If I tell you this, do you promise not to tell anyone?
I mean, really. No one.
If you promise not to tell, I’ll let you in on an industry secret.
Small business web sites do not cost $10,000.
They don’t. I’m not just saying that because I don’t charge that much. And I’m not saying that because my competition does charge that much. I’m saying that because there isn’t a reason that a 5-6 page website costs $2,000 a page.
I’m sure I could charge that amount and get away with it, but to see results that warrant that type of investment, I wouldn’t have 100% customer satisfaction with my clients right now. It’s just not possible.
Not impossible because I can’t do ‘that level of work’ but it’s just not feasible that a majority of small businesses would see such a jump in revenue JUST because their website has a well placed stock image, a nifty slider on the top of the home page or their Facebook page has just the right keywords and message to draw in more customers.
Maybe it’s me, but I’d rather have 10 $1,000 clients that are extremely happy (and will go out and brag about their experience) with the results than 1 $10,000 client that I’m praying sees that kind of ROI that makes them happy (and may or may not refer me on to new business opportunities). I’m sure if I had an investor, they would disagree – but believe me when I tell you this: I’m not in business to become a rich man. See my dusty, unused teaching certificate in my office – I never wanted to be rich. (I just want a theater room in my basement, is that too much to ask?)
I enjoy working with people and making their wishes come true. If I wanted to be rich, I’d be doing something different. I’m in business to help other businesses succeed.
When I sit with a potential client and they tell me that someone else quoted them significantly more (probably 400-500% more) than what I did, should I feel dumb for underquoting? No. I take that as a compliment, because the work I will be doing won’t be all that different from the work they would have done – and the client will be much happier in the long run.
So thank you local web site companies for overcharging and taking advantage of your clients. You’ve made me a busy man in my first year of being on my own. And I’m sure you will for years to come.