Many times companies end a relationship with you, and many times there is no-fault on your part. For instance, sometimes a company will bring work in-house that they’ve previously had a vendor doing. Sometimes companies go in a different direction. And sadly sometimes companies close down. Read on as we delve into reasons why the end of a business relationship is so important.
I recently did work for a marketing company, whose client needed to convert their website from a very technical CMS to WordPress. The reason was simple, they wanted to do a lot of work themselves and their old CMS was a bit too complicated for non-technical staffers to add blog posts. We converted this site, and they had no trouble whatsoever. They were very happy with our service, and then one day they informed me they would not be continuing with us as they were switching to a proprietary CMS platform and a new marketing company would be doing all the web work for them.
Unfortunately, they didn’t realize that this would be 10 times more expensive, and they would not own the final product. One of my pet peeves with proprietary CMS website platforms is that I want to own my website. It is as simple as that. Some people don’t care, but I am not one of those people. If it is my website, I want to own all the code, design and content.
But, the company was very nice to me, paid me everything they owed me, and always on time. So, I helped them through the transition, even keeping the site online beyond our contract, as the company doing the new website was behind schedule (Not a surprise ;-)). I will then package up all the files and send them to the company, as they own their website when working with my company, RooSites. This of course will not be the case when they end their next relationship, as they won’t own their website. Perhaps if they read the article below, they would not have made this mistake, which they will pay dearly for years to come and ultimately be dissatisfied.
Check out: What is a “Proprietary CMS” and Why Should You Avoid Them? They do an excellent job explaining the pitfalls of using a Proprietary CMS.
Now, I’ve run into website design and management companies that at the end of a relationship get very nasty and won’t help anyone who is ending a business relationship. This of course is very shortsighted, as the company and any of the employees will never come back to you. Always take the high road if at all possible!
If you are a professional at the end of the relationship, you stand a chance to someday get business once again. I have also had companies leave and come back as they find out the grass is not greener on the other side of the fence, in fact the grass gets burnt out very quickly!
Also, I have had people that I worked with on a website that have left for new jobs, and then hired us for their new company. This happens quite often as most of the time people are thrilled with our service, which not to brag but is unmatched in our industry. (Okay, maybe a little bragging 🙂 )
In a word, yes! Sometimes business ends in such a way that it is next to impossible to remain professional and friendly.
Here are a couple of examples:
Fortunately, these two examples were anomalies, and after over 20 years in business I can honestly say I have been very fortunate to do business with very good people and have had rarely had bad breakups. Still, it outlines the need for good legal representation and to have a solid service contract. This will protect you against the rare bad breakup scenario. And, truthfully, it protects your clients as well.
Listen, losing businesses is something none of us enjoy. But when that happens, take the high road, be a professional, and it may lead to business down the road. If not, at least that company, or its employees, may someday recommend you to their colleagues and friends.
The website in question is for a real estate company, specifically one of their apartment complexes. Although the site is a bit outdated, they are receiving a minimum of two inquiries every day about wanting to lease a unit or go on a tour. Now, different businesses have a different measurement as to what they would deem successful. But if you are managing an apartment complex, having no vacancies is what you strive for. And the fact that people are constantly inquiring, leads you to believe that the site is doing its job.
In my example above, the site doesn’t look terrible. It is just that after a few years with technology constantly on the move, we can typically build a nicer site. BUT, if your site is just dreadful looking, my recommendation if your site is performing well in searches, and you are getting out of it what you desire, you can move the existing content into a better designed site. But, you need to be careful, as we cover in the next section.
I was recently dealing with a company that had a beautiful WordPress site up for over 15 years. Someone sold them on moving to Shopify, and they lost so much of what they had built up in terms of search engine optimization. The company that built the site didn’t redirect the old URLs or bring over any of the old content. So the company ended up starting from scratch trying to regain its success in search rankings. So if you re-design your current site, try and keep that URLs the same if possible and if not redirect them to the new pages on the redesign site.
This depends on what you are using, if you have a WordPress site, I would not recommend switching to a different platform as you will never find a content management system as a search engine friendly out of the box as is WordPress. However, if you are using one of the WordPress “wanna be” platforms, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to switch over. I won’t mention them by name, but they are typically either free or subscription services whereby when you decide to get off their platform you lose everything. I won’t get into one of my rants about not owning the con tent on my website, but I would never recommend using a platform like that.
Business is about making money, plain and simple. So before you jump in and build a new website, be sure that it is the right time. I can’t tell you how many times somebody comes to me and tells me they built the new site and all of a sudden they lost all their search engine rankings. Sadly, a lot of people in my industry are just out to make a quick design fee and not taking a holistic approach to the customer’s business. So, as I said earlier, was it a good move of mine from a business standpoint to tell a customer NOT to build a new site? No, probably not, but we have built RooSites on doing the right thing and in the long run that IS profitable!