I’m back, I’m rejuvenated and feeling energized and ready to move some mountains!
You probably didn’t notice I was gone – right?
Well, I hopped on my motorcycle and rode around the deserts of the southwest for the last 10 days.
I blogged about it daily – you can read all about it on AufRoad.com
Enough of that, it’s time to get back to work.
I ride my mountain bike almost every day. Often times when I’m riding I’m mentally writing a future blog post. On my vacation I was riding these long straight roads that went on and on forever. Instead of mentally writing blog posts I found myself mentally rewriting my business plan. I had plenty of time to do it.
My business Plan Right Now
As you know, I build custom websites based on WordPress. Right now I have one pricing model. The way it works is based solely on the time it takes me to build a site. There are a la carte options available but it’s all based on my hourly wage. The base starting point is $750, which is a fair amount by all accords.
Once the site is built, it’s yours. You paid for it in full, you own it. I build in an extra hour of my time so that I can show you how to properly use it once it’s yours.
What’s Wrong With That?
Technically speaking, nothing. Looking at it from a client’s perspective I believe they are getting the greatest amount of value in owning everything themselves (the domain, the hosting, custom code and even the design itself). When I started doing this as a business for self I purposefully started this way because I knew it was best for the client.
So Where’s The Problem?
- Once the site is yours, while it’s easy to maintain, there’s going to times when you need help. Every single day I get emails or messages from my past clients asking “how do I do this” or “Is this ok?” or “I want to add this to my site” – and so on. All they are looking for is a little help or an affirmation that they are doing it right.
- Another one is that sometimes something goes horribly wrong and their site goes down. Sometimes they notification that their site has malware. There’s a thousand things that could go wrong with a site, but luckily rarely do. I’ve seen almost all of them. When something catastrophic happens your whole world stops and revolves around getting it fixed. Peace of mind is hard to come by without your own tech support team. With my present plan there is no tech support, no peace of mind. Managing backups and malware protection is hard and needs constant monitoring.
- Yet another problem is that for some people, that $750 starting point is just too high. Their budget and cashflow come into the equation much too often and that stops them from creating what they want. Time goes by and the dream of that new site fades into the distance.
- I get these crazy ideas all the time, buy a domain name and then build a site to match that vision. My http://aufroad.com/ project is a perfect example of that. I built that in the middle of the night, on the spur of the moment. I have real estate clients who come up with crazy website ideas all the time. “I want to build a site for just for my neighborhood – Sunny Acres Living” – that kind of thing. Spontaneity cost $ and that kills much of the creativity I see in people.
- I like to think of it as moving the furniture around. Luckily, this doesn’t happen too often in my house but I have friends where it does all the time. Once a year or so they get the urge to redecorate the living room, repaint the walls, that kind of thing. That happens in websites too. New styles come into fashion constantly. When I’ve built your site (let’s say in a flat design) and a now let’s say you want to switch to something Parallax what do you do?
Those are just some of the challenges I thought of while riding. I’m sure there’s more. I would love to hear about some of your thoughts and add them to my list.
Next up – what I plan on doing about this…