Once you’ve decided to launch a new business venture, there are various tasks to undertake. Everything from business type to structure to start-up capital is a task to be completed on the to-do list. However, one of the most important initial steps is the creation of a website. In the modern professional climate, a website is not only the best way for potential customers to find you but also the easiest way to tell people who you are and what you offer.
While there are numerous do-it-yourself options for website creation, nothing comes close to the quality you get from professional web design. While hiring a professional designer is an investment of time and capital, it is well worth the effort. The final product is not only one that will represent your business well, but also one that will get you results. Here is what you need to know about investing in professional web design:
- You get what you pay for: Small businesses have small budgets; this is a fact of life for a new venture. However, there are some aspects of the start-up process that necessitate a bit more investment. Professional website design is such an area. It’s one thing to find a budget-friendly company with which to work; quite another to pay a high school buddy $50 to do your website. The latter is probably going to be characterized by lots of broken links, poorly-written content and a design straight out of the days of dial-up. The mantra “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” applies here. Any company or individual charging significantly less than the average is probably doing so for a reason. Don’t compromise on quality for one of the most significant pieces of your marketing plan.
- It’s okay to have a voice: While the designer is the professional, you should still have a say in the outcome of your website. You might not be the expert, but no one can tell your story better than you. Communicate what you want your site to say and how you want to represent your brand in your initial consultation. It’s fine to ask for some ideas or examples, but also give honest input on the direction. Working together ensures the best outcome.
- Don’t forget about maintenance: One of the biggest mistakes that small business owners make is forgetting about site maintenance once the initial project is up and running. Your website will require updates as you grow and evolve. There are also some operational aspects of your site that will require maintenance on schedule. Work with your designer to determine appropriate intervals for these updates to ensure that your website runs smoothly.
- Speed is still a factor: A professional website design should be aesthetically pleasing, but it should also run as efficiently as possible. Website visitors are fickle and a site that takes too long to load is more likely to be bypassed.
- You only get one chance at a first impression: If your home page is not appealing or engaging, visitors won’t dive into the rest of the site. Expend the most effort on the home page to ensure that it not only grabs the visitor’s attention but also quickly and effectively explains what your business is all about and why your products or services outshine that of the competition.
- Give your designer time: If you’ve put off website design until the day before your business is set to open, it’s not realistic to create a quality website without careful planning and execution. Give your designer plenty of time to put together a website that is reflective of your company’s mission, but also creatively designed and well-written.