I had an interesting conversation with another WordPress developer recently. She is searching for somebody to help manage a few WooCommerce sites. Instead of it being for development type work it’s mostly content editing type work. For example: adding sales pages, coupon codes, updating pricing and product details on an ongoing basis. We concurred on the title for this as Store Manager. It sounds more specific than Webmaster in this application.
This got me to thinking… and realizing that I’ve long held a belief that clients themselves (or their staff or VAs) should be empowered to do this type of work and that they naturally wish to do it themselves. After all, WordPress is a content management system built for the purpose of democratizing web publishing and WooCommerce is an eCommerce extension of that.
Though I’ve become more sensitive to these requests. I now realize that several of them have been coming my way in smaller forms. Heck, many of them I’ve just been handling myself. Enter a new business opportunity to serve this need in a more efficient way.
“People who build cars do not build roads.”
Then the other day I caught a great quote from Chris Lema in the Store Builders Podcast (episode 11): “People who build cars do not build roads.”
It’s quite common to do content work as part of a development project – a cycle where content is typically restructured as part of a major overhaul. Say when changing out or re-cutting a theme. This involves resetting menus, widgets, often times page bodies, etc. Once complete, my expectation is that each client can maintain (add, edit, remove) content (text, graphics, pages, posts, products), basically manage their stores on their own until they reach a point of needing training or additional development work.
It’s quite reasonable to say that a full-stack web developer skillset is different than a Store Manager’s. Meaning the technical and coding skills are typically in shorter supply and sold at a higher rate. Yet, whether cheaper or not, a Store Manager can be quite valuable in providing the benefits of focus and deep knowledge of the products, pricing, and promotions (AKA the “marketing mix”). Developers may or may not know the marketing side, definitely aren’t so focused on it in an ongoing sense.
Managing content internally keeps it near and dear to the small business owner in charge of it. I’ll continue to encourage clients to do this work themselves or within their internal staffing structures and standard business operations.
However, I’m much more open to the idea of partnering with a Store Manager professional with synergy to the work that I do. My main concern is finding somebody who won’t install plugins and mess-up the performance, security, interoperability, and maintenance free automatic updates that I optimize in the site’s coding and structure.