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Are Nigerian Businesses Willing To Pay For Website Development?

Come to think of it, if there is a company providing Nigerian businesses with services such as, web development, programming, online advertising, and so on (at affordable prices). Will Nigerian businesses pay?

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After typing all this out i actually think it should be a new post but since we are discussing the subject, here goes

My people,  I greet you.

Like my boss would say back in the days,  "2 Things!" (it usually is 4 or 5 then trailing into a long lecture)

Fact: Businesses Small or Large are willing to pay for websites in Nigeria

Explanation: Any business is willing to pay for a service or product as long as its benefits will justify the costs significantly, in the short or long term. (reduce costs, new revenue streams, better corporate image, better worker efficiency and productivity, keeping up with international standards etc). those are values companies will pay for and history is testament to the fact that websites have generated billions of dollars, cut costs and done all the above mentioned.

Fact: There is a definite wave of competition in nearly every industry in Naija

Explanation: every business from pure water to Banks and Oil companies (Obj must be doing something right.) is actively looking for ways to get better with some level of differentiation either by flashy cars, new logos or websites. Websites are a welcomed tool for staying ahead of the pack or becoming industry leaders. (or at least looking the part)

Fact: (I know,  2 things, ) Most businesses in Nigeria (I would say all) have very little in terms of Online Strategy,  they have one for their normal business but it works differently on the internet and definitely differently for Nigeria. (now why is that strange)

Explanation: Every brick ‘n mortar business starts with a business plan (written or just common-sense thoughts). Online is a different ball-game and most businesses simply convert what they are doing in the real world, to an online version,  I know of a company that ignored its consultant and simply asked that their website is exactly like their brochure (everything we do is on it.). In the end they wondered why their yearly strategy session hammered on the importance of a good website among their competitors and why they now have to pay sooo much for just copying and pasting a single brochure.

Fact: Good and Bad web designers, programmers, developers, networking people etc (IT Consultants as they are widely known) are in "greedy-vicious-hawk" mode when going about the business of doing business. (we can argue that too, ).

Explanation: Yes companies outsourced IT simply because of cost reasons and service standards are the same but cheaper in India,  thus came the problems for IT in Naija, with our minute-sized thinking, leaders simply booted out IT departments for being cost centers and hired more expensive consultants to do the job, (this is were it gets better) IT consultants anywhere in the world are out to make money FIRST, then service later or forever if you still have the cash. No longer a cost center, they have devised means of remaining relevant to the client  such as monthly upgrades, calling a farm hoe a tractor, hidden charges, newer products (that are usually the teaspoon to go with that coffee cup or the fork you need to go with the plate of rice I sold you). That is why Naija websites all look and work the same (at least most of them)

Fact: Either party; IT dude and Prospective or existing clients: do not plan for continuity besides the IT dude sinking his teeth in and staying there as long as he can fathom up new problems to extend his stay and inevitably, cash. OR the company is ticked off “Corporate website” and is off to the new objective “High Networth” Customers or New cars for Marketing

Explanation: Because IT dudes and Companies look at websites like an objective, it value does not linger until Management decides the competitor has done an upgrade so must we. Websites are an ongoing concern and must look to continuously exist to make profit, deliver value and enhance productivity. The IT dude does not know or refuses to explain this because of survival factor or greed, or the IT manager simply wants a better appraisal each time a new feature is introduced,  OR,  the company does not know anything about websites so when they find out they have been shafted, the next IT dude who probably has better plans for them faces a huge mountain of objections from the recently IT-literate managers.

Summary suggestions

1: Meet every client at his point of need now and in the future: If you have a well laid out online strategy of how your client will make money or get value or beat the competiton,  then you have a good reason to say this is how much you will pay me. Because Value is Value whether it is in Calcutta or Ajegunle. If the client objects, tell them of their nearest competitor and how much they would get over them,  f’course you have to do things like Non-disclosure agreements to protect your research and plans.

2: Delivering VALUE FIRST is key. It is not a known Naija tradition, hardly encouraged until competition comes in (case in point, Multi-links was crap until GSM came in, they decided to up their standards). As an IT dude (or dudette). Seek real value because if you can build on the success of your client using your webified solution, chances are you can break off, and go solo selling your solution to everybody and making tons of cash. If your goal is to simply maintain a string of clients who are regularly paying you small amounts of cash every month, all it takes is for a smart dude with skills of a 419 website builder to create something nice-looking and there goes your client,  Remember, VALUE cannot be dislodged by EFIZZY.

3: Really,  really polish your skills in these areas

Technical Expertise: What you know about what solution you are proposing to your client. Companies usually believe you if they think you believe if yourself strong enough to sell them an the handle of a fridge separately from the fridge itself (lol)

Market Knowledge: Know your industry as well as your client’s that is why you are a consultant

Negotiation: Learn how to negotiate fairly and honestly because if you succeed in getting all the millions and do a shoddy job or your client finds out they are being shafted, having negative vibes from one company is the least of your worries, it is the other well-meaning IT dudes that get all the flak for your irresponsibility. On the flip-side, if your solution is working smoothly, then the irresponsible fees are okay. The client is happy

Project Management: Timely delivery more than often makes the client very happy, infact they often plan their business strategies on when you say you will deliver since everyone else makes up excuses for non-performance saying XYZ web developers have not deployed so I cannot market effectively

Wardrobe: Get a spanking corporate-class wardrobe and good shoes to match with that snanny perfume., a good PDA phone and a nice pen to go with the whole thang.

Grammar and business-speak:  I always worry when I hear the Naija IT dude with a spanking British accent. (American is fine) but I think the flat-upper-lipped, snotty nostrils and pancake face with a pocklington degree. Is couched to sell you snake oil. If you have not noticed many firms trying to sell a product for which there is little need or demand, get someone with a think british accent who is either very chubby or very slim, and they go on and on about how many top clients in the UK , Europe and Asia are using their product,  (So why are they not selling in Naija). Either way, learn to speak with impact, choose the right adjectives and definitely avoid such high sounding buzz words like portals, paradigm shifts and enterprise,  it would pay you very much to have one person with an accent preferably a girl(Trust me I know how Naija companies think emoptionally). But honestly,  get a book on presentations and connecting to people on an emotional level,  or better still get someone who is into 419 to teach you how to do it. (just being sly)

Client Relationship Mgt: Your client thinks a lot about you when you start giving them service,  You are the first port of call when they have problems, if they cannot reach you after a while, they start thinking poorly of your services even if they recently just had a virus attack,  nonetheless,  always keep them within a call’s reach.

Corporate Materials (Business cards, Letterheads etc) Get a good, creative and catchy design, that says, we are professionals so deals with us professionally

Get a good car: I know it sounds vain,  but clients think a lot of your successes when they see the car you drive or the clothes you wear or you perfume,  if you cannot get a good car,  invest in some money to hire a BORA and drive it to that important meeting or presentation,  let them see you in a different car each time,  get one of those Stickers you can place on the side of the car when. When you are done you can always rip it off without damage to the BORA material (I hear it is from mars)

Always remember the Karma in the IT business, if you shaft someone, your next IT brother gets shafted,

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It's simply a matter of preference, Mr Ahmad. I have and can come up with the type of design you're talking about when the client requires it. Unfortunately, I don't wish to change my logo -- I know the kind of effects you're talking about but I spent a lot of time coming up with my logo [that's my personal mascot]. Yes, I'm planning to change the design of my main site but not in the way you're thinking. What I have on the main site is a demo of A Content Management System I'm writing that uses PHP, MySQL and Ajax [ I thought I said that] -- and I'm not even halfway through.

I'm not taking simplicity to the limit -- I spent a lot of time thinking of a design that performs well with or without javascript [try disabling it in your browser and you'll know what I'm talking about. By the way, I don't have a long way to go, if you don't mind. That I use pure XHTML and CSS doesn't mean I have very little experience even though I've been programming for a little over one year. Give me any design of yours and I'll replicate it with only divs and css. I hope you didn't rope my friend [the owner of www.xcomputerman.com] in on this because if you go through his site very well, you'll realise he doesn't have a long way to go.

By the way, one of my friends designed www.dolphinsfootballclub.com -- I know it won't make you drool but it definitely won't make you sick.

Sorry if I'm coming on a bit strongly over this, but that I'm 17 doesn't mean I'm a novice. I will not go on to boast in this forum and that's that.

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Many Nigerian Businesses are unwilling to pay. Even those that have websites do not maintain it. I heard a radio announcement about a company and went to check out the website; It had so many broken links. The time taking to respond to nigerian website queries is another problem.

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my man juss check out ur sites,   dosent make me drool,  i agree with u that simple websites have more effects,  but as for ur web sites, u take that idea way above the limit. my man atleast design a logo that is worth lookin at. take some time to give colours, trust me better than the black and white(mind using light colours has advantages). 17 years thats kool i got hooked around that time too,  still got a long way to go. like ur ideas keep them up.

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I don't know about you but there are Nigerian websites that make me drool. The point is, there are designers and there are designers. I've seen lots of guys who only know how to use automated tools [like frontpage and dreamweaver] - and they call themselves web designers There are others who think the key to a good design is cluttering the page with animations and effects. Personally, I always build websites with Simplicity in mind - eg http://azuka.zatechcorp.com [my blog]. I think the best site I've seen that stresses simplicity and beauty is http://xcomputerman.com -- owned by a Nigerian of course!.

I agree entirely with you. I'm only 17 and last year before I left Nigeria I did some bidding for jobs - I use Flash, PHP, ASP and Asp.NET with both C# and VB. People simply shunned me because I was "too young" to know how to build a website. The prices I called were also bad news to them. When I showed them some of my work [eg www.ndeesystems.com] they told me I had copied it from somewhere -- I mean how naive can some people be?

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i don know wat to really say, viewing an average nigerian website,makes me sick.wats wrong with us, does everythin in nigerian technology have to be , don know wat to say.ppl

this is the future of life its self, mastering this now is the only golden step US nigerians have to take for greater future.

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Many businesses still do not see why they need websites. That is our experience here.

Those of u in the South West are miles ahead in the area of ICT and I commend u for that. I wish the rest of Nigeria can catch up.

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Huh? What are you talking about? If Nigerian businesses are not already paying for website development would we have threads like 'Good Web Design Services in Nigeria' and 'How Much Do You Charge for Website Design?' on the forum?

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