Who helps make your business a success?
The most obvious people are your staff. They make or break your company's reputation every day. Then there's your accountant, who keeps you on budget and out of trouble with the taxman. And don't forget your bank manager, who helps you grow your business.
But what about your web developer? The only contact customers will ever have with some businesses is through their websites. Many companies don't have - and never will have - a shop front. And even if they do, they might sell to customers all around the country, or even the world, who'll never appreciate their friendly shop assistants or in-store offers.
When you choose a web developer, you're choosing someone who'll do more than just build a website for you. Along with his team of graphic designers, copywriters and programmers, your web designer will help build your 'brand' and your online (and sometimes only) presence in the marketplace. He'll give you all the tools you need to run a successful business online, serve your customers well, and make the most of social media.
Clearly, a strong partnership with your developer is important. But what happens if that relationship breaks down? Or if your developer retires, or changes career? Or, to use an extreme and unfortunate example, passes away while your site is still in development?
Looking at things from a more technical angle, what happens if, over the years, the code your website uses is no longer supported? Or if you've tried to design your own site and get in over your head? Or if you simply don't have the time or expertise to make your own site do what you need it to do?
If any of these things happen to you or your business, just contact Inspire for some 'Developer SOS'. We've ridden to the rescue in all these situations, and more, for clients in the UK, the United States and Europe. We'll assess the problem - or take over where your previous developer left off - do what needs to be done, and get you back in business.
A few years ago we got a website enquiry from the EASSG, an aquaculture society based in Norway. Their site was originally designed by a student who had, as students do, moved on. Trouble was, no one else from the society knew how to manage the website. As time passed, parts of the website fell over, and much of it became out of date. The Web itself, like the student, had also moved on, and the site was stuck in a bit of a time warp in terms of both technology and content.
We very quickly analysed what was going wrong with the site, updated it with the latest code, and fixed all the broken links and feeds that weren't displaying properly. We put in place systems that allowed their new webmaster to make their own updates - and the site has ticked along just fine for the last couple of years, with no further input from us or long-term commitment from them. Control and the future development of the site is back with the society, where it belongs.
In these and a whole range of similar situations, we like to think of ourselves as the 'SOS Team'. If you have a web development problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find us, hire Inspire to put it right!
David Dwyer is Managing Director of Inspire Web Development. He has years of experience in a range of web and IT roles plus seven years in sales and marketing in a blue-chip FMCG company. David's academic and professional qualifications include a BA (Hons) in Business Economics (Personnel) from the University of Paisley, an MSc in Information Technology (Systems) from Heriot-Watt University and PRINCE2 Practitioner-level certification. He is also an active member of the British Computer Society.