As a small company, I found my niche in servicing other small companies. As a result, I run into a lot of businesses whose owners are unsure of what they want. Their budgets are so small and so limited that more often than not, they choose a friend to design their site or someone who is dirt cheap. As a result, I come in to fix someone else’s mess. I do it because I am in business to help people, but I have to say, I much rather design a site from scratch. It’s much more fun and less frustrating.
A friend or relative may not be the way to go. Yes, you are on a budget, but don’t sabotage your company online by having a poorly designed site or one that has the “Under Construction” sign up for months, years, eons.
So, if you are a small business, this blog is for you!
· Decide ahead of time what you need: Yes, you need a Web site, but what do you want the Web site to do? Is it simply an online brochure? Do you want it to provide new leads? Do you want it to offer current customer supplemental information? Do you want it to be an e-commerce site? You have to know what you want the site to do for you.
· Visit the web designer’s site and see some of their work: You need to check out what designers have done. Even if you are not in the market for something fancy, you have to see if the designer’s design sense is something you like. If you don’t like what they’ve done, then you won’t be happy with what they do for you.
· Meet the designer face-to-face: Even if you are having a larger firm do the work for you, you need to meet the person who will actually be working on your site. The person must be someone you feel like you can work with. How does that person answer your questions and concerns?
· Look at the services the web designer offers: Some Web design firms only offer site design, while others offer e-commerce, social marketing or other services in addition. They may also specialize in certain areas. See that the services they offer are in line with what you need.
· Look at response times: When you first contact the company, how soon do they get back to you? How quickly do they meet and quote you? Do they act professional and courteous? The first impressions that they make may tell you how well they will service your needs.
Most importantly go with your gut. If you feel uneasy about someone, don’t go with that person. Pay attention to referrals. Referrals are often a good way to go. If someone you know likes a person’s services and can tell you why, then you will probably like that person’s services too.