4 signs your relationship is going to end badly – tips for online store owners

You’ve got a “feeling” today. Not sure exactly what it is yet, but you’re feeling that the relationship with your website developer isn’t how it used to be. Maybe not yet on the rocks. Maybe just a whiff of something undesirable in the air, like when a gas powered bus passes, or maybe like an old truck that’s spewing thick black smoke into your line of vision.

You’ve got a feeling about it.

Here I’d like to tell you about the 4 signs the relationship is going to end badly. I say badly because if you’re not aware of it, and nothing is done, it’s possibly going to end with a mess that will keep you up at night.

Keep these tips in mind so you can deal to it before it starts to impact on your business.

The first thing to keep in mind is that experience usually wins in these situations, and if your intuition tells you something isn’t right then it probably isn’t – you’ll feel it coming before the writing’s on the wall.

Quite possibly the largest threat to ecommerce website owners is the power to knowledge ratio when it’s coming to the end of the relationship. Your experience is in running a healthy business, not in web development and all the technical things. You need to protect your online store business from what you don’t know that your web developer could be doing.

The power the web developer has is in their technical knowledge. They could be keeping things from you and this will impact on how you can deal to the situation.

1. It’s complicated

There’s lots of reasons why these relationships come to an end. Maybe it’s them. Maybe it’s you.

It’s not that they don’t like you anymore, or not that you are unhappy with their work entirely. Maybe just a natural event in the dark of cyberspace that happens often.

If you’re dealing with a one-man-band, they may be closing down but want to save face by not telling you until the last minute.

If you’re dealing with a larger business, maybe you’re too small for them now and they don’t want to have to work with you anymore but don’t want to tell you.

Maybe they’re a designer, and just not very good at the development side so would prefer to keep you suspended in anticipation while they figure out how to not do anything about it. Ignoring problems is a good way for web people to deal with them!

Things shouldn’t be this complicated.

2. Your to do list never gets actioned

There’s many reasons why your requests for changes aren’t being actioned.

Some common reasons for this frustrating problem include:

  • Your web person is working on larger projects and doesn’t want to give you the time.
  • They are lacking the skills to do the work. Perhaps they tried, and failed, in completion of the task at hand, and don’t want to admit that.
  • They’re just disorganised.
  • They don’t want to work with you anymore, but just don’t want to tell you – breaking up is hard, after all.

3. You have to repeat yourself like a record again and again and again…

Programmers can be great at what they do, but can be poor communicators. We’d never have our developers speak to our clients because it would simply make the whole process frustrating for everyone.

When this communication breaks down, you can find yourself repeating over and over the same thing. Maybe half the things get done, then you repeat the same list while also finding new issues. It’s very frustrating and time consuming.

It shouldn’t be this hard!

4. You’re managing the project

Let’s get something clear – you have paid for the work, but you shouldn’t be managing it yourself through to completion.

This is often a sign you’re dealing directly with a web developer, as while they are good at creating things, they are not good at organising, planning and execution.

If you’re paying a reasonable amount, you can expect not to have to manage the project.

Taking action is your most valuable skill. Now what are you going to do about this situation?

When considering the above, if it’s all getting too hard, perhaps you should be looking to break up with your web developer before they break up with you, or, even worse, the situation descends into a full blown disaster.

Keep in mind the overall cost of staying with them, not simply whether they provide a good price. The overall cost of working with any supplier must include you and your team’s own time and effort, as well as the cost of delay in delivery or a substandard and partially working solution.

Every situation is different, so for specific advice on your own situation, click here to tell us about your website problem and how you’d like it solved.