In our ever expanding global economy, it is not unusual to utilize freelancer or outsourcers from around the globe to take care of things like; web design, search engine optimization and other elements of online marketing. On paper, these individuals or companies have rock bottom prices and promise quick results and turnarounds. While it may be very tempting to save time and money going through offshore outsourcers, or hiring a freelance web designer, here are some reasons to choose a more established company with a local presence:
Sites like BBB.org keep a record of reputable companies listing a letter grade to rate the quality of work done, ethical practices and much more. Freelancers and off-shore companies rarely have a local reputation to worry about, which can result in poor work, unscrupulous practices, and broken promises. A good BBB rating is not an insurance policy against poor work, but gives your insight and gives you as a client the avenues necessary to file a complaint if your work is not done to your satisfaction.
Beyond opt-in groups like the BBB, companies with partnerships such as Google AdWords certification and the like have proven steadfastness beyond ‘fly by night’ status. Again, these certifications and partnerships will not guarantee credibility but proves that the company has gone to extra mile to improve its practices and has been around long enough to form partnerships.
While a freelancer can build an excellent website for a fraction of the cost compared to some of their brick-and-mortar competitors, customer services can ultimately suffer. When you need a critical update to your website, will the freelancer be available to take your call and work with you on a solution? Overseas freelancers may not be available until the next business day. Students have exams and classes and other freelancers work day jobs or care for children. Working with a company that can fulfill your needs when you need them can impact all the aspects of the website design and implementation from start to finish.
E-mail is not always the best way to communicate, context can be lost, and most of the personal touch is lost when communication is in the form of text. Better yet is the telephone, hearing a voice on the other end, and explaining instructions, concerns, and other business matters come more naturally when speaking. Really need to drive a point home? A smart company may invite you to their offices, take you out for lunch, or invite you to a corporate event.
While a corporate hierarchy cannot guarantee quality results every time, a freelancer is only accountable to themselves. If work is done poorly, it can become an issue if your dissatisfaction and their sense of pride conflict. A good manager or CEO will understand that if a client is not happy, the job is not complete, while someone with only design or technical experience may consider the job done when the product is delivered. Many freelancers charge an a-la-carte hourly rate for any changes made to the work after they consider it “Complete” which can result in hundreds of dollars in hidden costs.
A larger company can often provide further services and advice that many designers cannot. Conversion consulting, branding advice, advertising strategies, and maintenance agreements are just a few of the additional services that can bump the end result from simple website to a powerful online marketing tool. Additional resources also reduce wait times for support, reduce downtime and will hopefully ensure that your website won’t go down, just because the company who built it did. While not every web or marketing agency is perfect, these tips and more are some of the reasons why working with a professional web design agency can save you time, headache and even money.
About Ritu Singh
Ritu has over 10 years of experience in planning, facilitating and executing marketing programs. She is passionate about marketing and driven to help start-ups and small to large companies market products and services online and offline.