Two women collaborating on web design

Inside: a short discussion of 7 indicators that show a business owner is not ready to work with a web designer.

Partnering with a web designer or an agency is exciting. 

It means you’re leveling up, taking the next step, growing your business.

But are you really ready for this kind of partnership?

Let’s look at seven signs of a business owner not ready to work with a web designer.

#1 You think you’re buying a commodity

A lot of people out there think of a website as a commodity. That’s why we often see questions on Facebook groups from people looking for the cheapest web designer. 🙄

These people think websites are totally interchangeable. Kinda like going to Target to buy mascara – if you believe they're all the same, then the least expensive one will do. 

So let me disabuse you of that notion: a well-designed website is not a commodity; it is an integral part of your business success.

If you outsource your website build to someone who knows nothing about optimizing websites for conversion, good luck to you. Let me know when you’re ready to have that website fixed.

Got a really low budget? Your best bet is to find a free or inexpensive theme and set up your website yourself.

Will it be brilliant? Unlikely.

But it will get you started, and you can always upgrade later.

#2 You like to micromanage everything

Oy vey, micromanagers! Does anyone like them? I know I don’t.

When you hire a web designer, it's someone who's spent years honing their skills, eye for detail, and expertise in what works and what doesn't. 

Questioning every little detail of their work is demotivating, and it feels downright dehumanizing. 

If you wouldn’t want it done to you, don’t do it to others.

#3 You don’t have time

Listen, your website project isn’t like placing an Amazon order. You can’t just click a button, pay, and wait for the finished product to show up.

At least, not if you want a website that truly reflects your brand and will help you achieve your business goals.

Your website project will require a considerable amount of time on your end. 

From the first discussion of your business, your ideal clients, and your offers – to conversations with the copywriter – to feedback on each phase of the project – it all takes time. 

Granted, it’s usually only a few hours each week at the most, but it's still a time commitment, and you'll need to hold up your end.

#4 You know it when you see it

You know how sometimes you go to the mall and you’re “just browsing?” You’re not looking for anything specific, but if something catches your eye, you’re open to at least trying it on.

Yeah, it doesn’t work that way in web design.

Here at APHQ studio, the initial discussion includes questions about your competition and their websites, what you like and dislike about them, and what you think they’re doing right or wrong.

  • This gives me a good idea of where we’re going with your website (we’re totally making it better than your competition’s  😄).
  • And it also helps me weed out would-be clients who can’t clearly communicate what they like. 

In every phase of the project, your clear input and specific feedback are essential. 

If you only want to browse beautiful website layouts, there’s Pinterest and Behance.

But when you hire a web designer, be prepared to talk about details… in detail (cheesy pun, hehe).

#5 You have unrealistic expectations

Unrealistic expectations can be the typical champagne taste on a beer budget type. That happens often, and there are ways to get around it – for example, by building your website in several phases over time.

Another type of unrealistic expectations is related to the amount of time it will take to build the website. 

Yes, some designers advertise website-in-a-day type of service. But it comes with limitations (3-5 pages max), all your content has to be ready to go, and the designer is using a template.

I realize that when you’re ready to launch, you want it done yesterday. But good design takes time to develop, especially if you want it tailored to your brand and your business.

#6 You’re the expert

Look, if you already know everything, why are you even hiring a web designer? You could should totally go ahead and create your website all by yourself.

As “the expert,” you’re not exactly like the micromanager in #2, but I'm going to refer you back to that section anyway.

Because the level of annoyance is the same.

When it comes to web design, your designer is the subject matter expert, so respect that and keep your one-upmanship and similar character flaws hidden.

#7 You’re a total newbie

When you’re new to the online space and/or to business in general, you have a steep learning curve ahead. 

You need to study your ideal clients, figure out your offers, learn to network, and accept that 80% of your work will be marketing.

I’m not joking.

As a newbie, you don’t know what you don’t know, and you don’t know what questions to ask. 

You also don’t yet have answers to the usual questions web designers ask about your business, which means we can’t build you an effective website because the foundation isn’t there.

(Want to sneak a peek at the questions on APHQ studio's initial worksheet? Here is the questionnaire that starts off new projects.)

For now, your best bet is to focus on validating your offer and figuring out how to deliver it. Once you have a bit of data, everything else gets easier.

Didn’t recognize yourself in any of the above? 


You might be ready to hire a web designer.

If that’s the case, click the image below to grab my PDF guide that walks you through the essential steps to help make your website project a complete success.

5 steps to a successful website project - click to request download

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