Questions you should answer before you call a designer
Starting a business or running an organization can be hard enough without having to think about the task of creating the dreaded online presence. Reaching out to someone like Kobot is a substantial first step to ticking this off your list, but it’s a great idea to be prepared for that initial conversation.
To make the most of this first contact, we’ve got a few points for you to consider. Most digital experts will undoubtedly ask about these topics when you first contact them, so thinking about these points beforehand will help you find an agency who can do what you need at a budget that suits you.
The next step after that initial meeting or phone call is for us to prepare a proposal and cost estimate for your project. The more information we have, the more accurate our proposal will be.
What is your budget?
Though most people will save questions about budget until the end, this is maybe the most important thing for you to consider, so it’s at the top of our list. Before you reach out to anyone, have a budget in mind and be prepared to share that number. If you are starting a business, this should be part of your business plan!
Being clear with your budget lets us know whether or not we can help you, and gives us a chance to honestly discuss your options. If we can’t provide what you need for the budget you have, we either need to figure out some compromises or places to cut, or we need to refer you to someone who might be able to work within your budget.
Do you already have a website?
You probably already know the answer to this one, but be prepared for some follow up questions. First, how is the current website not meeting your needs? Is the content outdated? Is it an issue of design or is it lacking functionality? Has your business changed and the website no longer represents it? All the questions won’t be as grim as these, though—we also will want to know what’s working on the website!
There are also some technical questions about your old site that will help us understand your project: What sort of content management system (CMS) is the website running on? Do you have access to the server? These questions might be a bit tougher than most and if you do get stuck trying to figuring them out, don’t sweat it; we can help figure that stuff out.
When do you want it?
We will undoubtedly ask what sort of timeline you are thinking about for launch. We often have people come to us with awesome projects BUT they need them in 2 weeks. Depending on your website needs and how busy we are with other projects, a website can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.
Even if you’re not ready now, but you know it’s coming up, start the conversation.
It’s important to start thinking early about when to engage people like us. The sooner you talk to us about your online needs, the sooner we can start discussing how to set something up that works in concert with your goals and starts to build toward something better.
What does the website need to do?
We are going to ask you to dig deeper than simply needing to be online. We truly believe that the role of a website is to support and facilitate your business goals, so be prepared to talk a bit about your business, its history and its objectives.
Think about the functionality needed in the website. Will it be selling products or just providing product information? Do you need to integrate the website with a point-of-sale system or will you need it to manage appointments?
Knowing what the functionality of a website is, or what your business objectives are, gives us the chance to think about what we’re quoting for in a proposal. If you don’t mention something, we cannot address it in the proposal and it’s as if it doesn’t exist. By being aware of all your needs, we can deliver something specifically suited to your needs that will save time and money in the future!
You should come in to the conversation with an idea of who your customer is. Think about both their demographic (age, gender, income level, education, and family composition) and psychographic (personal values and beliefs, their habits and their activities). What are they thinking about? What do you want them to think about when they’re buying your product?
Be familiar with your competition. Who are they and how are you different than them? Why would your customers prefer to work with you than them? Spend some time examining their online offering and try to understand what you like and dislike about it. What do you think they might be doing wrong? But, more importantly, try to identify what they might be doing really well.
When it comes to your business, its goals and its audience, we trust that you are the expert. Our questions transcend the website and are really about how you understand your business and its goals. The more you can outline the business goals and the intended audience, the more we can apply our expertise—making websites. All the detail you give us translates into the detail we can put into the plan and the pricing, so you know where your money is going and feel assured that your websites will meet your needs.
This blog was written in concert with our latest livestream, Ask Kobot Anything. Tune in every Friday 11:30 a.m. MDT on our Instagram for more discussions about building your web presence and much, much more! Have questions about this blog post or a topic you want to see discussed in future posts or episodes? Email us!