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The Cost of Good Service

As weve grown as a web development firm, weve accumulated a deeper understanding of the roles we need to have in place in order to ensure a consistent and repeatable client experience. In the old days, when we were a small group of massive multi-taskers, many things we now have processes for just happened automatically. Automatic is nice, but things werent perfect. The problem with that system was twofold. One, it was not scalable – at all. Two, it was overly-dependent on specific individuals. This makes the loss or promotion of any one person impossible – not good. All in all, things worked out pretty well, but our clients werent actually quite as coddled as Id prefer them to be. We were in a situation that worked while it lasted, but it was not a good long term position for us.

We now have very distinguished roles for management, sales, project management, development, engineering, design, resourcing and billings. Since we very much tend to be an internally promoting firm, our people tend to touch more than one of these roles as they grown with the company.

What might strike some clients (particularly those that have been with us for a while) as odd is that what used to take 2 hours and cost $75 now takes two days and costs $300. Raw deal, right? Well, no, actually. Even though some things have become more expensive and take a little longer to do, what we are creating is a very dependable and consistent system that can reliably handle variously complex tasks. In years past we could be considered a small, intense and all around great web development company. Because of our size then, getting small items done nearly immediately for nearly nothing was easy, but stability was not our strong suit.

In the long run, what do great clients need? Do they need simple implementers that can get menial tasks done quickly and cheaply, or do they need long term, stable and reliable web development experts that can get the job, however great or small, done right the first time? Well, there are plenty of clients out there of either kind, but we aim to serve the latter group. There are plenty of other great companies out there that seem to specialize in the former.

I hate to alienate all you non-golfers with yet another business-golf analogy, but this is too pertinent to ignore. The deal with golf is that you need to have a repeatable swing. Basically, youre swinging the same way every time, whether the ball needs to go 300 yards or 90. The club is the tool, it dictates the loft and distance of the ball. Your body is just the motor that powers the tool. If you have a consistent, repeatable swing, the club will do its job and the ball will follow. You are the only real variable here, but what a doozy of a variable a human being is! That darn brain of ours is both our biggest obstacle and greatest asset. If I know, when approaching the ball and gripping the chosen club, that I can rely on my consistently reliable swing, chances are pretty good that the ball is going to go roughly where I am intending. If I can rely on my golf swing, I am going to look forward to going to the course and enjoy my time playing. If I am not confident in my own abilities to simply provide the motor that the club and ball require, my swing is going to fail in an utterly perplexing combination of ways, and things will not be pleasant. Our project manager, Mitch Rothrock, knows a lot about these difficulties on the golf course.

Our intention is to be that consistently reliable motor – including the brain part – for our clients. Being as intentionally structured as we are now, we have put ourselves and our clients in a very good position to reap the benefits of a reliable engine. It all comes down to that. If you know youve got us as the engine that powers and guides your web needs, your going to take a calm, optimistic approach to the project and a pure sort of creativity will flow from that and we rely on that input from you to help form things. It really all can be quite pleasant and rewarding. These days, we are the company that can confidently offer this feeling as our main deliverable – both during the initial project and the long term growth of the site after the initial launch.

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