Hiring a Design Firm? Your Must-Do List


A designer can be a huge asset to your business. But how do you choose the right one when hiring a design firm?

1. Look at their portfolio.

If their work excites you and speaks to you, go to the next step. Really look at their work–if they are web designers, go to the websites and explore them, it will tell you a lot. If they don’t have a portfolio, move on.

2. Talk to them.

A good designer should communicate well, and LISTEN to you. Good design comes out of a clear understanding of your needs and what your company stands for. Great design has a dose of intuition that goes beyond verbal communication, and comes out of connecting with you.

3. Discuss marketing.

A good designer should have a strong working knowledge of how to get a product to market. If your project is a website, ask if their development is SEO compliant, discuss blogging, social media, print work and other ways to get the word out. There are many ways to market today, and having a pro to guide you will be of great value.

4. No nepotism.

Do not hire your nephew just because he graduated from design school. Often, personal relationships get in the way of business and interfere with the professional process. Hire a full time design firm that will be there when you call, and be there tomorrow too. See point 1.

5. Ask their clients.

Your designer should provide references. Call them and see how they work, communicate and service them.

6. See if you fit.

You are getting involved in a very close relationship. Make sure you feel good about the person you will be working with, and relate well with them. A good relationship with your designer should last for years, and you can grow your business best with one who knows you well.

“Good design is good business.”

Tom Watson, Chairman of IBM

7. Trust them.

Trust is the #1 factor in a working relationship. Your designer will often have a different opinion than you, or your wife, or your best friend. They have the experience, the eye, and are problem solvers at heart. Trust the designer you hire, and let them do their job.

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