Knowing what a web designer needs to start your new website can be confusing:
Or is it?
Well, what if I told you that you can be 100% equipped with the knowledge and info you need for your web designer to start your site tomorrow, with just a few simple tips…
…in fact six simple tips you can implement right now:
Tips which will not only make sure you hit the ground running with any web designer you contact, but will also…
- Save you a lot of time and back and forth
- Demonstrate you know your stuff
- Make sure your designer loves you, and thinks you’re physic ;-)
In todays post, drawing from my years of experience working with many small businesses, I’m going to explain to you exactly what these tips are:
Without further a-do, here are 6 crucial preparations to make before designing your new small business website, that you can start right now…
1. Establish the core goal of your small business website
Ask yourself the question:
What is the single most important thing my website needs to accomplish?
Inbound telephone calls?
Newsletter sign ups?
Or direct e-commerce sales?
Whatever it is, you need to define it, clearly.
Yes, you may want it to provide information and build your brand, but you need to be as specific as possible with your goal if you want to get the most from your website.
And remember, don’t be a sheep. Different businesses have different needs. You’re not Facebook. Forget what others are doing.
Establish the chief purpose of your website, because above all else, your website is a marketing tool, and it should be designed to achieve the specific objective most appropriate for your small business.
2. Define your perfect customer
The most successful businesses know how essential it is to have a clear understanding of their ideal customer.
They invest in analysing their needs, preferences and behaviours so that they’re better able to target, attract and market to them.
Your website and small business should be no different:
It should be designed around a specific individual or customer avatar, rather than a broad, generic demographic. Why? Because acquiring customers is similar to a game darts, if you aim for the bullseye you’re more likely to hit the board and score.
If you haven’t gotten around it, do it now:
Create a clear, distinct description of your perfect customer. It should be a key component of the blueprint you use it to guide every decision that you and your Web Designer make.
3. Decide on a domain name
It’s easy for people to forget a badly named small businesses or brand.
A good domain name will help you avoid that – in fact, it can be one of the most important aspect of your branding strategy. Make sure it’s unique, memorable and cohesive with your business and the image you want it to establish.
You don’t have to buy the domain, any professional web designer can do that for you, or at least help, myself included, but you should decide on a good name and then check if it’s available.
Here’s something else you should make sure you do:
Convey to your Web designer the ”why” behind your chosen domain name…
It will help them to design your new small business website with purpose, unify every element and convey a clear message. It will empower them to design not just a widget, button or a header – but your own unique brand.
4. Write your content
If you want to get the best website design…
..and the most from your website designer:
You must write content FIRST.
Seeing its volume, tone, style and purpose is the best way for your freelance web designer to understand your business, and determine precisely how best to design and layout your information to make your new website as user friendly and effective as possible.
Good design is about solving problems, so empower your web designer to create your website around your content, rather than the other way around, and you’ll achieve a far more effective website.
Compelling copy, thoughtfully structured into a highly user-friendly layout and visually appealing design; leading to a specific command and call to action that drives leads and sales for your small business.
It’s a winning combo your target audience won’t be able to resist.
5. Decide on your contact details
It’s surprising how many small business websites do not display contact details or a call to action clearly.
Imagine how frustrating this is for your customers and how big a loss it can be for your business if your website can’t clearly show proof that you’re a real, accessible business.
Presenting your contact details clearly is the simplest and most effective way to increase your website leads and show you’re legitimate.
It’s not always appropriate for every small business to display every contact method available. Again, it depends on your businesses specific goals. But when your visitor is interested, you must provide them (and your designer!) with a clear next step, and this usually means a clear and obvious method of contact.
…the sooner you provide your web designer with an exact email address, telephone number or whatever it might be, the sooner they can start designing the best solution to present this information clearly across your new website.
Providing your precise contact details upfront will really help your web designer to plan your website in the best way possible, as well as save time for both of you in the long run.
6. Compile your logo and images
Most people are highly visual… we’re drawn to beautiful things:
The images you put on your website will make a instant impact and help to determine how well your message is relayed to your audience.
If you can, it pays to:
Create a killer logo design and gather it along with any other high quality images you would like to use on your website. It will help to give your web designer a better idea of the look and feel that you’re aiming for and allow them get started much quicker:
Most web designers are able to source stock images for you if like, but it’s best to provide your own upfront if you can. It will look much more natural and prevent the development of your beautiful new website from stalling.
Small efforts lead to big improvements
By communicating and setting your Web Designer up with the information and assets they need, you’ll be able to get the most out of them and your new small business website, whilst freeing yourself to focus on the core responsibilities of growing your small business.
With these preparations in place and the right Web Designer on board, you’ll find you’ll have less interruptions and more time on your hands.
You’ll be free to attend to the more profitable (or strategic/important/fun) stuff and…
…you’ll get to enjoy a better life-work balance, which is really the key to being a sharper, smarter and better business owner.
Over to you…
Do you have any tips, questions, or success (or horror) stories about hiring a Web designer or preparing to build a small business website? Let me know in the comments section below!