Media and Online Marketing.
    1. Development Costs: $10000.00 – $15000.00 for a fully functional ecommerce website.

If the recent customer in the above scenario had utilized a professional web design agency to build their ecommerce website from the beginning:

• They would have had essentially the same expenditure as the $20.00 per hour staff member.
• They would have completed the project 66% faster than it took them to seek our assistance.
• They would have started generating revenue 5 months faster.

Bottom Line: Hiring a Web Design Agency is the Cost-Effective Road to Success

As the above customer case scenario goes to show there are times when trying to save a few dollars up front can add up to become extremely expensive in the long run especially when specific experience knowledge and skills sets are not hired where such expertise is needed to get the job done right the first time.
Just as you should always consult your doctor on health issues and sometimes even get a second opinion. You should also consult with one or more professional web design agencies before you begin your website project.
If your business is not in the website development industry you may believe that website development is easy. You may believe this because you have been sold by the marketers of the do-it-yourself website building platforms saying these online builders are so easy to use that anyone can build one. Well if that were truly the case everyone would have an ecommerce website and web design agencies would be out of business right?

Website development teams know how to build ecommerce websites because this is their expertise and what they do day in and day out as a profession. They know what questions to ask you about your business to ensure that your website not only reflects your business objectives they ensure that you have the best design functionality and systems integrations required to help increase your website’s ability to reach new customers and increase your sales conversion rates. Doing things right the first time is less expensive than doing them over and the faster an ecommerce website is online the faster it can start generating revenue.
Most Web Design Firms and Agencies will offer a free consultation to help a business owner understand the scope of their website project and provide estimations of the costs along with the best way to get your business online and generating revenue.

At Capitol Tech Solutions we meet with prospective clients to educate them about online marketing and business functionality on the web. We want to help them make the best decision for their online business. As small business owners ourselves we understand what it means to have experts provide us with specialized services and resources. We don’t pretend to be HR or legal experts; we hire great firms that provides us with their specific areas of expertise. We recommend other small and medium businesses to do the same by focusing your time and energy on your core business and hire professional web design and online marketing experts to build your ecommerce websites and help you market your products and services.

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