Contract: Make sure before you start that you have found a reputable company with proven experience to build your website. Once you have done your homework make sure you sign a contract with them. It can be an expensive mistake to make if you have not. Always do research and check for recommendations and company reviews.
Design Plan: How do you want the company to come across online? Have a firm plan in place and decide how you want it to look. Have a mock design or lots of pictures and diagrams so you can work along with the web design company and show them what direction you want the business to go in.
Competitors: Look at your competitors. Check out their websites and see how they rank in search engines. You can get a lot of information from this and remember you want yours to stand out. You can also see if they have made any mistakes and what their downfalls are. Learn from this.
Online Marketing: Have you thought about the SEO of the website. There is not much point in having a good looking website without any visitors. Make sure the company you have chosen specialize in Search Engine Optimization. Adding social media accounts to your site will get a wider range of people to see your site and what services you have to offer.
Navigation of Your Website: Think about how you want your site to be laid out. Visitors and potential customers will want to get to the information they want quickly and effectively. You should have a site map installed to make sure this happens. If your website is hard to navigate the majority of people will just give up and search another site which will be a competitor's and this will only mean one thing. You are losing business.
Is The Design Distinctive and Unique: You want your site to be eye-catching and unique but also informative. Add color and pictures however these want to be relevant and not too over the top. You want a professional looking site to display your services and products.
Content: This is very important for your business. You need good content on your home page. Visitors will know what you do just by reading the first page. Make it inviting so people will click to the next page. Keep the content updated, which could involve a blog page or a news feed.
These are a few pointers however there will be many others to think about which will involve talking to your chosen web design company about, especially when it comes to coding..Best to get your basic needs plan together first and go from there.