As a designer working predominantly with small business owners, I meet a lot of people who’ve never worked one-on-one with a designer before, usually because they’ve also never launched their own business before, let alone one with a website attached to it. This can be either a boon or a bane for both parties and if you belong to either one, it’s important that you understand why.
Having started my own business from the ground up, I understand the desire to get things up and running quickly and in the most cost-effective way feasible. Every resource is precious — time, money, energy — and cutting corners will become something of a survival mechanism for a while until you can truly hold your own. So it’s understandable when a budding small business owner expects the same of their designer: they want it cheap and they want it fast.
But… That’s the problem. If that’s what they want, then they don’t really need a designer.
When I meet with a new client for the first time, often either one or both of the questions arise: “How much?” or, “How long?” And, again, while that’s understandable, if those are your primary concerns surrounding your website, then don’t talk to a designer. More than likely, you can get what you need elsewhere, and you can get it cheap and fast.
I liken the design and development of a website to that of a new house. When they ask, “How much?” or, “How long?” then that all depends on how many bedrooms; how many floors; how many windows; location, utilities and materials, etc. There’s no one fixed price or predetermined development phase for every house. However, those are considerations to be made for every house. And, yes, they are important.
But… Do you want a house? Or a home?
If what you really want is a home, then you take into consideration the choice of colour for the walls, trim, carpet and the furnishings; you make sure to devote a space to hang your favourite family pictures; you wonder how it looks when the light from the sun bursts through the blinds and into your living room; you might even take a moment to analyse the particular acoustics that the cubic area of the den lends to your entertainment centre setup.
When you’re thinking of launching a new website for your business, you should put as much thought into it as you would a brick-and-mortar store. Yes, four walls and a working front door are important but what really makes you stand out is the special care, attention and love you put into your physical space. It’s the same for your home. And it’s the same for your website. And for that, you need a designer.
So… Do you want a house? Or a home?