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Why we design websites for small businesses.

Greetings from inside the SEOigloo!

My husband and I visit a lot of SEO blogs and forums each week, trying to absorb new ideas that will improve and expand our skills. When we first began doing these rounds, we realized that, in a sense, we were outsiders. We came to understand that the majority of the brilliant men and women whose blogs and posts we were reading were working at a level of business that is beyond our small firm, Solas Web Design’s, goals. There must be a great thrill for these smart people in working with the big guys – and, certainly, the financial rewards are great. We respect and greatly admire the extraordinary skills of the SEOs who have made names for themselves in the big business world.

Being true to ourselves as web developers
But, Shakespeare was indeed speaking on the level when he advised people to be true to themselves lest they be false to any man, and the plain fact of the matter is, the world of high finance holds little interest for either my husband or myself. It’s the small business that captures our imaginations, our hearts, our sense of excitement. We so strongly believe in the dignity of the ‘little guy’ using his strength, skills and intelligence to support himself and his family, that this is whom we are commited to working for. It’s a whole different world when SEO skills mean the difference between whether a small business owner gets to take his children on a camping trip this summer or not. More sales mean buying a new tent, air mattresses, gasoline, cooking gear.
Or, more sales may mean music lessons for a little one, or health insurance for an adult. To us, this is real stuff that we can relate to, because after all, Solas Web Design is a small business. It’s very, very different from a world where SEO means becoming a name on Wall Street.

Both kinds of goals are respectively worthy, and I do believe that our special orientation to designing websites for small business owners is what makes our clients so at ease with us. We’d be fish out of water talking to, oh, the CEO of Bank of America, for instance. But talking to the CEO of an organic lavender farm – well, that’s just our cup of tea! Developing and delivering a competitive, SEO-based website on a small budget is what we understand, and what our firm is becoming known for in small business circles.

The downside of doing web design/SEO for small businesses
The obvious negative is, of course, that our clients don’t have $50,000 to spend on a website. And that is apparently a low number when it comes to quotes from top U.S. SEO companies. The excellent Washington-based firm, SEOmoz recently posted a thread on their blog stating that they require an investment of $120,000 to develop a website from the ground up. I am positive that their services are worth every penny, but would not be in any way affordable to our clients.
So, Solas Web Design is not planning to strike it rich this year, regardless of all the wonderful contracts we’ve got on our books. That’s the obvious downside.

What’s fantastic about doing web design/SEO for small businesses
The people! The products! Worthy projects that we’re eager to promote. Clients who become like friends, all over the U.S. No board of directors to wrangle with. Far fewer ego trips. Utter lack of corporate politics to navigate. Certainly much less stress.

Don’t get us wrong – we’re smart people and we work like blue blazes at what we do, but the world of highrises, grey suits and internal politics doesn’t seem to us to make for a harmonious life. Our clients agree – and this is exactly why each of them has gone into business for themselves. Just like us.