If you’re in the process of gathering quotes and comparing different designers & agencies in an effort to decide who’s the right choice for you, you may come across the following five common concerns and feelings. In this post, I dissolve those concerns from the methods we at New Breed implement to ensure a happy client and a 110% successful project, start to finish.

1. If I don’t know what it will look like before I decide to hire you, how do I know I’ll like your work?

I’m asked this by wary prospects all the time. Here’s the reality of working with a *custom* web designer: you must choose them for their professionalism and personal style represented in their portfolio of work. I will get to know you and your personal style so that I am truly designing for you. We always go through a brand exploration exercise to allow me to understand your brand’s vision and personal style. This lays the groundwork for the design to come. There is a certain degree of trust needed from you, the client, that I as the designer can and will capture your brand’s essence in the final product. As a safety net, you always have the option to make changes to the design as you see fit.

Further on custom design: not all items in a designer’s portfolio are going to look the same — and they shouldn’t — because there was a different person, business or organization with a different brand and set of values behind them. But, you can gather from a designer’s collective work whether or not they have the ability and the skill to achieve what you’re looking for.

2. I love your work! I want to hire you as my designer, but I can’t afford you.

Let’s be honest with ourselves — whether it’s a new car, your home, your kid’s hockey equipment, that special treat — if you really want it, there’s always a way to get it. But before you start flinging credit cards, make sure you understand the quote you received. Ask your designer for a thorough breakdown of the work and the costs associated with each major task. They should have provided you with a comprehensive quote for your project — New Breed quotes on every aspect of the contract so you fully understand what you’re paying for. Understanding why the work costs what it does will make you feel a hell of a lot more comfortable with handing over your hard-earned money. If they’re really good, it’ll be worth it. #yougetwhatyoupayfor

3. How can I trust someone in the virtual realm with my money? What if they disappear and I never see the work or them ever again?!

Many of my clients had come to me after this exact unfortunate crookery happened to them. It’s incredibly easy to be scammed online (hey, it happened to me in first year college, trying to buy a used laptop on Kijiji) and there are some very creative people out there who make their living running online scams. But you can prevent this from happening; quite easily, actually.

First: take recommendations from people you know and trust of designers they’ve worked with and had great success with. Going off someone’s recommendation is a solid lead to a real person, with real past experience and a good reputation.

Second: Do a little sleuthing to learn more about the professional. Do they have a legit-looking website? Do they feature client testimonials from real people (names & faces)?

Third: Trust your gut. I’ve ignored some very obvious red flags that ended up leading to me being scammed — poor spelling or grammar on the website or in the emails of someone who’s supposed to be a professional is a good example. If they are quick to respond to your request for a quote by email but hesitant to appear on live webcam— there’s likely a reason. I video chat with every single one of my new clients before we start working together to ensure we begin an open and trusting relationship. My clients all know my office’s physical location and can reach me in a number of ways: email, Facebook and Skype. I will absolutely meet with a local client if it’s feasible, and I will video chat with my international clients.

4. How will I know I can edit and/or update my website once our contract is over?

Embedded within every single website contract New Breed signs is an appropriate amount of time for Tina, our lovely Accounts Manager, to train you on editing and maintaining every aspect of your new website. We will scour every inch of that backend, live, either in-person or via live video chat. If there’s something you know you’ll be logging in to do on the regular, ask us how to do it, and we’ll show you how. We leave no virtual stone unturned, and before our training is through, we make sure you feel 100% at home with your new website.

**Additional to your embedded one-on-one training, we offer affordable post-launch support services on a monthly maintenance schedule. In short, we’re not going anywhere.

5. What if I have issues with my website after we launch? Will you fix things after we go live?

This is the only aspect of website design that I can safely relate to the vehicle industry. When you buy a new car, you expect to be able to drive it off the lot and safely take it home without it breaking down on the side of the road. But if left too long without regular maintenance, your car will start to experience issues, and the performance will drop. It’s safe to have this same mentality around your website. As soon as we launch, it’s all shiny & new, and it’s going to perform perfectly as long as you keep-up the maintenance.

Here’s another auto metaphor: Your custom-built website is like investing in a high-end sports car. It requires premium fuel and parts. Know that when you invest significant funds into building your custom website, it will require time or money be put into it regularly. Just like premium gasoline, you cannot upload just anything to your new website — images and video have to be optimized for web and as small as possible in file size so that you don’t weigh down your site with heavy files. This will allow your site to continue running fast & smoothly.

New Breed Design extensively tests all of our websites before launching, therefore we take full responsibility for something not functioning right for a specified period following launch, but it’s ultimately up to you or your web maintenance team to take care of and maintain your site post-launch.

New Breed offers monthly Website Maintenance for those of you who don’t have the time nor expertise to run regular maintenance on your website.

Hopefully this helps diffuse your concerns while looking for a professional designer, and if you have any specific questions about our products or processes, do not hesitate to ask our knowledgeable Accounts Manager, Tina: tina@newbreed.design