Business owners are sometimes surprised to find we have lots and lots of questions to ask them before we can get started on creative work.
We certainly want to make things as convenient as possible, but even though we might be experts on web design and Internet marketing, we aren’t experts in their companies.
To give you a sense of why the discovery process matters so much, here are seven things you should never assume your web designer already knows.
#1 What Your Business is All About
If there is anything about your business that wouldn’t be obvious to an outsider, take the time to explain it. Walk your creative team through what it is you do for customers and how you provide value. You might be surprised at how often there are misunderstandings about the basic structure of a company.
#2 Why Customers Buy From You
Your business has unique advantages. It’s important for your web design team to know them so that they can put your best strengths forward. When new customers arrive on your pages, you want them to see all the reasons they should work with you presented front and center.
#3 What You Like (or Hate) About Your Current Website
You may think it’s obvious what the strengths and weaknesses of your current website are, but it’s best to spell things out. That’s because personal taste, the uniqueness of each business, and customer preferences all come into play. You’re the expert in each of those topics.
#4 Which Competitors You Worry About
Your fiercest competitor could be down the street, or half a world away. Let your creative team know who it is you want to stay ahead of, why they are a threat to your business, and what you admire (or despise) about the way they work.
#5 How Your Business Model Works
How do you go about putting money in the cash register? How will your new website fit into that plan? If your web design team doesn’t understand this entirely, then they can’t build an online presence that will help you reach your business goals.
#6 If Your Company is Undergoing Big Changes
If your current website is out of date, explain the reasons why. Be sure to highlight new departments, products, team members, or locations, this is a chance to start fresh.
#7 Where You Want to Take Your Business in the Future
In the same way, if you see your business model or customer base changing substantially, it’s a good idea to mention that to your creative team. That way, they can change your website to reflect those differences and leave room for you to grow.
A good creative team can do a lot for you, but only if they are starting with the right information. So, take the time to walk them through the key points of your business and explain any challenges or concepts that are critical to getting your website right. So you get a great looking design that will help your company move forward.