Greetings from inside the SEOigloo,
I’ll begin today’s post with a description of a normal day for us at Solas Web Design:
I get up, my husband makes tea, I turn on my computer and check all emails.
My husband sets the tea down for me, I give him a little kiss of thanks, and then begin responding to all the emails with the most important or urgent ones being given top priority.
My husband goes and fires up his computer and, generally, immediately begins coding at whatever point he left off the night before. Simulatenously, he listens to our phone messages.
I return urgent phone calls first, leaving more routine ones for later in the day when I am somewhat more awake.
After about an hour or two of answering emails and making phone calls, we have toast and more tea. My husband eats breakfast. I don’t like to eat much early in the day.
We put in the first 3-4 hours of the day this way, and then, go out for a quick walk for fresh air or do a run to the market if we need to. In general, we talk about work the whole time we’re on the road. Who needs what, what do we have to do tonight, will we get that great contract we want? We come home and cook our first big meal of the day which is sort of called lunch. While we cook, I answer the latest batch of emails and return the rest of the phone calls.
After eating, we sit down in the same room and work on design together, more coding, more emails, or whatever needs to be done. We have arguments about which shade of green looks best on a site we’re designing and whether to silo or not to silo. I work on graphics. My husband works on thousands of lines of HTML. We actually pick up the phone when it rings!
I visit all of the forums and blogs I frequent while my husband continues with the nitty gritty, building whatever site we’re devoting time to that evening. I write blog posts and send out yet more emails in answer to questions from clients or requests for proposals. And basically, this phase of things goes on for the rest of the day, late into the night, with a break in between for dinner.
At the end of the day, if we’re not too exhausted, we take about 2 hours of leisure time to read aloud, work on a quilt we’re making, have a philosphical discussion, listen to the Great Horned Owl serenade outside, or simply lay there with glazed eyes.
Somehow, we manage to fit hygiene, laundry, housekeeping, phone calls to family members and our great passion -birdwatching- into this most of the time, too. By the end of our typical work day, 7 days a week, we have put in about 12 hours of work. Phew.
Why Am I Talking About This?
Because…our clients have busy lives, too. Their days are usually a combination of taking care of their business, taking care of themselves, taking care of their families that goes non-stop from sun-up to sun-down. And yet, very few of them have ever actually spent 12 hours straight in front of a computer before in their lives.
Until they sign that contract to get their website developed.
For most of our clients, this is the first time in their lives that they have been required to spend hour after hour at the computer, getting hundreds or thousands of product photos onto a disk, writing descriptions, writing company content so that they can hand the needfulls over to us so that we can get cracking. Chances are, if you are web developer, this will be the case for your small business clients, too.
The groans are often quite audible. The clients are staggered by the workload, by the monotony of dealing with one little photo after another. Very often, we hear from our clients that they have really gained an appreciation for what we do after their agonies spent chained to their PCs, trying to get their site contents ready to hand over to us. Sometimes, they begin to feel that they are going down a dark, endless tunnel and will never again see the sweet light of day!
This is the moment when a simple word of encouragement can be a real help
Do you root for your hard-working clients? When you receive their attachments of 300 product photos, do you praise them for their dedication?
We do, and can tell you that it is much appreciated. Just like it feels good when a client recognizes your hard work and expertise at what you are doing, it can feel very good to the hard working small business owner to have their efforts affirmed and applauded.
Despite the fact that the web has become a staple in the majority of homes across America, the work it takes to develop and launch a quality website is far from easy. Hours and hours of thought, preparation and plain old elbow-grease-grinding go into creating all of those pages that make a website complete and functional, but a positive working relationship, where both parties are mutually gracious, appreciative and supportive, really lightens the load.
I sometimes fear that the world of email has begun to deprive people of the old, honorable niceties of human communication. I encourage you not to forget those P’s and Q’s and the little words of kindess in your daily worklife that make doing business with others a pleasure instead of a chore.