Having been involved with ‘all things interactive’ since the web was in its infancy (way back in the early 1990s!), SMART|WP has run the gauntlet of designers and developers... coders and programmers... search engine optimisers… and a plethora of ‘specialists’ and ‘consultants’ in between.
During our own ‘online journey’, we’ve made every mistake you can imagine (and quite a few we’d rather you didn’t). But, through sheer bloody-mindedness, we came out the other side. And something else: a realisation of the huge knowledge-gulf that exists (and, if anything, is widening) between SMEs and the developers upon whom they depend.
In our experience, many SMEs struggle to define and communicate their Internet objectives.
Their developers by contrast frequently lack even rudimentary commercial expertise: though blessed with enviable technical and design skills, they remain oblivious to their clients’ business goals.
This clear ‘disconnect’ leads to adversarial client: supplier relationships. And mediocre online results (if not outright failures).
No surprise then that so many highly regarded web development agencies now flatly refuse to deal with smaller firms.
The solution, as ever, lies in education. To fully harness the power of the web, businesses must learn to speak their developers’ language: to communicate their commercial requirements in terms of content, look, feel and functionality; to develop comprehensive project specifications, and clear creative and technical briefing documents – all backed by achievable milestones, deadlines, benchmarks... and legally enforceable contracts.
Backed by realistic project milestones, timings and costings - and supported by a legally binding contract – your website plan is all you need to shortlist, commission and manage a suitable development team. And to maintain control (and constrain your expenditure) through every stage of your site’s development – from preliminary concepts through to the assignment of your intellectual property.
What it isn’t - is a marketing ploy: a means to secure your future website business. Because the fact is:
At SMART WP, we don’t build websites.
Instead, we prefer to play to our strengths. And to maintain our impartiality; working with a panel of trusted advisers - including marketing consultants, SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) copywriters, information architects, art directors, programmers and even specialist legal advisers - to plan (and - if you wish - project manage ) your site on your behalf.
You see we are business people who understand the value of a website as a marketing tool. We are NOT not technical programmers or designers BUT we do know how to communicate with them.
Which means we view the Internet as a means to an end (and not the end in itself) – as an essential marketing and communications platform on which to
* build brand awareness and reputation;
* expand market reach;
* generate, qualify and convert new leads;
* showcase new services;
* slash marketing and transactional costs;
* communicate with key stakeholders (business partners, staff, investors, and the media);
* deliver better and more timely customer service;
* sell more products more profitably; and
* enhance customers’ lifetime value.
Which is where we come in.
Having spent the last two decades harnessing digital media to realise our own revenue and profit goals, we place at your disposal: a support network that is unique in its diversity – including specialist lawyers, business coaches, SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) copywriters, consultants, trainers, programmers, and developers - and a suite of tools, templates, processes and customisable documentation to help you shortlist, commission and manage the right developer for your next online project.
In short: our job is to help you get online (and doing profitable business) quickly, affordably and without fuss.