Business management software and websites are a necessity in downturn economy for many small-medium businesses that have to squeeze maximum from their employees and advertising opportunities. However, dedicated business management software is costly and it is important to understand how to minimize these costs and how to avoid pitfalls that increase these costs.

Pitfall #1. Wanting a website that one does not needs

One has to understand, that not every small business needs portal, online shop or even website. You need to choose wisely. Some things are meant to be bought in real and people are not ready to buy these online. Sometimes a simple free blog in BlogSpot or is enough to represent a small business. Do not spend money on things without knowing that you need them.

However, this downturn is an opportunity to out-do your competition. Thus it is a good chance to conquer new markets and it is important not to be left behind when economy starts growing again. You should invest in website if you see an opportunity to sell or advertise online. You should be visible.

Pitfall #2. Not caring who and how develops website

The big decision is how to choose people who can implement your website successfully. There are pros and cons for going with local companies, freelancers or some foreign cheap companies. Ask for recommendations! You should never develop with people that have no showcase or recommendations. Remember that people and companies specialize, thus look for works related to your niche.

Pitfall #3. Having no agreement and specification of website

Now this is a biggie. Always ask for specification and agreement prior allowing them to start work. Working without agreement is very bad for both sides: they can’t control work amount and you can’t control costs. Additionally, it is really unwise to change specification during development, as it will force cost growth. Make sure there are deadlines and penalties in the agreement.

Pitfall #4. Unsuitable pricing

There are couple pricing models used to charge people for website. That might be pay per service (you pay for website), pay for hours (you pay for developer) or some form of barter (you make something for them). Some quick notes:

1. Pay for service and specification is the best way to ensure that you get what you want under controlled budget.

2. In my opinion, barter is bad, as it devalues both your and developer services – less motivation.

3. Pay for time is useful on later development stages when you need to modify or fix website, imho. It might be considered with foreign freelancers; however deadlines must be clearly set so you can estimate your budget.

4. Do not pay too much upfront.

5. Make sure, that bugfixes are free (everyone makes them). However, modifications and updates are not the same as bug fixes.

6. Changing of specification is costly. Adding additional work might force your budget out of control, especially if you pay for time (development companies’ love this trick) 🙂

7. If your project is long –term (like business management solution), consider asking for discount.

8. Check with competitors about pricing, though you have to accept that prices might vary somewhat depending on project complexity and developers.

Giedrius Majauskas

I am a internet company owner and project manager living at Lithuania. I am interested in computer security, health and technology topics.


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