Hiring a web design agency can be a process fraught with risk and no little tension. Here’s how it normally goes: a company has decided internally that they need a new website. The reasons vary but might include ‘we need to better show off a new product offering’, ‘it just looks out of date’, ‘we are out of step with our competition’, ‘it no longer best represents who we are or what we do’. All of which are good, valid reasons to start the process.

In some cases, the client will already be working with an agency and have a good, long-standing relationship with them. Perfect. But often as not, companies take this opportunity to get some fresh input – a new take on their offering. A new set of eyes can really help with a brand refresh – and at the very least, it’s a good time to check that you’re getting value for money from your existing partner.

Hiring a web design agency

The problem with engaging a web design agency at this point is that the risk is all on you. Whatever your budget – be it £5000 or £50,000 – you’re looking to spend it with a new partner with whom you don’t have a relationship. You’re going to have to trust in your own hiring process (how many agencies have you hired in the past?) and trust in the ability of a new agency to understand your company and your company culture. And you’re doing that at a point of maximum vulnerability: you need a change and you need to pay for it.

Doing so puts an awful lot of pressure on this project. On both sides. The new agency will be super eager to impress, maybe over-promising on deadlines, deliverables, and cost – keen to secure a lucrative new contract. You are acutely aware of the pressure on you to get this right – your new website needs to work well, better than the last one, and needs to bring in new business like never before. Talk about pressure.

How about … hiring a web design agency at the point of minimum risk?

Instead of that, why not hire a web design agency when the risk is much lower? Identify a small project, a smaller piece of your overall web design strategy, and hire then. Maybe you need some maintenance work done. Perhaps you feel the need for a security review or a regular maintenance plan to be put in place. Or what about a specific landing page for an upcoming promotion? These are all great opportunities to engage with a new web design agency.

You minimise your exposure to risk by engaging with a small project, you get to onboard a new agency by saying ‘we’re looking for a new agency partner, and want to use this process to develop a new relationship’, and get a feel for how you work together. A chance to build personal relationships, understand communication preferences, and to embed them into your company and culture.

And all you have to lose is the cost of a small, isolated project. What you gain though is huge: the confidence that when you do need to spend big on a web design project, you already have a trusted agency in place.