Whenever I get into a conversation about a new website, the third question is always the same: “How long’s it gonna take?” (Because time is money, this is of course just a polite proxy for the real question: “What’s it going to cost?”)
My unrehearsed reply always starts with a big “uhhh…”. This makes me think I should have something better to say, that I should have a snappy retort stowed away. This website gig is my thing, after all. Best to appear reasonably conversant in the details.
But I think I figured out the answer. The trick is to keep the questions rolling, get Socratic by responding to a question with a question. So ask me again and I’ll tell ya straight-up: “How long? Well, how long’s the drive to Chicago?”
Chicago. It’s not so bad a drive from out here in South Dakota. Interstate 90 runs a few miles north of town, and I can jump on the road with an Egg McMuffin and a cup o’ joe and be cruising on Lake Shore Drive by suppertime. No rush, no fuss. No turns either. It’s a day’s drive. A proper long day, but not a hard day, per se.
But let’s say you’ve got some special considerations for this journey we’re taking. Let’s say you’ve got a trailer you’d like me to haul out to the Windy City. That’s going to slow me down. The gas mileage is going to take a hit, so we’ll be stopping a little more. And don’t forget that the Illinois tolls will go up with each additional axle. A little more time, a little more money.
Maybe the car in the garage isn’t going to be big enough for the trip. Should we rent a UHaul, or even call in a guy with a CDL to pilot something bigger? And who’s going to be loading and unloading this guy? That could be a major project of its own. Might even need a crew to knock it out in a reasonable manner.
Maybe you’d prefer a different route. Are the aesthetics of the journey your first concern? Are you looking for a bespoke adventure, something to Instagram? Painted barns and old neon signs swinging from forgotten motels? We can do that! The old two-lane roads are pleasant, but this little day-drive to Chi-Town’s just turned into an major expedition.
So, the new website? Yes, we can have you up-and-running by bedtime. But getting the details right, crafting the content, integrating your catalog, importing your data, that might be a whole ‘nother thing. So, how long’s the drive to Chicago? Well, that depends. Let’s talk.