Finding a Web Developer

Posted by on Dec 17, 2013 in Diary of a Startup | 0 comments

Two days after I met with the startup guy, I met with the one web development company who said they could do the job. This was in early November 2012, so about 6 months after that first SCORE class. I told the web company about my idea. Over the phone I had told them I wanted a “niche publishing company website.” In person I explained more, about the real concept of the site, and they said that it was a much better idea, and thought that it could really work because it works in other niche areas. They were a little stuck on how to work with my budget. They said I wanted a website that cost three times my budget. They worked with me and were able to come up with a number that was a bit more than my budget. I added on additional money to have them find someone to do the logo design. The cheaper website means more work for me on the back end, but as time goes by I figured I’d upgrade.

I felt like I had no advice and nothing to go on. I wasn’t sure what to do next. I felt like the company would do a good job, and I knew my idea was good, but bringing it all together was a big commitment. I’m not a big fan of commitment. I like keeping my options open. I emailed the quote to our buddy, and he told me he’d look at it, but his son was sick and ended up in the hospital, so of course I didn’t bug him about it.

I went with the web company. I knew if I didn’t give this a shot, I’d regret it forever. I’d rather try and lose than just not try.

I have been scared a few times that they wouldn’t do what I thought we had all understood. I didn’t ever think they were trying to rip me off, just worried that maybe I hadn’t explained what I needed well enough. The quote for the website didn’t have all the details in it that I thought it needed. I thought maybe I would search just a little bit more to see if there was a web development company that I had overlooked.

I began writing a response to a listing on Craigslist by a guy who said he wanted to work on an interesting web development project and that web development was his full time job. I was in the process of emailing him, literally writing the email and going to hit send, when the guy called me from the web development company to discuss the proposal.

Even though I am a lawyer, I am well schooled in the social norms of being a polite female. I basically had been too reticent to even call him to push the issue of the proposal not having the details that I thought we talked about. Since he called me, I told him how I felt – that the website wouldn’t suit my needs because it was missing the features I needed. He explained that all of that was covered under a certain phrase. I said ok, but basically I hoped I was understanding it correctly. I asked for another two weeks to think on it and said I’d like to make the decision before the end of the year.

I got my budget together and marked half for the website and logo, and half for marketing and other necessary expenses. I made my budget a lot more than I thought I would need, enough to last for years of getting a website off the ground. I figured, when the money is gone, it’s gone, what will I do? I have to get the website to make money before that money’s gone. It’s got to be paying for itself by that time.

Overhead is pretty low. No rent expenses because the company is located in my house. I use my firm as the business address.

My Brush With the Startup World
A Decision on Contracts

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