What questions do you ask a business owner before you design and build their site?

14 replies
  • WEB DESIGN
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As an offline marketing consultant I speak with a lot of business owners who are confused about what they should put on their soon-to-be-built website. Do you have a simple process or series of questions that would help me to guide them through their confusion and extract the information and content that I need to outsource the designing and building of their site?
#build #business #design #owner #questions #site
  • Profile picture of the author John Pawlett
    Hi Chris

    I have a link in my sig file that will give you a start, its a pdf that contains the stuff you should be telling business owners to do to save them time and money, which you can also use to come across as the 'expert'.

    You have just given me some great inspiration for the next article in the series.

    Kind regards

    John
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    • Profile picture of the author Chris Whitrod
      Originally Posted by John Pawlett View Post

      Hi Chris

      I have a link in my sig file that will give you a start, its a pdf that contains the stuff you should be telling business owners to do to save them time and money, which you can also use to come across as the 'expert'.

      You have just given me some great inspiration for the next article in the series.

      Kind regards

      John
      Thank you John,

      I have read and re-read both of your reports. And without sounding like I'm blowing wind... your a very smart guy, and very generous to have produced these reports for free.
      For others entering the offline niche, take 5 and devour the report titled "Take A Step Back Before You Set Up A Website".
      I got excited about the software you suggested in your report. Looks like it will save me heaps of Key Word Research Hours.
      Bit of a no-brainer to subscribe to your blog, I'll be looking out for the next installments.
      Thanks again for your tips.
      Regards
      Chris Whitrod
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  • Profile picture of the author n7 Studios
    Chris,

    There are some fundamentals that you can ask - but to be honest, it depends on their business and their aims of the web site. Some may just wish to display information about the business, whilst others want to sell a product, or build up an opt-in list of prospects.

    Each aim has its own solution. What I usually do is establish the aims of the business, understand the business background, produce a short proposal breaking down the exact steps required by all parties, along with further suggestions to further enhance their business objectives.

    Tim.
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    • Profile picture of the author Chris Whitrod
      Originally Posted by n7 Studios View Post

      Chris,

      There are some fundamentals that you can ask - but to be honest, it depends on their business and their aims of the web site. Some may just wish to display information about the business, whilst others want to sell a product, or build up an opt-in list of prospects.

      Each aim has its own solution. What I usually do is establish the aims of the business, understand the business background, produce a short proposal breaking down the exact steps required by all parties, along with further suggestions to further enhance their business objectives.

      Tim.
      Thanks Tim,
      You have readjusted my thinking. A website is a tool albeit powerful tool for achieving a business objective. And generally for my clients that is attracting new prospects and converting them to customers. Nevertheless I need to go through a process to help them to identify what it is that they really want from their website.
      Cheers mate,
      Chris
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  • Profile picture of the author wayfarer
    I just try to understand their goals, and see if I can correct their vision for things, when it needs to be corrected. I try to be as open as possible, and invite them to ask any questions or address any worries they may have about their business or being established online. I try to tell them as much as I can, from my experience, what it is like to have a website, and will usually walk them through the steps of what it takes to build one. As addressed above, it really depends a lot on the individual, their experience, and the nature of their business.
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  • Profile picture of the author banzaibert
    It's all about the business, the company's vision and the client's taste. And you start working from those information. Have it critiqued and do revisions.
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    • Profile picture of the author webpagesrus
      I think the most important question you should ask is, what do they want the site to accomplish? What is their expectation of having a new Website, is it to begin selling merchandise online, advertising, interact with customers, or just to reach out and help people locate them?
      Having that information can help you assure that you are designing a site to suit their needs.....
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      • Profile picture of the author Chris Whitrod
        Honestly....I did a little happy dance when I saw these replys. Experts at my finger tips - man I love this place!

        Wayfarer- Cheers mate. It sounds like your clients have had the same fears and confusion about websites. Your step by step process of walking them through everything requires some of the patients that I need to exert more of, instead of racing ahead and selling my diagnosis. Much more consultative ... I like it. Thanks

        Originally Posted by wayfarer View Post

        I just try to understand their goals, and see if I can correct their vision for things, when it needs to be corrected. I try to be as open as possible, and invite them to ask any questions or address any worries they may have about their business or being established online. I try to tell them as much as I can, from my experience, what it is like to have a website, and will usually walk them through the steps of what it takes to build one. As addressed above, it really depends a lot on the individual, their experience, and the nature of their business.
        Thanks banzaibert, a pretty strong consensus building up! Cheers
        Originally Posted by banzaibert View Post

        It's all about the business, the company's vision and the client's taste. And you start working from those information. Have it critiqued and do revisions.
        And at the end of the day, providing a valuable service that the customer wants, is easier than attempting to 'sell' him a service that he actually needs. And it sounds like Webpagesrus is nipping that one in the butt straight away. Great advice.

        Originally Posted by webpagesrus View Post

        I think the most important question you should ask is, what do they want the site to accomplish? What is their expectation of having a new Website, is it to begin selling merchandise online, advertising, interact with customers, or just to reach out and help people locate them?
        Having that information can help you assure that you are designing a site to suit their needs.....
        Thanks everyone for your input.
        Cheers
        Chris
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  • Profile picture of the author BrainDance
    Hi Chris
    I don't know if this was covered, but how I evaluate a site need, in no order at all:

    • What is the purpose of the site, information only,information gathering,selling something? Depending on that answer brings on another whole set of questions of course
    • How Many products
    • Who are you trying to reach
    • What do you expect this site to do for you
    • I ask to see some sites that they realllly like to get an idea of the style they prefer
    • I ask for their budget, then compare what they want to what is possible based on the finances.
    • Do they want to expand the website in the future, if so how
    • Will they need to update the site themselves, do they have a domain name yet, website hosting,the basics
    • When is your target launch date
    • How many people are involved in the project ( i work with churches often and they sometimes have committee of 10 ) I then ask for 2 people max that I need to report to

      the options can be endless, but start with the basics and build from there depending on the type of site and the client needs.
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    • Profile picture of the author webpagesrus
      Originally Posted by BrainDance View Post

      [*]How many people are involved in the project ( i work with churches often and they sometimes have committee of 10 ) I then ask for 2 people max that I need to report to
      Even reporting to two people can be a challenge, I've never designed one for a committee or group yet, that would create a whole new list of problems....Those were good points...
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      • Profile picture of the author d3sign3r
        Originally Posted by webpagesrus View Post

        Even reporting to two people can be a challenge, I've never designed one for a committee or group yet, that would create a whole new list of problems....Those were good points...
        I once worked for a poker site, and it had 3 business partners but mann they were so picky and so different to each other, talking about their approach and vision.

        Too many cooks spoil the dinner.
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    • Profile picture of the author Chris Whitrod
      BrianDance ....spot on, thank you. And the last point about committees, priceless!!

      Originally Posted by BrainDance View Post

      Hi Chris
      • How many people are involved in the project ( i work with churches often and they sometimes have committee of 10 ) I then ask for 2 people max that I need to report to
      All the best to you
      Chris
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  • Profile picture of the author bryanregencia.com
    This thread is very helpful. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Cheers!
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  • Profile picture of the author shadowwalker
    We have a questionnaire we give to clients. It really varies based on what there needs and goals are.
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