Based on our learnings, we have five tips to help you have the most successful website kick-off meeting.
First a quick primer: What is a kick-off meeting?A kick-off meeting is the first meeting of the entire project team. With representatives from the client and the website development group, this meeting confirms the project goals and objectives while also laying down some key foundation pieces for building the project. This initial meeting is a chance for everyone to get a feel for each other, ensuring everyone is on the same page for how the project will run and what process will be followed. A well-run kick-off meeting helps the entire team focus and start the project in sync. Learn more about this important step in starting a successful website project.
How do you get the most from your website kick-off meeting?
We’ve been running project starter meetings for years and have noticed a distinct difference in the clients that have done their homework and the ones who are handling things with a more off-the-cuff approach. Both approaches can work though one tends to result in a more efficient project. Want to maximize this planning time with your website team? Do your homework: Follow these five tips to set up a successful website kick-off meeting:
1. Know your goals.This may seem elementary but it’s a point worth noting. Too often we see a company that hasn’t thought through what the website should do for them. Your team leader has likely reviewed website goals with your website agency as part of the sales process. This meeting is a chance to get your entire team on board and make sure no goals slip through the cracks. Your website is one of your most powerful marketing tools. It can support other traditional or digital marketing efforts, generate sales leads, establish brand awareness, and more.
Point to ponder: How can your website help grow your business?
2. Do some brainstorming before you arrive.Ask the people that will be responsible for guiding and approving the website project what they like or dislike about your current site. Ask them to tell you some of their favorite site designs and why – both competitors’ sites and sites that may not be related to your industry. Talk to the group about what functionality they want to see on the site and confirm that the scope you established in your sales meetings accurately covers your needs for website development. Taking this time to organize your project internally will go a long way towards guiding the design direction of your new website and help get some buy-in from important people in your own organization.
Point to ponder: What elements MUST be included on your new home page?
3. Bring the right people.When scheduling the kick-off meeting, take a few minutes to consider who should attend. If one of your goals is to increase lead generation, maybe a representative from sales should attend key meetings like this one to give input on the lead/sales process. If your new site needs to integrate with existing systems, your IT person needs to be part of the website team. Finally, consider the website development process. Who needs to approve the project at key phases? Who is responsible for pulling together the content or passing on necessary integrations? It’s important to think through the entire website development process and make sure you’re assigning responsibilities to the right people from the very beginning.
It’s worth taking some time to make sure that the people who will help move the project forward are present from the very beginning. Select one person to be the project owner. That person will gather feedback and make sure all key parties have input and approval at key stages throughout the project.
Point to ponder: Who needs to approve the new website design? How can you make sure their needs are heard from the very beginning?
4. Stay focused.It can be easy to wander down some rabbit holes looking at other websites for design elements or talking about what went wrong with your previous website project. However, you want the kick-off meeting focused on your company’s goals and determining key objectives to meet those goals. With that in mind, ask to see an agenda for the meeting ahead of time. (That can also help you determine who should attend.) Prepare your thoughts before the meeting. That way you can be open to where the discussion leads you while still making sure you get your key points across.
Point to ponder: What is the key pain point that led you to want a new website?
5. Don’t leave without knowing next steps.Without a continued thread of communication, even the best meeting can have minimal impact on the project. You deserve to know how the kick-off meeting feeds into other elements of the project and what happens next. Count on your website agency to lead the way with a clear path towards a successful website.
Point to ponder: What are your expectations from the kick-off meeting? Share those with your contact ahead of time to help make sure they are met.Starting your project with the best foot forward is often the difference between a smooth, enjoyable project and a painful one. We believe the first step in any project should be focused on concrete goals and action items. When you’re looking for a strategic website partner, look no further than TBH Creative.
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