Work pressure has its own penalties. As a copywriter you try to align with your client’s interests as much as you can – including the budgetary restrictions. But sometimes those restrictions are too much – preventing you from doing quality work. That’s the time to decline taking the job.
I was recently reminded of this important phrase when buying programming services for one of my clients, who wanted to mount a Landing Page for his PPC campaign. The client was on a tight budget and so I shopped around for the best deal I could – eventually finding a promising web programmer in India. The world after all is a small place and the Internet allows you maximum flexibility.
So what did I get for the $250 that I agreed to pay the programmer? A caseful of trouble and a huge addition to my own work time. I had to supervise him every step of the way, hold his hand and catch his mistakes. But I was willing to put up with that because the WordPress-based landing page would allow me to create many more Landing Pages on my own. However, it didn’t stop there. We finally finished the job and I asked the Indian developer to upload the page. However he then told me that his server had expired and with it the landing page. He had not saved the work separately. So he had to build the page all over again, from scratch, with much more time delay.
Of course, the Indian developer didn’t bother to double-check his work. He also didn’t bother to verify that everything written on my checklist to him had been done. I had to keep revising the checklists, send numerous annotated screen shots and repeat the process until finally he covered all the points. He simply refused to put his brain into gear, expecting me to point out everything to him. These are the ‘hidden extras’ that you get together with a cheap price quote from India – the guarantee that you’ll spend 10 times longer on a simple job than you would have done by giving it to an intelligent ‘non-chimp’ supplier.
I cannot begin to tell you how much extra time this cost me and how much frustration, not to mention the problems with my client who wanted to get started with his PPC campaign.
In the end, I can only blame myself. It was wrong to be seduced by low price, because it ended up being very expensive for me. It was also wrong to seek a service provider in a place like India where: a) Their concept of time is far different because ‘there’s always tomorrow’; b) They don’t employ quality control – they work, you inspect and correct, they continue working; c) They’re immune to your criticism – you say ‘the work is bad’ and they hear ‘the work is fine’.
As always, you get what you pay for. If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys. Perhaps you can teach the monkeys to do what you want. But how much will it cost you? In your own management time? In your peace of mind and equilibrium? No, I need to re-learn this phrase – that cheap is expensive and expensive is cheap.
Next time I’ll remember not to try to save too much but consider the larger management picture.
PS. I just realized that I wrote a blog on this subject in November 2011. Well, I guess we all need to remind ourselves of what’s important. You get carried away by the needs of a project and sometimes at that moment you forget your own basic principles and modes of operation.
See my website http://www.futureweb.ws