1. Choose People You Want To Work With
Saying you should work with people you like is a little corny, but let's face it, you are going to spend some time with the team you choose to do your website. Plus, you will have to share at least some of the big ideas you have for taking your business forward.
So, don't spend that valuable time with people who talk too fast, who don't understand you... or that you just plain old 'don't like'.
Choose people who share your objectives for your new website. It should take about 15min. to figure this out at the beginning of the meeting. You've got to feel something good here, folks.
2. Call the Referrals
OK. You like the people sitting across the table from you and you want to see their work. So, ask for the names of a few clients the design company has worked with recently and give them a call.
You can always see their websites on-line, of course, but what you want is to find out if the vibe you felt about working with this website team is real. The referrals can tell give you the scoop.
Let's say you call 4 referrals and spend 5 min. each with those people. This is a 20 min. investment, max, in the capital you are about to spend. So, don't scrimp on this time.
3. Be Realistic About Your Vehicle
Hey, a Ferrari would look great in your driveway, but why spend $100s of thousands of dollars if all you do is drive to the corner store to get milk everyday?
Get a practical car that looks great and gets the job done and save that excess capital for investment in other aspects of your business.
Having a website that has the functionality of Amazon's site is probably a little bit of overkill for most small to medium sized businesses. Make sure your website can do the things you want it to now and that has the ability to grow as your business does.
No need to start with a race car, unless you are planning to go to Daytona within the first 6 months of launching your new site.
4. Compare Apples to Apples
When you are comparing the quotes you get, make sure the web design companies are offering you the same products and services.
First of all, we need to be clear. Get your quote in writing.... seriously. It will become your reference document and the foundation for the working relationship you have with your design team as you move forward.
When you get that document read it and compare it carefully with the others you have received. Beware, the $500 site you just got offered, may be a little short on something the others are providing.
5. Where's My "After-Care"
Sometimes the guy who did your $500 site is hard to reach after you gave him your dough, or his Mom answers the phone and tells you he "went out west" a couple of days ago.
Maybe you bought a very sensible Honda site but your new website mechanic claims he only has access to Mercedes parts to fix your new ride.
Make sure you get the lowdown on how the relationship will evolve after the website design is done and settled on.
How are updates done? How much will it cost? Can I do some changes myself?
Good questions to ask the team you are considering to do the work for you and of the clients of theirs that you call. Make sure your "after-care" agreement is on going and won't break your bank account.