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Should Web Designers Compete With Each Other? How to Work With Your Competition And Succeed Together In Web Design
I have been designing websites for over 15 years since nobody new how to design websites or even knew what the internet was. I was averaging $10,000 a website. Can you imagine? The money making potential was amazing back then. Nobody had Dreamweaver. Nobody knew how to outsource to India and other overseas Asian and Eurpoean companies. It was a great field to be in. HTML was a language and people had to learn it in order to design their own websites.
When Microsoft purchased Front Page from a company called Veneer in 1996 and Adobe's Dreamweaver came on the market, I knew all the crazy web design firms would come out of the woodwork and I was right. The competition started almost overnight and the profitability for designing websites was on the decline immediately. It was just a matter of time before the web design field would be saturated with competitors (from the United States alone) who would undersell you.
In one year, I went from averaging $10,000 per website to $3,000 because everyone else was doing it for $1,000. I was able to still get the expensive projects because I had experience and a portfolio to show for it.
Well, now I am luck if I make a grand. Everyone in the website design field is out to undercut someone else and I see very little money now. Everyone wants a $10,000 website for $1,000 and they know how and where to get a website for that price.
I No Longer Compete With Other Web Designers. I Now Work Alongside Them and I make More Money That Way.
Most web designers do not know how to program web applications. They need experienced programmers, so that is the market I started concentrating on. I now work with over 7 web design firms and refer my web design business to them. It is true that I am still getting calls for website projects, but I refer them out for a percentage and that business model has done wonders for me.
Let's understand that the web design field is huge! There are so many ways to specialize, even more ways the medical field.
Specialization works very well in the web design field. You do not need to compete with anyone. Let's all work together and refer business to each other.
If your web design firm is not good at search engine optimization, and most web designers are not good at it, find a search engine optimization firm who knows how to get good rankings on Google and refer the business to them, but make sure they keep you on the radar for design work. Or do what I did and would out a kickback program.
If your client comes up to you and tells you that they want a member community and people have to log in and signup, don't stress if you don't know how to program. Find another web application design firm and hire them. Either mark up the price or if your price is too high, get a kick back from the programmer.
In this economy, people need business and one of the worse things any web design firm can do is accept a project that they know they cannot handle by themselves.
As a programmer of 18 languages, I do not perform much web design anymore. I stink at it. It tooks me over 10 years of my 15 year span in the field to realize it. I was good at it for the first 5 years when there was not that much competition. I look for talented web designers who know how to design and I ask them for programming business.
Bottom Line and My Point
I am not writing this hub to get business. Instead, I am writing this hub to reach out to people and realize that there is so much business out there for web designers that nobody needs to compete. Stop taking work you cannot do and producing subpar looks. Give the business to one of your competitors who can help you make your client happy and ask for work back.
I have been screwed by other web design firms before. Make sure everyone you work with signs a non-disclosure agreement and get a professional one made up by an attorney.