Rosie’s Creative has seen an alarming increase in cases of fraud, scams, and rip-off work related to web development. This comes from both sides, as consumers and businesses volley for the best possible deal on the web. Smaller, less knowledgeable entrepreneurs are seeking out web sites, social media, and search engine optimization work, and less-than-honest developers are taking advantage of their naiveté.
Likewise, legitimate web development and web marketing businesses are struggling with the influx of bargain basement customers, who request highly sophisticated and extensive design, branding, and presence work… only to duplicate the work with another (usually illegitimate) company for a fraction of the price, essentially violating copyright laws, contracts and NDA’s.
In any open market, there will always exist the very best service providers, the very worst service providers, and a number of groups in between offering various standards of work. Likewise, when working with potential clients, there will be a similar scale of most knowledgeable to least knowledgeable, and everyone in between.
At Rosie’s Creative, we strive to act as advocates for legitimate businesses and clients on the web. It is our company mission to provide the best, most comprehensive web development solutions for our clients, based on our years of experience, their individual needs, and the budget. Unfortunately, a large portion of our work has become fixing pre-existing websites and web stores after a client has been misled or abandoned.
Rosie’s Creative, LLC would like to offer these few tips to help both clients and businesses stay on the look-out for frauds, bad deals, and protect their investment on the web.
If It’s Too Good to be True, It Probably Is.
Always be sure to double-check the viability and validity of your client. Research their business, their history, and their reputation. Don’t be afraid to ask for professional references. A legitimate client is a paying client, and they won’t shy away from security deposits, and work-related contracts.
Additionally, clients who are sincere in their desire to grow on the web will be open to new ideas, suggestions, and important branding upgrades. A “negative Nancy” or “know-it-all Tom” will always look for a reason not to pay, to slow down the progress of your work, make the job more difficult, and will ultimately abandon you.
There seems to be a very prevalent idea that web developers and designers are a dime a dozen. Everyone seems to have a kid in high school, a buddy, or a friend who “does stuff with computers”. If you know someone who is a web professional with a proven track record of successful builds and marketing initiatives – AWESOME! Use that resource! However, if they lack the experience and the knowledge to build and grow your investment on-line, it will come across quickly in the work and how it is finished… or not.
When hiring a web developer, always ask for working samples of completed builds and a list of professional references. Establish their level of competency, and allow the builder to offer suggestions which may be important for saving time and money. When you’re hiring a web designer or developer, you’re adding an important asset to your business development team. You should be able to work productively together through the life of the contract to each other’s benefit.
Money Isn’t Everything, but It Sure Does Help.
This is something that should be fairly obvious for anyone who is currently, or has in the past, run their own business… Don’t Work For Free! If a client can’t pay even a small deposit now, then he or she probably won’t ever pay in the future. Web Designers and Developers spend years developing their skills, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in training and technical equipment. Beware of fraudulent “internships”, “exposure” (which is something you die from, not a form of payment) and “equity partnerships”. Sure, it’s fine to do a favor for a friend once in a while, but you can’t pay the mortgage with IOU’s. Money is always at the core of any professional working partnership. It doesn’t have to be a lot, but it should represent a fair respect for both the developer’s work and the client’s budget.
Know your budget! Think of your web development plans similarly to building a house… Everyone has a dream house full of fine accessories, detailed craftsmanship, and robust construction, but these dream houses cost a lot more money than the average Joe just starting out can afford. Avoid sticker shock! Be honest with your web developer, and a legitimate web developer will be honest with you in return. If a budget truly limits the effectiveness of a web build, a knowledgeable developer can recommend a short term alternative that can grow with your assets.
Alternatively, just because you have the money to throw around that doesn’t necessarily guarantee a successful web build. It is entirely possible to pay $40,000 or more into a web development plan and still sink like the Titanic. Again, research your developer and ask for professional references. It doesn’t hurt to get a second or third opinion on the build, either. Avoid companies who outsource work unless it has been discussed and you have thoroughly researched the development team.
Work is Work. Technology, Corporate, or Trade is Irrelevant – Respect Isn’t!
More and more here at Rosie’s Creative, we hear from former clients of other developers in the area who’s main reason for abandoning their original build team was lack of respect. Not everyone does the same work, and some personalities are stronger than others. A professional will never insult you, treat you poorly, or abandon you out of frustration.As working professionals, we should be able to mutually respect the professional opinions, advice, and concerns of those whom we have chosen as partners. It is no secret that some web developers, coders, and designers tend to come across as superior and have a difficult time connecting with clients. If, as a web or creative professional, you struggle with others then it is advisable to hire someone who can mediate and handle your accounts professionally. All it takes is one snarky, attitude-driven web or creative professional to make a client resent the entire process. Web builds should be fun, positive, and full of creative feedback… not unnecessary frustration.
Creativity is hard work! This is the mantra of Rosie’s Creative, LLC and we stand by it 100%. A successful web development project requires openness, lots of planning, and cooperation between many different types of people, but the goal is always the same – success! Never forget that a true creative or web professional has spent years refining their skills, hundreds of thousands of dollars in training and technology, and must continue to grow and expand their skillset to remain competitive and competent in the changing world of information technology. Much like doctors, we all specialize in a different aspect of the web development process – from a website’s head to toe, so to speak. No one person can realize every possible goal, but as a cooperative group amazing things can happen… and the ROI is immediate.