Between your website design agency, graphic designer, and others, small business owners must be able to collaborate.

Starting a small business can be a very satisfying undertaking but also a very challenging one. There are many important steps to consider and take care of before officially opening your doors for business. Many people open their own business because they’re tired of working for someone else and no longer want to be stuck with a team of coworkers who drive them crazy. The thing you have to be prepared for as a small business owner is that, while you might not have a boss and you might control who you allow on your team of employees, some collaboration is still necessary, and unless you want to end up in the same rut you were in before, you must choose your partners and collaborators carefully. This means hiring an accountant, website design agency, graphic artist, merchandise supplier, or other potential collaborator (depending on the nature of your business) that you really click with and that understands your vision.

Customers are intuitive people. They know when some part of your business isn’t quite meshing. Some of the most important collaborators you work with will be those that deal with any aspect of marketing, such as your website design agency. Customers are going to notice if your website doesn’t really feel natural or if it doesn’t quite seem to fit with other parts of your branding.  When looking for a website design agency, don’t just go with the first one you find. Search until you find the right one, because your website will be one of the biggest and most potent tools for marketing. You absolutely must find an agency that understands your vision and can create a site that really represents who you are as a company.

Another thing to consider is that your collaborators have to be capable of collaborating with each other as well. Think about it: if you hire a graphic design company to design your logo and stationery, and a website design agency to design your website, they’re going to have to consult with each other in order for you to achieve a cohesive look. Alternatively, you’ll have to let one go first, so for example let the graphic designer work on your logo, and then bring it to the website design agency so they can develop a site that matches the aesthetic of the logo and other visual branding pieces. The two companies will have to share an understanding of your vision, and will have to play nice together! So make sure they are both up for some collaboration. Anyone with a good sense of professionalism is sure to be, but it’s still your responsibility to make sure everyone’s on the same page before you get too far.

So as much as owning your own business might be freeing you from working with people you can’t stand, you still have to be able to work well with others. Your website design agency, graphics designer, accountant and other collaborators will help you to shape and sell your business, so it’s important you find the right ones.