Every successful music school owner or private music teacher has the awareness to try to keep expenses as low as possible in order to maximize profits. Here and there, you may cut corners and go without something that might make life easier, or DIY, or buy things secondhand.
You aren’t alone. I also know a bargain when I see one, and I know where to hunt for them!
Last week, I signed a lease for a brand new music studio, and I am looking forward to not travel teaching as much in the coming years. Over the weekend, I shopped for furniture and materials for my own new music studio, dragging my very patient boyfriend to dusty thrift stores and through every aisle of our local hardware stores to plan my DIY waiting area and personal office.My trip this weekend scored me an awesome office desk for just $15. It’s a little beat up, but it’s nothing I can’t clean up with a little elbow grease and colored contact paper.
All frugality aside, I truly believe there are a few things that one should never scrimp on when it comes to your music lesson business. One of the biggest ones is your website.
One of my bigger concerns over the last few years has been an increase in what is called “outsourcing.” Many people outsource the work on their website to a programmer who is overseas (usually via a service such as Upwork or Fiverr) to work on your website for DIRT CHEAP.
Now, this may be an over-used saying that you’re sick of hearing… but it’s true: “You get what you pay for.”
In this article, I’m going to explain why you should NEVER outsource your website.
The Quality Likely Won’t Be Very Good
It can be hard to judge how good a website is when you don’t know how to look at the way it is coded or setup. So I’m just going to tell you straight out.
I have been working in the web development and design field for almost as long as the internet has been available to the public.
I have NEVER seen a website that was outsourced that was coded cleanly, or built in a manner that made sense.
This alone is a huge reason to avoid outsourcing your website. This kind of stuff can have HUGE negative security and SEO implications – which are two things you should care about very much on your music lesson website.
There Will be Miscommunications
In the tech industry, it is often already extremely difficult to communicate.
Even as a tech person, sometimes I have to say things many different ways in order to get another industry professional to understand what I need them to do and why.
“Communication problems, misunderstandings, and rework is the norm, not the exception.” – John Crenshaw (Click to read his in depth article about outsourcing)
As a normal person, who is likely not as familiar with all of the technical jargon that comes along with creating a website, it is easy for you become confused or completely misunderstand what work is being done…and therefore become very frustrated!
This problem amplifies significantly when dealing with programmers who speak English as a second language. At its best, it’s irritating.
At its worst…it can be costly. If a project is not outlined clearly to both parties, you may have to go back and dispute in order to get your money back, and on top of that hire someone to help you fix the mess they started.
You Will Spend WAY More Time Micro-Managing
Due to the inevitable miscommunication issues, and often a HUGE time difference…you’re going to find that outsourcing your website might take even longer than it would if you hired someone in your own country.
Your time is valuable. Do you want to spend it having to send hundreds of emails back and forth?
Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen
When you outsource, you are not likely hiring one person or even a few people to work on your project. Usually, there is a team of people, who may not be the best at thinking about the bigger picture together.
Once you start having more than one person working on your website, it runs the risk of turning into the ever-dreaded “franken-site” – a site that has been patched together by a lot of people who approach coding slightly differently. This problem increases exponentially with every new person that is working behind the scenes.
This is never a good thing!
Last But Not Least . . . Humanitarian Issues
When you see a competitor or a younger music teacher offering $5/hour lessons, you just want to roll your eyes right up to the sky and sigh, right? It’s wrong on so many levels. That teacher probably doesn’t do a very good job, and on top of it, they’re undercutting all of the professional music teachers out there.
Well… web developers feel exactly the same way about this situation when it happens to us, because it sets a standard that web development is “easy.” (Spoiler: it’s NOT!)
Just like teaching music- it absolutely is not that simple to make a GREAT website! I might make it look easy, but that’s because I’ve been coding websites for 20 years.
Aside from my own personal beef with outsourcing…there’s also a humanitarian issue going on here. Most of the time, the programmers that work for the companies you are outsourcing to are in India…and they are literally being paid pennies to build your website. In the US, a typical salary of a web developer is from $80,000-$100,000/year. In India, the salary is a little under $6000/year.
When you avoid outsourcing your music lesson website, you are:
- supporting businesses in your own country who have ethical standards
- automatically receiving a higher level of care
- easing the communication burden
- saving time for yourself
- ending up with a better product