The word startup is provocative, it gets the people going. But what does it really mean? Mostly, it’s shiny new technology firms that get the distinction, but any new business is a startup. Just ask the dictionary. And I’d add, “Any organization getting their first website” to the definition.

If you’ve never had a website before, adding one to your business is a significant step up and out. For established organizations, it’s a chance to refresh their brand for the online audience. The web design process challenges everyone to plan, expand, and collaborate like a startup to launch a business’ presence online.

Tech über-blog Mashable got designer Jordan Batch to share his tips for startup web design. I think his comments are too broad be called tips. They won’t help you take specific actions. But anyone planning a new website project should keep Batch’s four ideas in mind. I’ve repeated them below in italics, with my comments appearing below each of the numbered ideas.

1. Consider Responsive Web Design

The companies with biggest bragging rights have websites that look different depending on the device they are viewed on. When iPhones are everywhere, it’s important for businesses to present themselves in the best light on the smallest screen. Responsive web design is a response to this need. At Roundpeg, we use a platform called WordPress that helps our designs look great on everyone’s devices.

2. Bring on a Design Co-Founder

New businesses have the opportunity to build good web design into their business from day one with a “design co-founder” or a staff designer. Making design a priority in the beginning is essential for launching a new businesses online and will save you from branding headaches down the road.

3. Collaborate

Maybe you don’t want a fancy-schmancy design co-founder. Or maybe you’re a despot who despises the idea of co-anything. But the reality is that good design is really a team effort. Whether it’s hiring a professional artist or just getting help from a consultant, reaching out will bring you new perspectives and fresh design ideas.

4. Stand Out

This is the big one. Everyone I talk to about web design wants it, but can’t explain how exactly they want to stand out. Batch names Nike and Coca-Cola as companies that effectively stand out due to their strong brand personalities and distinct styles. Good design with these two elements will clearly communicate a business’ values.Clearly expressing those values will make you shine in the crowd when so many business websites don’t.

Thinking about a new website? Embrace the light and commit to high design standards from the start. Indianapolis web design company Roundpeg can help you refresh your brand or launch it for the very first time with design ideas and executions to help you stand out.