Sometimes it Makes Me Want to Cry

The opportunity was a good one. It would mean a lot of business coming our way. There was only one problem with it. I couldn’t do it.

Just three weeks before I had been railing at the cruelty of prospective clients who cannot see our potential to be more than what our average client wants – they look at our average sites, and assume we cannot do anything but average, when in fact, we can. We do a lot of $500 websites. A $500 website is not the same thing as a $1500 website, or a $4000 website, though we can do those too. I can say with a fair amount of certainty that we cannot do a $10,000 website (except in certain circumstances). Certainly, something within that scope would require that we do something that we are not qualified to do.

The opportunity was potentially in the $10,000 category (not price-wise… more like expectation-wise). A lot of potential $10,000 opportunities. To which I had to say, “I don’t think I can do this.” That made me want to cry.

It has to do with expectations. I can build a $10,000 website. In fact, I can build a better website for $10,000 than what many designers can build for $15,000. But someone who pays $10,000 for a website generally wants something different than someone who pays $500 for a website. Oh, there are clients who NEED a $10,000 website that is exactly what I usually build, only with more function. We aren’t talking about them. We are talking about the ones who need that extra value in just a few specific areas – either high end graphics, optimized to the teeth, or high security (comparatively). Those are things I cannot do. I can do all of those things up to about a 5 on the scale of 1-10. Most of our clients only need a 2.

But our clients expect to live in the realm of compromise. LOTS of compromise. They need it to WORK, but they know that if the positioning of that tiny thing, or the name of the item on that form, or the appearance of the admin area of the site isn’t appealing to them, that they can live with it. That the site is going to work anyway. They are content with the 10% of everything that gets them 90% of the results because they know that is what they can afford, it is what they need, and they are getting higher value than they can get anywhere else.

Expectations for higher end clients are different. They want those tiny details attended to, even if those tiny details are just preference issues, even if those tiny details don’t affect customer conversions, and even if those tiny details cost more to fix. They want perfection. They pay for the right to expect it. They REQUIRE it in some areas that I don’t have the training to be able to deliver.

If I did decide to learn to do those jobs, I’d lose my ability to deliver what I specialize in now. I don’t want to get out of that box. Oh, I do want to push the envelope sometimes – to get a client now and again that isn’t having to pinch every penny so tightly that it leaves a dent. Not a lot, just one or two here and there. Just a little dessert with the bread and butter.

So I told them my limits, even though it almost hurt to tell them that. I told them that they’d probably be better off with someone who could do it all for them, and how it would probably work best. Within minutes, the reply came – at least the first opportunity was within our skillset. They wanted us on the job.

I don’t have to cry this time. I may cry in a few weeks when the first big challenge hits, but today, I’m singing, because an impossibility became an opportunity that I’d been asking for.

Grow a Garden!

Gardening doesn't have to be that hard! No matter where you live, no matter how difficult your circumstances, you CAN grow a successful garden.

Life from the Garden: Grow Your Own Food Anywhere Practical and low cost options for container gardening, sprouting, small yards, edible landscaping, winter gardening, shady yards, and help for people who are getting started too late. Plenty of tips to simplify, save on work and expense.