In a perfect world, we would all know the ins and outs of starting a web design business before we even started one. Unfortunately, some of us had to learn this the hard way, but lucky for you, we’re here to teach you.
Learn from our mistakes and consider these 10 things before starting your own business:
- It’s easy to become a commodity – In a previous post, we already addressed the commoditization of web design and how to avoid it. The web is drowning in options that allow clients to build their own websites. Find your niche and make that your target market.
- Sales keep your business afloat – It might sound like a no-brainer, but sales are what make your business a business. Otherwise, you just have a hobby. If sales aren’t your forte, team up with someone who excels at landing that sale.
- Prospect, prospect, prospect – You don’t have sales without clients. If your business is just starting out, you probably haven’t acquired many (if any) clients by word-of-mouth. So what to do in this instance? You have to search for them. Be proactive!
- Cold calling isn’t antiquated – It actually works. Don’t be afraid to give it a try. The results may surprise you.
- Money’s on their mind – Ultimately, if you aren’t making or saving your clients any money, they aren’t going to invest in your services. Clients want advantageous results and are willing to pay for them.
- Doing nothing can be more harmful than doing something – going up against competitors can seem daunting, and sure, you may lose out. But at least you put in the effort. Sometimes the most harmful thing you can do to your business is nothing at all.
- Offer a proposal…after you’ve sealed the deal – Now, there’s some disagreement as to when to offer your proposal. However, the longer you’re in business, you find that you can close a deal verbally upfront, then offer up the proposal for signing.
- Get paid upfront – Consider removing that “final payment upon completion” clause from your contract. If you’re a web designer, you know that obtaining content from a client can be a lengthy process and that the project can get delayed for any number of reasons. You run the risk of never seeing that final payment, even if you’ve already put in the work.
- Multiply your best clients – Some clients are dream clients. You know, the ones. They pay on time (every time!), send you consistent work, and refer you to other prospects. These can be few and far between, but once you find them, figure out what makes them so great and what things they have in common. Once you’ve got that down, search out more prospects with the same characteristics.
- Partner up if you need to – Two is sometimes better than one. Maybe the workload is overwhelming, maybe you’re having trouble selling, or maybe you’re having trouble balancing the two. Generally, partnerships bring in more revenue than going it alone. While there’s a chance you could land yourself in a bad partnership, you may just find that it’s more than worth the risk to bring on a partner.
Think anything is missing? Let us know below!