How to Start a Web Design Business
Thinking of Starting a Web Design Business?
I started a web design business back in 2002. Even though I live in a very small town with only 1200 people, my business thrived for five years until I shut it down so I could do something else with my time. Most of my business was local.
Now I've transformed my web design site into a blog that tells people what they need to know to start a web design business. I tell people the tricks of the trade that took me many months to learn.
Start With a Marketing Plan
...this will help you focus your business efforts.
Before you write your business plan, you should write a marketing plan.
This will help you decide who you will serve, how you will serve them, and what strategies you will use to meet your goals.
Writing a preliminary marketing plan isn't all that hard.
I've given a brief sample here: How to Write a Small Business Marketing Plan - especially intended for those of us who intend to conduct our businesses entirely online.
Create a cool website for your web design business. This is your chance to show a prospective client what you can do.
...I had to do it three times before I got one I was truly comfortable with!You will definitely want to create your marketing plan before designing your website, because what you decide your specialties will be will be part of what goes into the web design.
I buy all my domains at GoDaddy.Com ... the customer service is great (via telephone) and I've never had any trouble with the company. The domains are reasonably priced. Definitely check it out if you're going to buy a domain name!
I've had a reseller hosting account at Kualo.Com for years now. The customer service is great 24/7. Seriously! If you have a problem in the middle of the night, submit a support ticket and they'll get back to you in just minutes. Always friendly too, no matter how many stupid questions I've asked, no matter how egregious my problems were! I'm ever so grateful and recommend them highly.
Another thing I love about Kualo is that the servers are safely tucked away in a special building in Tampa... if you go to the site you should be able to find photos of the facility. It is great knowing I'm dealing with a well-situated and professional company with offices in Canada, the UK, and the USA.
My reseller account costs about $55 per month, but I have more then thirty sites hosted there. Definitely a good deal for me and for my friends and clients I've hosted sites for.
Your Web Design Business Plan
...writing a business plan helps organize your efforts.
Next, write a business plan. This will force you to think about how you would like it to work out. While writing, you're likely to be hit by lots of amazing inspirations. Get wild with it. Write your heart out - you will be amazed at what you end up with.
Here's a simple outline of a business plan:
2. Legal Structure
3. Nature of Business
4. Owner's ResumÃ©
5. Business History
Products and Services
1. Market Areas
2. Market Trends
3. Target Markets
1. Mission Statements - see How to Write a Mission Statement.
2. 1 to 3 Year Marketing Goals
3. Marketing Strategies
4. Marketing Timeline
5. Marketing Budget
1. Direct Expenses Per Unit
2. Monthly Overhead
3. Pricing Strategies
1. Location, Size, and Zoning
2. Age and Condition
3. Expansion Opportunities
Management and Personnel
1. Management Expertise
2. Key Personnel
3. Organization Chart
4. Staffing Plan
5. Sub-Contracting Plan
Benefits to Community
1. Jobs Created
2. Building Rehabilitation
3. Meeting Community Needs
4. Increased Community Tax Base
1. Record Keeping
3. Start-Up Costs
4. Financing Plan
5. One Year Cash Flow Projection
1. Statement of Commitment
2. Restatement of Goals & Objectives
Start a Web Design Knowledge Base
...keep track of the cool things you learn about web design.
If you don't have a knowledge base for your web design business yet, start today. Start collecting all those tidbits of information that tell you how to do neat tricks with your webdesigns. Anytime you learn something new, you can keep the information in your new knowledge base. This knowledge base can be located online for others to use too.
...make your business respectable.
If you're serious about owning a web design business, you must do it legally.
That means getting a business license if your county or state regulations require it.
Every state and locality varies on how a business license is obtained, and the costs involved.
It is honorable to help support your county by paying for a business license.
Do so, and you'll be on the road to having a real business and feeling better about yourself.
Listen to this! - Seth Godin's Startup School - start with Episode 1... listen to it all
- Seth Godin's Startup School podcast on Earwolf
Seth Godin is a thought leader in the marketing and business world. In this rare live recording, hear Seth as he guides thirty entrepreneurs through a workshop exploring how they can build and run their dream business.
Your small business philosophy
...what ethics guide you as a business owner?
Ethics are an important part of small business ownership, online or offline.
You should have a clear statement on how you expect to relate to your clients so they will remain happy with you, how you'll treat employees or contract help, and ethical considerations and guidelines for any other issues that may come up.
Of course, since we don't know all the situations that may come up, our small business philosophies may change with time.
Your small business philosophy may be a statement you revise several times during the course of your small business ownership.
Books To Help You Learn Better Web Design Skills - ...in this business, you can never learn enough.
Before I opened my web design business in 2002, I bought a book about HTML and read it cover to cover even though I knew a lot of HTML and had already designed many websites.
If you're really interested in doing web design, it won't be hard to read the necessary books.
I learned a lot from reading that book.
It got me on the right track from the beginning.
I can't say enough for continual self-education - you need that to become the web designer who can take on difficult projects without fear.
The Web Design Business Start-up Poll - ... please choose one answer.
What statement fits you best?
Starting a Web Design Business
I like this designer's ideas on starting a web design business. This is Freddy of WebDizeo. Excellent work, Freddy!!! ((Obviously one of those very talented up-and-coming designers that will contribute a lot to the internet as days go by.))
DVD Training - ...almost like having a personal trainer in your home!
Do you need a web design coach? This DVD is like having a coach in your home.