8 Simple Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Design Agency

If you are like many of our clients, hiring a design agency isn’t something you do on a regular basis. In fact, it might be something that you have never done, in which case you probably feel like a fish out of water. Don’t worry; we’re here to help get you swimming. At Rhyme & Reason Design, we’ve come up with eight simple questions to ask before hiring a design agency. By answering them, you’ll have a better idea of what you’re looking for and which agency fits your needs.

Questions to ask yourself before meeting with a design firm:

  1. What is my business objective?
    1.  It’s important to determine your business objective prior to meeting with a design firm. If you don’t know what you want to accomplish with your business or your marketing, neither will the people you hire. Without mutual understanding, you may end up wasting time and money creating materials that don’t effectively meet your needs.
  2. Why am I hiring a design firm?
    1. This might sound like a silly question, but shouldn’t you know why you want to hire a design firm before you hire them? Are you hiring them to design one item, or many? Are you looking to them for consulting and marketing knowledge? Determining what services you want them to provide will help you decide on the best agency.
  3. When it comes to business relationships, what are you looking for?
    1. The culture of one company may not always mesh with the culture of another. What kind of business personality or culture are you comfortable working with? Some businesses are the no-nonsense kind, while others are warm and fuzzy. To enjoy a successful working relationship, you’ll need to determine the type you prefer to work with.
  4. Non-negotiables. Tell me, what are your non-negotiables?
    1. When it comes to hiring a vendor or starting a project, you likely have some ideals that you are unwilling to waiver on. For some it may be location, for others, price. Whatever your non-negotiables are, you should know them before you get started.

Questions to ask the design firm:

  1. What is your process, from starting a project to finishing it?
    1. It’s important to know how a company works. Are they organized? Do they have a plan in place? Do they have check points to make sure you are happy with the project? Do they move too fast, too slow? Knowing what to expect before signing the dotted line can save you some stress down the line.
  2. Can you provide examples of client work and references?
    1. Oftentimes, you can find client work on the company’s website, so it’s a red flag if a design shop doesn’t have any work examples. Also, feel free to ask if they have examples of work in your industry. In regards to references, it’s okay to do your due diligence and ask for names and contact info for previous clients. If they do good work, they will be more than happy to share.
  3. What happens after a project is complete?
    1. It feels great to complete a project, but what happens if you have a question or need help after you’ve paid your final bill? Is this a company that will happily answer your call, or will your communication end after the project?
  4. Who will I be working with?
    1. Knowing your direct contact and the team members that will be assisting with your project can certainly help give you a sense of confidence (or not) in the design firm. Does the designer working on your project have the aesthetic you were looking for? Is the project manager easily accessible and knowledgeable about the process and your objectives?

Hopefully the above questions have helped you in the search for a design firm and better prepared you for a successful project. Interested in knowing how we would answer the questions? Stay tuned for the next blog that talks about our onboarding process.