Cost-effective - no canteen to run or ruthless shareholders to please
It's simple economics: because my overheads are lower I can undercut most of the competition. No flashy office, no staff canteen, no CEO making money by playing golf all day. I'm not cheap though (in the cheap and nasty "seems-like-a-bargain-but-you-regret-it-later-on" sense - there are lots of those outfits around). Just good value.
Enthusiastic - can we build it? Yes we can!
Because I enjoy what I do I'm enthusiastic about it, and that makes all the difference (see some recent testimonials). I'm not a 9 to 5 office worker living for the weekend and don't get that 'Sunday night feeling of dread'. I'd describe my approach as "grounded optimism". That is, when someone says "Paul, is it possible to [insert challenging problem here]?" 9 times out of 10 I'll work out the best way to solve it then say "Absolutely!". Some people might call it a "can do" attitude but whatever you call it the principle has served me well over the years. There are some projects just too big for one person of course, so I don't take on anything that's unachievable. If someone said "Can you create me a website for my company in two days from scratch?" I'd politely decline, and if someone asked "Can you single-handedly sort out the IT infrastructure of the National Health Service?", I'd say no. It would be fun to try though...
Flexible - a speedboat, not an ocean liner
Another great thing about being an independent consultant is you can think on your feet, react positively to unexpected events, and generally fit around other people's schedules and requirements. So I can be flexible when you want something that's slightly out of the ordinary, or delivered very very quickly. So when unforeseen things happen (and they will - this is IT) I can be agile: it's a lot easier to turn around a speedboat than an ocean liner.
Not a faceless corporation - I'm a man not a number
Good business is, at its heart, about relationships. Even Microsoft and Google are made up of individuals - and one rude employee can tarnish any business's reputation. As I'm working for myself I've obviously got a vested interest in doing a good job. You know who you're dealing with and I'm always at the end of the phone, email or IM.
100% Satisfaction Guarantee - putting my money where my mouth is
Hiring a company or individual to handle your website is no different from getting your car fixed. You're less interested in the gritty mechanical details than being comfortable they'll:
- do a good job;
- offer an end-to-end "one stop shop" service;
- have your best interests at heart;
- charge a fair and reasonable price.
And that pretty much sums up my approach. So much so that everything I do comes with:
And you can't get much fairer than that.