Take Me to the Higher Ground Mr Cowen

In the next few months Ireland as a nation is going to change as we will be experiencing one of our toughest budgets in the past 10 years. It will be a shock to the system for the majority of people in this country as they look into their purses and wallets and realise that they are going to have a lot less money than they have had in the past.
I think personally that this budget will be the official end of the Celtic Tiger for those who in the private sector have been lucky enough to keep their jobs and businesses going till now as they face higher taxes and charges for services that escaped in the past.
I am not an economist. I could dust off my MBA notes from the OU and try and fill these paragraphs with some sort of commentary but I wont bore you with this. All I know is that from a web design perspective it will become more and more competitive for me. A website is often seen as a discretionary marketing spend for many companies. I will not go into this argument again (suffice to say I disagree). I know that inquiries will possibly drop and people will want more for less. This is perfectly understandable as I am in that very same boat myself. I find myself looking at prices in the supermarket more closely, shopping around that little bit more and like you sometimes not spending where in the past I might have done so without question.
OK Where is the Sales Pitch?
Now I could slip in a special offer “Website for XX euro” and try and attract you to making a spend. However if you are reading this blog post you probably already have a website or at least the knowledge to do it without my help. As more and more media students are streaming out of colleges the competition is fierce and prices are hitting rock bottom. Surf around and you can get sites from 300-500 euro easily.
I don’t compete with these prices and value stream and as a result I have been thinking long and hard about my plans for the future in this space and have decided that I my strategy for 2010 and beyond is going to change. Of course I will still design websites and those queries are welcome and I will give you a product that you will be happy with. However my competencies lie beyond this. I have worked in IT and the Internet for over 20 years as a technologist, hosting expert and project manager.
I believe that there are customers out there that need people to help them understand what they are looking for in a website.and an on-line business solution. They are experts in their own niche but are unfamiliar with the best way to go with an on-line strategy. If they ring up a website design company no self respecting designer is going to say they cant deliver on their needs (god knows I have done it often enough myself), but for a large scale project they can often be disappointed and run the risk of failure.
Business owners need expertise to help them to make the right decision for their on-line strategy. They may know the answers but not the right questions. I have the questions that will save you picking the wrong people to deploy your solution. For a very modest fee I can show you the best approach, recommend the best website designers in your area (I exempt myself from this process of course), measure success and tell you how it should all work together. There are some fabulous website designers and graphic designers in the Cork area alone and I know most of them.
I can point you in the right direction, document a plan for you – give you the contacts and set you on your way with a high degree of comfort.
Why Should I Bother?
Why bother with this – is this another middle man in the process? You told me up top that I would have less money and now you want me to spend it on you – this sounds like a huge waste of money. ?? No it isn’t and I will explain why with a simple example. I am dealing with a customer at the moment who wants me to update their website as their original designer has moved on. However they do not have any hosting details or ftp information. To get this is going to take some time and add to the duration of the project.
It is also frustrating for the customer as they had not planned for this time to be part of the process. If when they had originally started the website and made certain that this information was documented then this stumbling block would have been removed. This is an example of a question that was not asked when this project was originally started.
If you call me and explain what you are looking for I can develop a website strategy document for you, supply yopu with a set of contacts that will help you succeed all for less than the cost of a small ad in a local newspaper. You will have a document and a plan at your elbow that will stand you in good stead for the rest of your project.

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