How to Choose a Design Agency for your Small Business
In the digital age, we’re presented with so many different options and avenues to take when it comes to presenting ourselves online. The same goes for our business. A website is the staple of your company’s online presence and It’s paramount that your business gets its message across to the public in a clear and interesting way on your company’s website.
Often, this goal is accomplished with the help of a design agency.
When it comes time for you to choose a design agency to work with, the decision might seem large and a bit daunting. Don’t fret – there are myriad ways to make the process of choosing the right agency for your business a smooth and painless journey.
Your Business‘ Goals Matter
First, it’s vital to take a good, hard look at what you’d like your website and Internet presence to achieve. Carefully consider your aim, goals and the ways in which you plan to measure your success. A smart way to get started in this process is to jot down a basic outline that expands upon the aforementioned steps.
Businesses can have varied goals when setting up their website. They might be focusing on e-commerce and ROI, or alternatively, building brand awareness and a stronger persona for their brand. Your goals affect the way in which you structure your website and what information it includes.
Content is key – while it’s easy to dwell on the aesthetic appearance and functionality of your website, try not to get too caught up in these aspects of the site. The most important factor (that is often overlooked) is your content. After identifying your business‘ goals, use them in order to generate quality content that is interesting and relevant for your target audience.
While it’s not always fun to talk about, determining and standing firm in a set budget is key for helping you make a wise decision about an agency that you’re willing (and happy) to work with.
Ask yourself the right questions: What have you spent in the last year on your marketing and advertising? The past five years? How have those efforts yielded a satisfying return on your investment?
While it’s crucial to do the necessary research to pinpoint the exact amounts of money your company is able to spend, it’s also important to pay attention to design agencies‘ track records and tangible results. If an agency can provide you with a website or service that brings ROI, cost isn’t always a deal breaker.
Get the Scoop on the Company
It’s a good idea to request client references and testimonials. Agencies should be showing you a handful of case studies or examples of how they‘ve approached a problem and provided a solution. Have a thorough look through their page — are they updating their site regularly? Who have they worked for in the past? A good web agency should be able to provide you with a web strategy that’s easy to digest. A good strategy is capable of giving your business a strong sense of authority, relevance and trust.
Prior to visiting a design agency, it’s a good idea to form a sense of the design you have in mind as a starting point. However, keep in mind that the best design for the job may not always correspond with your personal taste. While you have to be comfortable with the work produced, don’t forget about the initial goals you set out in the first place.
Make Your Move
Once you’ve narrowed down the list to a large handful of agencies, it’s time to make initial contact with each of the candidates you’ve chosen. Take note that while there are multiple ways in which agencies can respond, some types of responses are more valuable than others.
- Negative responses: If you receive no response at all, scratch that agency off of your list. You might receive a polite decline to your offer – this could mean that an agency is not interested in your particular project or is simply too stacked with work.
- Positive responses: An email in response to your offer means that you’ve caught the attention of an agency. However, a phone call is the optimal response – this means that they’re genuinely interested and would like to connect on a personal level.
Following your initial interaction with the most promising agencies, pay attention to the way they “court“ you, so to speak. Are they good listeners? Do they ask you the right questions? Are they timely in getting back to you? Are they reliable in following up on appointments that you’ve set up?
Sometimes, there will be a natural chemistry. Other times, it will feel like two people set up on a blind date who realize they have nothing in common.
Any good agency will maintain a healthy relationship with you. Over time, you should come to think of your design agency as a business partner instead of someone you run to only when you need something done quickly.
You and your design agency have the ability to grow together and learn from each other – use this relationship to your advantage in order to get the most out of future projects!
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and absolutely reflect the official policy and position of Growth Labs.