So, you’ve decided to go ahead and hire a web designer to create a new website for your small business.

Good decision!

Even better if you are considering giving me a call at Plan B Marketing to do it for you.

A website is one of the most valuable tools you have in your toolbox to market your business.

If you are still not convinced of the need for a website for your business, have a read of my post Get new customers 24/7 with an always-open business website.

The majority of people will check out your website before deciding to buy from you, so it’s important it gives a good impression.

It needs to answer all their questions, build trust, show them what you can do, how you are going to do it and make it easy for them to take the next step in the buying journey.

A good website designer will be able to guide you through the design process to ensure you get the best possible website for your business.

But there are certain things you can and should do to make the process flow as smoothly as possible.

Here’s Plan B’s top ten things you should prepare for your website designer:

1. A list of pages

This does not have to be set in stone, but if you can you should create a list of possible pages, such as services, contact us, photo gallery.

It’s a good starting point to give your website designer as it will give them an idea of what kind of site will best meet your needs. This will include how big and complicated or simple it will be, and hence how much it will cost.

2. Other sites you like

If you can provide your website designer with a few examples of other websites you like and why, it will give them a better idea of what you are looking for.

Is there a site whose design you like, the colours it uses, the fonts, layout etc. These don’t have to be within your industry. You don’t want your website to be an exact replica of another, so these are just to give your designer an idea of what you like.

If you find a site with features you like, let your designer know rather than expect them to intuitively know. Bear in mind your budget might limit what can and can’t be done.

3. Look at the competition

Have a look at the websites of your competitors with an eye to what they do well and what they do badly. Learn from it.

Talk to your website designer about incorporating the good stuff into your new website and avoid repeating their mistakes.

4. Special features

Think about what you want to be able to do with your website.

Do you need your website to automatically send emails to people who submit a form? Does it need an ecommerce element? A calendar? A booking module?

These types of things are likely to influence the overall cost of your site so it’s important to have a clear idea of what you need so your designer can give you a realistic quote for the work.

5. Budget

It’s really important to have a clear idea of your budget for your website. Be upfront with your website designer so they can help you understand what is possible and realistic before you start.

Bear in mind that if you add additional pages or other extras to your website during the build, the cost is likely to go up.

Talk to your website designer about how any change to the scope of the project will be priced.

6. Timeframe

Is there a deadline when you need your website ready for or do you want it just as soon as possible?

I usually set a timeframe of four weeks for a straightforward website and two months for a more complicated one, but I will always try my best to accommodate you if you need it quicker than that.

8. Content

This is a biggie! You need to be able to provide the content, ie the words and pictures, you want to include on your website.

By doing this ahead of time, you will really help your website designer as it will really clarify what your business and your website is all about and what you are trying to achieve.

One very important point is that this content needs to be original. DO NOT copy and paste text from another website and do not download images from Google to use on your website.

There are sites which provide free images (Pexels and Pixabay spring to mind), but there is really no substitute for images from your business. Get busy with your camera to get a good selection of images of your workplace and people.

If you can’t write, pay someone to do it for you. Plan B offers a content and copywriting service.

7. Branding

Does your business already have branding, such as a logo, that you use on existing materials?

If so, you will want your website designer to build your website around these. Ensure you can provide them with a hi-res copy of your logo and any information they need to make sure colours and fonts are in-line.

If you are starting from scratch, Plan B can also help with logo design and branding.

9. Website goals

It’s a good idea to have a clear purpose for your website in mind from the outset. Think of it like taking on a new employee – you wouldn’t take someone on without giving them a specific job to do.

Make sure you know what job you want your website to do, ie sell more products, and then you know how to answer the final point…

10. Calls to action

This follows on from your website goals.

If you want people to sign up to a mailing list your website needs to have calls to action encouraging them to do so. Likewise, if you want them to email you or call you or visit your bricks and mortar store.

Visitors to your site need to be able to look around and then be taken by the hand and led on the journey to buying from you.

Don’t make them work hard to take that next step.

If you follow these ten points when working with a designer, you will be in a strong position to achieve your desired outcome – a website that works as hard as you do to help your business thrive and grow.

If you are ready to take the next step, contact Tracey Sweetland at Plan B Marketing to discuss your website design requirements. Prices start from just £500.

You can email me on connect@traceysweetland.co.uk or call 07595 036454.

Take the next step...

If you are ready to talk to me about creating a new website for your business, get in touch today. Prices start from just £500.