Just the other day I had a customer question about how we could possibly offer all of our customers 1 hour free per month for website maintenance.
“Are you a charity?” he asked.
Being a small business owner and operator himself, he couldn’t make sense of how we made the numbers and time work and remain operational
Here’s the explanation.
No, we are not a charity. Shire Media Services
There’s the first clue.
Local means a number of things for a custom web design business like Shire Media Service.
- More word of mouth – lower advertising costs compared to firms that deal statewide or nationally
- Client meetings are local – shorter distances, less time travelling, less money travelling – lower overheads which are passed to clients.
- Differentiation – EVERY other local web developer charges for small changes. (at least those that we have ‘mystery shopped’ as part of our competitor analysis)
Its like…a man’s haircut
I look at website development just like buying a man’s haircut…stay with me…
There’s a lot of places men can go, they’re going to use some clippers, some
The expectation is that they employ professional people, with the right qualifications, and that they do it quickly the way we like it.
So how do they differentiate?
And its the same for a website design company.
Of course, there are bad operators in every industry, so let’s move these shonky operators to the back of the bus, and consider that you can choose, for example, from 5 really good custom website design companies.
- They’ve all got a list of happy customers,
- you can view all of their work and you like it,
- and when you contact each of them, they all seem professional.
So how do you choose?
We think a key differentiator is
Rather over time, how much time does the local business owner have to spend ‘’managing’ the relationship and the website?
One asset small local business owners don’t have enough of is time.
So, with your chosen developer, do you have to call and ask “Why isn’t my website working properly”?
Or instead, do they contact you and say:
“Hey just so you know we have fixed
That kind of service is priceless.
And that’s why we offer the 1 hour free per month.
We’re not a charity so what’s this 1 Hour Free per Month website Maintenance all about?
Businesses are better when their websites are up to date and accurate.
A business website is a critical marketing tool so if that tool is not up to date, accurate and performing at its peak, the business has a problem – and opportunities are being missed.
If our customer’s business performs better as a result of a great website we’ve created for them and maintain for them, then we win too. It’s that simple.
What we have found is that many Sutherland Shire local businesses don’t make the necessary updates and changes to their website because they don’t want to pay their web team to do it, and they don’t make the time to do it themselves.
Rightly or wrong, this has been the feedback we receive from business owners.
They can’t (don’t got through the process to) justify the investment – in their time or the fee – for what is perceived as small or less-than-critical
Or they find dealing with the how much to do this, how much to do that process too
Now, if you’re a web developer reading this the next logical thought is, create the website so they can edit it themselves. Yes, yes and yes!
In our experience, not so much…Of
Some business even
I also believe that business owners need to be 100% in control of their own website and I wrote about this in our local Shire marketing blog before.
In all of these options, whether DIY website builder or a website built to be maintained by the business owners, time stops them from providing the website the attention it needs to be a highly effective lead and revenue generating tool.
More specifically lack of time.
In our experience even eCommerce sites, where the owners are typically touching and using their website administrative portals far more often than
A business website needs to produce a positive ROI and both understanding this and having realistic expectations of what ROI can be achieved
We’re not a charity so what’s this 1 Hour Free per Month website Maintenance all about?
1st they would save 12 hours per annum. Ok so not huge but something.
But there’s more to it.
2nd the business owners save time and stress by knowing that they can ask for something to be done, and it will be delivered, professionally in the agreed time period.
That is, the service just works. Peace of mind. “I don’t need to consume any of my limited mindspace or time to think about, check, or worry about the website.”
3rd how customers react when they arrive on a website that is optimised, accurate and performing at its peak. This is largely unmeasurable, perhaps being able to depend on bounce rates but so many other factors influence this bounce I would not depend on that for an accurate representation of the value of a
Time Matters Most to Local Small Business Owners
So we provide the 1 hour free per month for website updates once we have completed the project, to take away the worry of the web – or more specifically – the TIME worry about the web.
One of the most requested features for our web design customer is the ability to be able to update and edit their website themselves.
But this is not about actually doing the updates themselves for most customers.
- It’s actually about NOT being locked in;
- not having your website’s (and business’) future ransomed to you by a web developer.
- It’s about freedom of choice and the perception that, if needed, they can make changes and updates themselves for free.
Any website developed on WordPress ( or other CMS) provides this capability.
The Math Provides Clarity
Ask yourself “How much are you worth per hour?”
Everyone will answer this differently.
Let’s call it $100 per/hour for nice easy numbers.
So, when we provide local Sutherland Shire business owners 12 hours free, per annum, for website updates we are saving you $1200 of your time and your website is up-to-date.
In the above scenario, let’s call it 1 hour per week that you need to spend updating your website to ensure it is performing as expected. (still light)
So that’s $5200 per annum of your time-value you are spending on updating your website AND 52 hours you are NOT spending on doing something else.
The opportunity cost of maintaining your website in the scenario is $5,200 + the cost of the other activities needed to run your business.
Now, let’s consider what Shire Media Services Provides.
First, you receive 12 hours free per annum for the 1st 12 months. ($1200)
After that period, we offer maintenance packages at a per month rate – $97, $197, $277 per month.
Let’s use the Gold premium website maintenance service as an example
12 (months) x $277 (per month) = $3324 LESS $1,200 (12 months free) EQUALS $2,124 for 2 years website maintenance!
$3,324 per annum for UNLIMITED updates to your website or $2,124 for 2 years. That’s $2.90 per day!
Whereas your cost was $5,200 (for year 1) + $5200 (for year 2) PLUS the cost of every other thing you could have been doing to grow your business during that time you were updating your website yourself.
$10,400 vs. $2124…’Nuff said?
It simply does not make sense to maintain your local small business website yourself when you consider the maths in this scenario. $2.90 cents per day.
Instead, engaging a local website design company that provides local business website maintenance packages is a smart business choice, and a sensible approach to making the most of your most limited resource, time.
Here’s exactly what’s in our 1 hour free per month for website maintenance offer:
We believe business and specifically business website
- We provide 1 hour free per month for website updates, tweaks and changes.
- Website tweaks and changes
doesinclude updates to phone numbers, address, emails, title changes, some colour and content edits on website pages and posts, integration with items like Google webmaster and google analytics ( if you don’t already have it).
- Website tweaks and changes does not include creation of new pages, redesign of existing pages, uploading or editing products and prices on
ecommercestores – for this you’re far better of with an monthly website maintenance program
- Making updates
- Updating company directories and staff profiles
- Adding recent company news to the website
- Updating product pricing and sales
- Adding promotions to the website
- Updating hours of operation, schedules, and contact information
- Changing an address or contact information
- Fixing bugs or errors on your website
This provides a 48 hours response | 12 months free offer
We provide a 48 hour response time guaranteed with a resolution of the required changes within 5 business of the response.
We provide this service for 12 months from the date of 1st publication of your website or website redesign by Shire Media Services.
After 12 months we offer our BRONZE (BASIC) $97 website security and maintenance package at a discounted rate of 2 months for free.
This can be billed annually with 2 months for free for a total of $970 (vs . $1,164) or you can pay monthly with a regular payment setup.
The Silver and Gold package provides the same benefits – Annual discount equal to 2 months OR monthly payments.
The [Bronze or $97 website maintenance package] provides a monthly website update service for all plugins, themes and security checks, monthly backups and a 48-hour response and fix time, a website redesign after 24 months on the package
The Silver Website and security Maintenance Package provides the same service with weekly and GOLD Website Maintenance package (or the premium service) providing daily everything and UNLIMITED updates.
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Shire Media Services are your Local Digital & WordPress Web Design specialists for Sutherland Shire Small Businesses.
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