If you buy a pair of underwear without checking they fit properly, you’re going to have a bad time. Hiring a design agency is not so dissimilar.
Hiring a design agency is no small decision and something that requires careful consideration – particularly if you want the best possible results. If you rush into a partnership and end up with poor design work, you will have to start the entire process all over again, which is bad for business.
So, what do you need to consider before making your final decision? In this article, we’re going to take you through 10 questions to ask when hiring a design agency.
Is the design agency the right fit for you and your needs?
If you buy a pair of underwear without checking they fit properly, you’re going to have a bad time. Hiring a design agency is not so dissimilar in that regard.
Since you are going to spend a lot of time collaborating and communicating with your chosen design agency, it is critical that you find one that fits you and your requirements.
Think about the following criteria:
- Workplace culture
- Services offered
For a full breakdown of how good culture fosters innovation check out our recent blog on why you need to pick an agency with good culture.
Does the design agency provide everything you’re looking for?
It’s important to understand that you might not find absolutely everything that you are looking for in one particular agency. This is why it is important to take your time when making this decision as you will need to select a partner who can take on as much of your design requirements as possible. Best case scenario, you find the perfect agency with a wide range of skills that meet your needs. Otherwise, you may have to select two or three different agencies which specialise in certain disciplines.
We’ve got 5 reasons to hire a content marketer if you need more information on that end.
Can the design agency solve your unique problems?
You are looking for a new creative design agency because you need expert problem solving. As such, when you are contemplating various prospective partners, pay close attention to how they propose to solve your problems.
Look at what strategies they propose to adopt and how they will solve your problems. You want to source details which will give you a unique opportunity to gain more insight and better position you to make the right decision.
Who have they worked with previously?
You must always look into a creative design agency’s body of work before you go ahead and make a final decision. Who have they worked with before? What kind of results have they provided for different clients across different industries?
Never be afraid to ask for testimonials and references, and check out their industry portfolio, case studies and great examples of work.
Do they have any experience in your particular industry?
It is always a major bonus if you can find a design agency who has experience in your particular industry. In that case, they will be far better equipped to help you solve your problems, being up to date with industry trends and your competitors.
Then again, don’t overvalue industry experience. Any quality design agency worth their salt should be able to take on any project and bring excellent value.
Have they worked with any of your competitors before?
What you don’t want is to work with a partner who is already working toward increasing sales for one of your direct competitors. In order to avoid this scenario entirely, ask your prospective design agency if they have worked with any of your competitors before.
What is their design process like?
To some digging and ask your prospective design agency what their process is like from start to finish? You should ask questions like:
- How do they handle the on-boarding process?
- How does billing work?
- What is their policy on revisions?
- How quickly can they turn around urgent work (and to what standard)?
- How do they handle usage and copyrights, etc.?
- Do they use NDA’s
- And what is the off-boarding process like?
You should also try and find out more about how they take care of data security and privacy. Now more than ever it is critical to be working with an agency who you can put your faith in entirely to secure your interests.
What is their company vision (and does it align with yours)?
When you are looking for creative support from a design agency, look for a company which shares similar values with you. Where do you see your business in 5 years? You want to work alongside an agency with an equal amount of optimism and vision.
The best creative design agencies understand that their success is often mutually tied to that of their clients. If both parties dream big, then you can share in your mutual success and create spectacular things together.
In short, find a design agency that is excited about what they do!
How do they measure their success?
This is one of the most critical factors to consider: how does your prospective design agency measure their success? If they simply want to finish the design project, chalk it up on the board as a win, and then move on to the next client, approach with caution.
The best design agencies will happily:
- Work alongside you to ensure that both your business strategy and brand vision are driving the creative process.
- Regularly share quantitative and qualitative results – adjusting your strategies as necessary.
- Show genuine interest in your business, service and/or products.
- Request follow-up feedback on creative services to better serve clients.
- Absorb risk in order to meet desired goals.
Be thorough in your vetting process. Your brand is your baby and you wouldn’t want to invite any old stranger into your home to babysit when you go out to dinner. With some careful consideration and a little trusting your gut, you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding the perfect design agency to bring your brand to life and drive your business forward!
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