Saturday, January 10, 2009

What do you want? No, what do you REALLY want?? (insight into web development and SEO)

In my previous post I talked about a business seminar I attended earlier in the week. One of the key points that was communicated was knowing what your clients need vs. what they "want". A great illustration that was presented was this;

I go to the hardware store looking for a drill bit.... here are the possible scenerios
  • A Normal Sales rep says "What are you looking for" I say "A Drill Bit" he says "well let me show you all shapes and sizes that we carry, and I will try to sell you a new drill at the same time, cause hey... everyone needs a new drill!"
  • A GOOD sales rep's response to "I need a drill bit" would say "Ok, what size hole are you needing, what type of material are you going to be drilling through, and what kind of drill do you have" then after he found out what I NEED would show me the few options that applied to my situation.... then say "And sir, if your drill is an older model... we are having a sale and you can walk out of the store today with a brand new drill to go with the drill bit that you need!!"

You see in the first case (which is most business, the focus is on the sale and getting me to understand what you have and how I need what you have. Whereas the second instance was all about understanding MY needs as a customer....

You see, I didn't need a drill bit, I NEEDED a HOLE!! If there was an easier way to get the hole I needed without the drillbit I would have been able to find out from the second sales man... not the first.

***warning what follows is my personal insight and practical application reading this may not make you accountable to what I am learning.... but once you read it, you can't un-read it***

In My business ( Web Development and Media Design ) I see a lot of people who are sold a lot of what they DON'T need, and not given what they do need. For instance, I met with a client this week that really didn't need a entire graphicly designed site.... what they needed was one very simple page, minor graphics and a good amount of time spent doing SEO (search engine optimization) Had this gentalman gone to any number of my competitors he would have walked out with a huge bill for upwards of 2k for a site he didn't need that wouldn't accomplish a single thing for him.

This is what I'm learning --- I am not the best graphic designer out there, and you may not have the prettiest flashiest site out there (and if that is what you really need then I will gladly refer you to my competitors) BUT what you WILL have, is an effective site that reaches your target audience.... that looks good... that is accessible through the use of cross browser CSS .... and if you need, a SMOKIN Content Management System, or other database application custom tailored tyo fit your business, and your needs!

At the same time all of this comes with one of the most important human and client needs fulfilled.... a relationship with someone who understands (or wants to) what you really need in life and business (that would be me.... and in some cases my wife, but only if she likes you [;o) or if you give her candy bars (snickers)!! )

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Better Business Blogging

WOO HOO!!!!!
That about sums up the last few weeks of my life!

In December, Tim Blevins and I had a discussion about the state of finances of the church and how to effectively move forward in an unsteady and unsure economy. This discussion lead to the ultimate decision and solution that I would go out on my own as a full time web developer/designer, as I have plenty of experience doing it, and already had some clients.

Now this decision, i felt, really was in the church's and in my best interest at the time (and still do), so effective Jan 1, 2009, I became the owner and primary developer/designer for Media 42. I will blog about the name and a bit more about my company later, but for now I wanted to start out detailing my walk through the transition of full time ministry (which I had had for @ 10 yrs) to owning a tech startup and everything I am learning along the way.

An interesting thing has happened over the last couple of weeks, between finishing up a few church projects and developing my own "corporate image" if you will--- which, by the way, MAJOR PROPS to David Southerland!!! (a close friend that designed my logo). I realized that for years and years, I had been looking at business principles and business models, and trying to apply them to the church/ministry setting where applicable. Now I have found myself doing the exact opposite, looking at my business model, and trying to apply the ministry principles to it.

I had the privileged to go to a free small business seminar this week, and really helped put some business principles into perspective. So My goal is to (if not a couple times a week) at least weekly blog about my experiences, and ideas as they pertain to my new career!

Hang On, it's going to be a fun ride!!!