Grand Prix Adventures. Redesign of a website for GPA to promote their Formula One Hospitality Trip business.
Regent Comms. A midlands based electrical contractor needed a new website to portray in a professional way the skills and experience.
Since I can remember as a kid, I have loved football. All the time through growing up wind, rain or shine I would kick a ball about at least once a day. I would watch games; listen to games on the radio and occasionally in those days watch on TV. Street games, school games, proper games with referees and nets, penalty kick competitions, you name we did it. I would have loved nothing better than to have been a professional footballer. To play for the team I supported growing up meant everything for me, would have been the ultimate dream come true.
You could argue I trained hard; Worked on my technique; Gave 100%. Surely all this effort will bring its reward? At best I was average. An extremely willing and committed average, but average none the less. Some of the other lads I played with were just better than me. Some made the grade at different levels within the game. One actually had 3 seasons at the club we both supported as boys.
Effort….tick, discipline….tick, talent…………sadly no.
It would be a lie if I said this didn’t make me feel jealous. It did. Still does. But as you grow older you realise as you meet different people and share different experiences that it wasn’t meant to be. Your talents just lie elsewhere and you will excel at other things. The kind of advice your parents used to give you, usually after you had just spectacularly failed at something!
It’s dusting yourself back off and getting on with it that matters. Make enough mistakes and you become experienced. You develop good judgement. You understand your limitations, accept them and celebrate the fact that you are good at other things. You know what you can do, and you know what should be left to others, well most of the time!
B&Q make more money selling tools and materials to fix bodged DIY projects than they do on anything else. I have been a good customer over the years. Then one day, when you realise you’ve probably got newer and more expensive tools than the tradesman you just got round to fix your latest, hmm "project" you utter the words "never again" under your breath. You hand over yet more cash and invariably the tradesman parts with some sage advice "should ‘ave got me round in the first place mate, could have saved yourself the heartache and a few bob!" You smile politely. Inside you’re dying, more so because you know he’s right.
Blame YouTube (DIY videos really should have a "don’t try this at home warning!"). Blame your tools. Blame everyone except yourself! It is simply that before you embarked on your little project you under estimated the skill level required to competently complete the task in hand. Your shortcomings only became apparent after you spent the time, effort and money. By then it’s too late.
Good tradesmen make it look effortless. Blame them! You were lulled into a false sense of security! How hard can it be? Don’t confuse the fact that B&Q selling you a bench saw suddenly makes you a carpenter, never mind a cabinet maker! It doesn’t. It makes you a guy that owns a bench saw! Owning a laptop doesn’t make you Bill Gates!
Arguably not as physically demanding as a footballer or a plumber (if it is you are doing it wrong) web design and building is a skill. You would be surprised just how many people come and ask me to fix theirs or "their mate’s" well intentioned but ultimately poor work. We all have a mate like that don’t we? Don’t get me wrong, it’s good for business and I do sympathise with them. It’s hard to tell someone that all the time effort and money they have spent thus far is worthless and it would be quicker and cheaper to just start again.
A successful website starts its life as an idea. A simple thing like choosing the right domain name can have a massive impact on its future success. Many people don’t get a web designer involved until after these decisions and payments have been made.