Asking the Right Questions in Selecting a Web Services Vendor

Tom Snyder photo by Tom Snyder on Oct 12, 2008

Selecting a vendor/partner for your online strategy is one of the most important decisions your business will ever make. Here are some of the questions you'll want to ask potential vendors (along with the answers we give when someone asks Trivera these questions).

1.) Is the Web your primary focus? There's simply too much to know for a company with a "Yeah, we can do that, too" attitude to handle your project with anything but disastrous results. In an attempt to grab additional revenue opportunities many companies have "added" Web site design to their repertoire of offered services. Avoid companies who make something as important as your Web presence a sideline. Trivera has been Web-centric since our inception in 1996.

2.) How long have you been in business as a Web development firm? Be careful doing business with new firms, as they won't have the historical staying power to assure you that they'll be around long term. While there are new companies being formed by the partnering of individuals, those firms won't have the benefit of a team that has worked together for years. Trivera has been in business for 13 years in Milwaukee, with several of our original team members still in place.

3.) May I tour your facilities? While a small, home-based Web developer may be able to provide services at a small price, we've seen too many of them go in and out of business over the years to expect any of them to still be around in 12 months. At Trivera, we encourage our prospective clients to visit our facility, meet our team and view the dozens of client project profiles that line our hallways.

4.) What is your client retention rate? A Web developer may have a portfolio and a list of references. But the best measure is the number and longevity of those clients. At Trivera, we've done over 1000 projects for over 250 clients. And several of our current projects are for clients that go back with us to the beginning...Usinger's, Frank Mayer and Associates, Mitchell Airport.

5.) What are your company's philosophy and core values? Many Web developers focus on low price alone. Others won't tell you, but as value-added resellers for third party software, their goal is to maneuver you into their only available solution. And because of the current economy, some can only think about one thing: survival. At Trivera, our goal is to have you as a client 10 years from now. That requires a philosophy of building trust and long-term relationships by providing the appropriate solutions to your specific Web needs. No oversell or undersell, no hidden agenda, working as your sole contact or working with an existing vendor or agency. That's why our three core values (and thus our name Tri-Vera, i.e. three truths) have always been quality, service and integrity.

The keys here are longevity...length of time in business, length of relationships with current clients, and a view to guaranteeing a long relationship with you. Go with the partner that puts priority on that, and you'll be best positioned for success.

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