The blog posts we write tend to be inspired by the weekly office goings-on: concerns that resurface again and again, exciting news (redesign, anyone?!), occasionally new team members, and quite often, real client stories that we just can’t shake.
Last week we met with a client who had been scammed by a web design company. He didn’t know where the firm was located or with whom he had been working. For $600 a month (he had invested thousands of dollars into this website), he had employee bios populated with stock photographs and dummy text, images that didn’t represent his company’s work, misspellings, misinformation, and zero search engine optimization. Multiple requests for edits to be made were met with silence or flippant responses.
With our new client resting assured that his website was finally in the right hands, we met briefly after the consultation and balked at the downright dirty business practices of his original web design firm. We couldn’t imagine treating a client like he doesn’t matter, and we couldn’t imagine taking so little pride in our own work. For these reasons and others that follow, I confirm here about web design companies what farmers, foodies, and small business owners have known all along: local is best.
- Transparency– If you’ve ever planned a wedding, purchased clothing online, or conducted a phone interview, you understand why it’s important to physically see what you’re investing in before committing. I don’t just mean seeing a homepage skin or a proof of your site (although that’s important, too!), but also actually seeing your web design team. This way you can confirm that they’re real people, working together in one office, with nothing to hide—not a hodge-podge of “specialists” pieced together, working from remote locations. At KWC, we strive to be as transparent as possible in our consultations—you’ll meet with the project manager, your designer, and your copywriter—so that both you and we understand the goals, scope, costs, and process associated with your project.
- Size & Communication– These two benefits are inseparable in a local firm. Because local companies tend to be small, designers, copywriters, and project managers can work closely together and take advantage of each other’s strengths and specialties. At KWC, we use a project management system that keeps all members in the loop and facilitates quick responses, even when one team member happens to be out of the office or away from her desk. No more phone tag, “lost” emails, or unreturned voicemails.
- Clear and Up-Front Costs– Remember our new client who paid his former web designer hundreds of dollars a month, and for what? Certainly not site updates or SEO. Smaller companies are less likely to impose mystery monthly charges or vague fees. Our costs at KWC are accounted for and broken down in your initial proposal, including optional monthly charges for hosting or SEO.
- Morals– You are a real person who has likely worked hard to build a business you’re proud of—smaller firms are in the same boat, so they’ll treat you the way they’d like to be treated.
- Talent– Smaller companies tend to be more carefully curated. Their employees hold degrees from schools you’ve heard of, their portfolio features work they’ve done for local businesses, and it’s evident that they take great pride in their work.
I’ll just leave this here.