What do you need your website to do?
The first thing to think about is what you need your website to do. It may seem like that answer is a very simple one: you want to be able to get in touch with clients over a wider area than might be possible with other advertising methods.
But there is often more to it than that.
Do you want to make sure that you can place your inventory online so that customers can purchase items electronically? The website that you will use to do that will be very different than one that is designed to showcase a portfolio.
A website that allows people to purchase electronically will often need items such as a content management system and an online shopping cart that will let you conduct business electronically.
What do you want your Website to look like?
This may seem like something to leave up to the designers but this is also something that you can get involved in very easily. If you have very concrete ideas, bring them to the table when talking to your web design and development team.
If you have seen sites that you like a lot, it can help to have screen shots or links available. Be able to explain why you like them. That way you will be able to start your meetings off on the right foot and it can speed up the design process significantly.
Remember to keep in mind what type of industry you work in. Some traditional industries may want to think about having a more traditional website design whereas a more creative industry can feel free to bend the rules a little. Showing that your company is cutting edge through the use of web design can send a strong message to potential customers and can help you attract potential customers.
If you are able to give a web design company the most information possible about what you are looking for from your website you will often save design time and money and get the website you have always wanted for your business.