1. Set aside time for the website design project.
This means that if you have a big event, a product launch, or just a heavy workload, you may need to evaluate your internal capacity for taking on a new website during that time. While your design agency will do much of the heavy lifting, design—when it’s strategic and done right—is a co-creative, collaborative process.
One of the things many business owners struggle with is prioritizing their own businesses. We have a bad habit of bumping our own priorities for our clients’ businesses. However, the reality is that we can serve our clients better and more effectively when we are supported ourselves.
Make your time for your website (and future marketing efforts) non-negotiable on your calendar. Future You will thank you.
Pro tip: If you have a boss or team that may distract you from this work, spend some time documenting the value the website project will bring to your organization and remind them of this when they try to pull you away from this important work. Write out a script if you find yourself continually pulled in different directions.
2. Ask questions throughout the website design project!
Confused about anything? Uncertain about next steps? Ask! You’re not going to offend anyone or look silly.
While I don’t speak for all designers, I feel confident in saying that the vast majority of us would rather answer dozens of questions than have a client be confused or frustrated. One of my favorite tricks is encouraging folks to use Loom so we can see what they’re seeing. Record a short video with your questions and you’ll be shocked how this streamlines communication and makes sure you’re getting your questions answered.
Pro tip: The best questions you can ask are, “What are the next steps?” “What do you need from me?”
3. Let your design agency know in advance if there are team members who need to be involved in the process.
The number of parties making decisions has a big impact on workflow, budget and timing. If you aren’t able to designate a single decision maker to coordinate your project, let the studios you’re speaking to know that prior to signing a contract or paying a retainer.
This may also mean that you’ll need to do some internal work (ask your designer for resources on this) to get buy in from your team on the process and scope of your project.
Pro tip: If you have a committee or group that needs approval, build that into your schedule and give committee deadlines. They haven’t prioritized this work like you have so they may push it to the side and put you in a bad spot.