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Establishing ROI: Outsource Web Development

To Outsource or Not Outsource—That is the Question.

Small to mid-size companies may want to think about outsourcing their web development as an economical way to increase ROI.

With Corporate America being driven by the bottom line in this economic downturn, many companies have begun to re-evaluate their modus operandi. Layoffs and cutbacks have become commonplace. So how do small to mid-size companies keep up with their larger competitors? The answer is strategic business partnerships.

The web is a great leveler if used correctly. By utilizing the Internet, a small business with a few employees can compete head-to-head on the web with the Fortune 500 companies of this world. Presenting your company’s image needs a careful blend of graphic talent, marketing savvy, software development expertise, and communications skills. Too often, the individuals who might possess a combination of these skills are already too busy with core business needs to spare the time and for some businesses the time investment in a team approach is prohibitive, especially in a small to mid-sized company.

By partnering with a quality web design firm that works hard to understand and communicate the client’s message, small to mid-size companies can lead the direction and focus of their site (with advice from the developer) while the developer leads the creative nuts and bolts effort of the project. Throughout the process, it is up to the developer to educate the client on the possibilities and opportunities of the Internet. The synergy created through this union creates an engaging, interactive web site capable of lowering internal costs, increasing the amount of traffic, and yes, increase the company’s market share.

Deciding whether you need full-time staff is an issue many companies don’t want to deal with. Unfortunately, many companies decide they need a web site and hire a webmaster without thinking through what they want for web objectives. Other companies hire an employee’s cousin who “does web sites” because the cost is low. Neither of these options enable a company to realize the full potential of the Internet. Here’s why:

To build a fully functional web site, you need expertise in web strategy, web design, interface/human factors, software development, software quality assurance, on-line marketing, and traffic analysis. Hardly anyone has significant experience in all of these areas. If you advertise for a web master, you will notice that some applicants went to a fine arts college; others came out of the computer sciences schools. Most likely, neither of these people are qualified to examine usability issues. No one has taught them in school how to optimize a web site for search engine rankings. And virtually no one has all of these abilities as well as web site traffic analysis skills.

To hire an experienced staff to handle all of these requirements is considerably more costly than what a professional web development company will cost. Choose a company with experience developing sites similar in scope to your project. A web development firm who has done similar projects in similar industries will help lessen the learning curve an outsider needs to do to learn about your business, enabling them to ramp up quickly.

Smaller companies and organizations do not have the resources or technical orientation to develop their own web presence. Most companies not have the resources to staff an entire web development team in-house, and certainly can’t afford to make the inevitable first time mistakes that putting together an in-house program can lead to. Outsourcing your company’s web design, development and web marketing can in fact, provide substantial savings.

Surprised? The chart below shows a break-even analysis on hiring an in-house Webmaster as opposed to hiring a development partner.
Click here to see the table

The above analysis shows that there are substantial savings associated with outsourcing a company’s web development and maintenance initiatives. To hire a fulltime Webmaster would have cost considerably more. The decision to hire a fulltime Webmaster does not provide a payback until the site reaches more that 100 pages in scope. Even then, costs for solely maintaining the site is likely lower than hiring in-house since it is unlikely the company will be adding 100 new pages to the website each year. Article from buzzboltmedia.com

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