You've hired an agency to run your online presence, most notably your website. As a business owner you may ask, now what?
Well, all too often, the 'now what' never really gets thought about past that point. Yes, it's the job of the agency to work through everything and make your life as easy as possible but keeping just a few things in mind can make the entire process move much more quickly and will help you get the most out of your project.
Rachel Panush published 'How To Be A Good Client' awhile back and it's worth revisiting. She's the Senior Project Manager at Executionists and has a few thoughts about the collaborative effort needed.
"When we work with you, we are not just waving a magic wand and at the end of eight to twelve weeks deliver to you this perfect, fully realized new website. On the contrary, our process is highly collaborative and we need our clients to participate at key junctures in order to deliver a final product that meets your objectives and requirements."
And that's a good thing! You don't want to rely on the agency to handle everything when it's your business. You hired an agency to work for you and they should reflect how you see your business. You know the picture you're trying to paint, help the agency paint it rather than hoping they get it right.
Here is the basic outline she urges business owners to follow. I've tweaked it a bit to fit more local and small business types.
Kickoff: This is the client providing the agency with all the tech information they'll need. This is usually hosting/domain info, DNS and all credentials that will be needed throughout the process. Getting this up front can save a lot of time.
Definition: The client telling the agency exactly what they want and expect. The more visual, the better.
Design: This is where the client needs to participate. As the look of your site and brand are being worked on, both parties need to make sure approval is being received. You want to avoid a lot of work being done only to be re-done.
Development: This is the final stage before the site goes live. The client should give the final go-ahead and everything should be tested to ensure that there is a smooth launch.
Training: If the client wishes to edit and update the site on their end, they'll need training on how to do so efficiently. Most of our packages include updates.
Final Review: This is the last chance to add anything, we're going live soon!
Launch: We did it.
It'll also help to assign a team lead or web administrator to keep a continuing relationship with the agency, to ensure that everything is being done how you'd like it to be done.
Following this basic set of steps will ensure a much faster and easier process to getting your website live. If you'd like to schedule a free consultation with us, you may contact us here.