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Log In / Register | May 26, 2017

AIS Media

I bought into the AIS Media franchise early on, around 2003 or so - can't remember the exact year. This means that for me the investment was minimal, $5000. I would never get into it now with the exorbitant fees they (or WSI or any others) charge. The positive part was, AIS TRIED. They had weekly group phone calls/meetings, they tried to be sure all your questions were answered, they provided a large number of services. But the downside did not work for me. Let me add that I can create graphics, web pages, sites and code myself. So I happen to have the best of both worlds and knowledge about it. So, knowing something about the business, here is what happened for me. They provided discounted services that I could mark up, from web hosting to design, to logos, to the full sites, but even then I would have to charge so much to clients that I was embarrassed to even try to do so. Sure, if every client is Walmart or ATT or IBM, fine. But most clients are small to mid sized and I could not charge them what it would have turned out costing. Secondly, the work that I did get back was poor, poor design, poor code. The turn around time was not great. I waited 3 months for one and I got apologies but never a real explanation. Each single item was piece-mealed to the point that it was ridiculous. Want another single jpg on the page? Fee. Want another block of text? Fee. Had I used them it would have made the final price ridiculously expensive for my clients. All the most economical choices were merely templates and with the added fees it was absurd. Otherwise you would have to go with a custom site and that price was impossible. I could create better code and graphics with a faster turn around time and put it on a less expensive host account by myself, without AIS, and then have a very happy customer - which is what I ended up doing. So I used AIS to sort of "brag" about my "partnership" with them, but I couldn't actually use them for providing services. The people at the company were extremely defensive and uncooperative if I said anything about it (I tried several times). I just looked at their site - those same people are still there today so I would expect the same from them today. From my own personal experience, I would not recommend this route to anyone, particularly with the massively increased fees to join the franchise that they charge now in 2015. It was bad enough to lose $5000. My solution was to look for good, honest economical smaller companies that I could partner with. Some were here in the states, I had one in Russia, one in Macedonia and one in India as well. This was the way I managed to increase my sales and productivity without paying an arm and a leg and without having to do all the work myself. If you try to do all the work yourself, you can only do so many sites a month. If you partner, you can spend time making sales and outsourcing. It's what AIS and WSI will pitch to you - but the way I did it would cost you nothing but time and you'll have happier clients which means return business and recommendations. Just my 2 cents.

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