Consultation; How To Be Sure That It Is Worth It?

A successful web design consultation is the first step to a successful web project. You should be concerned if you receive a price estimate before either party understands what the project really entails.

Rough estimates which might have been true for a past project, might not necessarily work for your project at all. Sharing a quotation without first getting an idea of what your website needs does not equal success.

In truth, any sort of assumptions can spell disaster, wasting both your time and your money.

Schedule a consultation to understand your web project

A few persons are not ready to use a website, even though they’re very willing to own a website. If you’re apprehensive about using websites… planning to build one might be quite the challenge for you.

Tap into your web designer’s process and schedule a session. There might be either a blog guiding you about your consultation, and what to expect or an opportunity to drop questions to help you determine if you’d like to proceed with a consultation.

Preparing for your consultation

We often get that persons expect to be taught about web design at a consultation, and this can be scary for some. To get the most out of your session, you should prepare to talk about your needs for your website:

  • Is this your first or main website?
  • What do you want to be different with this website?
  • What are you expecting from your web designer for your website?
  • What are your business processes?
  • What should your website be able to do?
  • What is the scope of your website build design?
  • What can your budget give you, as a starting point for web design?

Document what you want from your website. This goes beyond “I want it to list products” – really dive into the “I need it to do...” because “my processes look like….

Your web planning document should also include what your motivations are for the project; whether you’re looking to get more leads, add new functionality or just improve how your company presents itself. You should also consider whether you’ll require any additional services to support your business processes.

If you have this document already prepared, don’t hold onto it. Share this document with your web design team as soon as possible (even for a consultation). Ensure it also captures some background information about your company, your goals and brand values.

After your session

You would have taken notes on what was shared. While there will be new things you would learn at your session, do not let these tidbits distract you. These are things which will come up again, when you decide to stick with the company you have found.

Our web design company would ensure to provide you with the following:

  • a recap of the important parts of your consultation
  • a reminder of new terms and what they mean
  • what is expected of you (the website owner)
  • what you need to prepare to support your web project
  • an overview of the Web Design Policy (accessible after a consultation)
  • an honest breakdown of costs
  • an opportunity to revise your budget and scope

Recommended reading: Money trumps in designing, launching and managing a website.

You can share your website design document with us, by replying to your consultation booking email confirmation.

A good practice is to review your consultation report (when received) and the Web Design policy to determine if you are comfortable with the details captured and whether or not any design company accurately suits your needs.

Last tip: Ask questions (during and or after your session)!

If we could use an easy example, a consultation session is like first date after watching for a bit. Following up with questions is a good way to say “can I have a second date”.

A good indication of the need for a second date is how completely your web designer answered the questions you asked during the session. Were answers a quick “yes” or “no”, and did you fully understand the reasons behind either of them?

A question we get often is “Will you rank my website?”. A short and accurate answer is “no”, however we also explain what “ranking on Google” actually means and how that happens. After you’ve understood the “what” behind the answer, you will also understand why our answer is “no”.

We hope that whichever company you find, you feel comfortable asking as many questions as you need to. Take some time reviewing the information you have received and list out your questions in an email.

Emailing your questions gives you structure and peace of mind. It is also a great way to keep each party honest on commitments made before scheduling a project build.

Our most secure method of communication is by email, even if it takes a few threads to be sure we are on the same page.

Drop a comment; it reminds us to share more!

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