Restaurants of Leeds is a marketing agency that connects foodies and keeps them updated with the restaurant scene in Leeds. It is a content-focused hub for like-minded people, offering recipes as well as the latest news and views. It officially launched in early December and SME caught up with company founder Tom Ford to hear about their journey and how outsourcing made it possible.
• What services did you outsource?
Initially, we outsourced the web development to an agency and we had a bit of a battle there. They said it would be ready in eight weeks, but it took 18, and then I was charged an additional fee about five weeks later, despite paying everything up front and not being informed of any other costs. We weren’t happy with their work, so we took our business elsewhere – My Social Agency redeveloped our website for us, and is in charge of our social media and SEO processes.
• Why did you decide to outsource?
We decided to outsource the web development because we did not have the skillset required in-house. We wanted an expert – My Social Agency designs each website for a specific function, whether it needs to be mobile responsive or e-commerce ready – they tailor it to your requirements.
• Did you have any reservations about outsourcing?
Not really – we understood the need to get expert advice and skills in order to complete our project. As far as losing control over the project goes, that hasn’t been an issue. My Social Agency shows us a project plan at the beginning of every month, they’re very transparent and we stay in touch a lot. Both parties know what is expected and I still share ideas with them and have an input. That’s partly why we were keen to have a smaller provider, we got to meet the team and we know we are valued and listened to.
• What have been the challenges of managing this contract?
The only challenge we have really faced was born of our previous failed contract – that ate up a lot of our budget so we’ve had to stagger our work with our current provider.
• What are your top outsourcing tips for other SMEs?
Do your homework, meet the team you will have working on your project, manage your expectations so you know what you’ll be getting out of your contract and budget carefully.