Web Designer or Business Consultant?
I just returned from a trip to Raleigh, NC for a two-day meeting with brothers who are clients and friends and whom we have helped grow their boutique soccer equipment and apparel business over the past five years.
First came one retail store and an informational Web site intended to get their foot-hold in the Triangle soccer scene. Then came a second retail store and an expanded site designed to manage customer information and generate email marketing campaigns. Now we are tasked with taking their business online and like with other clients we have become increasingly aware of how much our clients look to us for innovation and creativity with respect to how they do business online and off.
Here is the difficult part! Building a new business or business segment inevitably requires changing and creating business rules. Whether the business is young or old, large or small, there are difficulties in making and sticking to overarching business decisions. So, as Web designers we often struggle with how deep we delve into the "big picture" of a company's business, its process and management structure. After all, we are not hired as business consultants, but rather as Web designers.
As champions for the user experience, our clients and our product, we can not hold back on "what we do" but instead take on each new project as an individual challenge with individual measures of success. This is what we want to define our company!