How to start up a web design business

David C.

New member
Joined
Sep 28, 2012
Messages
25
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3
Hey Guys,

I am very new to the web design field but decided to give it a try as find it very attractive and profitable as well.

Things keeping in my mind that starting a new site with a few pages as following

  • Landing Page
  • A few texts
  • Service list
  • Portfolio section
  • Blog

What would I do next to have customers for my site and grow my web design business?

I would appreciate your advice and guides from you

Thank you for your time!
 

WebmasterPhil

Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2016
Messages
127
Points
18
1. You need a portfolio

You can make many sample websites and put them into your portfolio

2. You need clients

If you cannot get clients, then volunteer to build websites for legitimate businesses. This will help your portfolio, and also these business (if they like your work) might give you a recommendation that will help you get better clients.
 
Last edited:

Mike001

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Apr 27, 2016
Messages
578
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0
That's is exactly how I started many years ago. Of course things have changed since then a little but the first 3 web sites I built were built for local businesses and they were done completely free. The initial design is what I mean.

Those three sites led to much more work from referrals from those businesses and what was even a little unexpected I received quite a bit of additional work from the original three businesses.

When they saw the potential of the web traffic they wanted to expand the sites and include a lot of additional content and database connections. That work was not done for Free. I charged a reasonable rate for the additional work and that led to more referrals.

The key is to get out there and get a portfolio built. I even had a couple of domain names, that I still have and use today just to place trial sites on to show potential customers what the site could look like when I am bidding on projects.

I will build a rapid prototype of a site based on their business and what I can find out about their business, I put it on one of those domains for the initial meeting, and you would be amazed how many customers tell me that I won the bid, not because I had the best or lowest price, because normally I am not the lowest. I won the bid because I had a working site to demonstrate at the meeting, that they could see and play with. Not just paper mock ups. Customers like that.

If you take that kind of time for a proposal meeting they assume, and in my case they are correct, that I will spend the correct amount of time creating what they want, not what I think they want.

Listen to the clients, take good notes, ask a lot of questions and make certain that you set good expectations. If they want something that cannot be done in the budget they have make certain that they know that. Most customers want you to be honest with them, they don't want scope creep, and they want you to stay in the budget agreed upon.

If you do that you can't help but be successful.
 

David C.

New member
Joined
Sep 28, 2012
Messages
25
Points
3
1. You need a portfolio

You can make many sample websites and put them into your portfolio
Do they need to be real works from web project that worked for clients? or just creating it for a good portfolio

2. You need clients

If you cannot get clients, then volunteer to build websites for legitimate businesses. This will help your portfolio, and also these business (if they like your work) might give you a recommendation that will help you get better clients.
What are the best ways to get clients? can you recommend some?


That's is exactly how I started many years ago. Of course things have changed since then a little but the first 3 web sites I built were built for local businesses and they were done completely free. The initial design is what I mean.

Those three sites led to much more work from referrals from those businesses and what was even a little unexpected I received quite a bit of additional work from the original three businesses.

When they saw the potential of the web traffic they wanted to expand the sites and include a lot of additional content and database connections. That work was not done for Free. I charged a reasonable rate for the additional work and that led to more referrals.

The key is to get out there and get a portfolio built. I even had a couple of domain names, that I still have and use today just to place trial sites on to show potential customers what the site could look like when I am bidding on projects.

I will build a rapid prototype of a site based on their business and what I can find out about their business, I put it on one of those domains for the initial meeting, and you would be amazed how many customers tell me that I won the bid, not because I had the best or lowest price, because normally I am not the lowest. I won the bid because I had a working site to demonstrate at the meeting, that they could see and play with. Not just paper mock ups. Customers like that.

If you take that kind of time for a proposal meeting they assume, and in my case they are correct, that I will spend the correct amount of time creating what they want, not what I think they want.

Listen to the clients, take good notes, ask a lot of questions and make certain that you set good expectations. If they want something that cannot be done in the budget they have make certain that they know that. Most customers want you to be honest with them, they don't want scope creep, and they want you to stay in the budget agreed upon.

If you do that you can't help but be successful.
Even, when you have a good website with a good portfolio then how to increase your sales for your website? do you apply any marketing campaigns like advertising or promoting on any platforms? please share your experience.

I am mentioning to marketing online for web design field.


You can run your own web design business from home and make extremely good money – all you need is a computer and an internet connection.
Rather funny, even you have a computer and a good internet connection you could not earn any extra bucks if you don't have good skills on web design fields, nowadays clients require difficult works than before.
 

Mike001

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I would have to question Khileshhpandey comments above.

It takes quite a bit more than a computer and an internet connection. There are a lot of skills involved with running a freelance web design business. When you enter into business for yourself your skill set increases dramatically.

Other than the obvious skills. HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, MySQL, database design skills, database normalization skills, using the tools of web design, text editors, testing tools, development servers, beta testing, alpha testing and so on. You need many other skills that many designers never realize until they are in the business.

Social Skills - you have to be able to meet with other people and sell yourself and your skill set. This at times can be very challenging especially as most programmers are A type personalities and find it difficult to work in a world of grays as they are use to black and white. It works or doesn't work. Everything to a programmer is a 1 or a 0. Most programmers are introverted, very intelligent and find it difficult develop social relationships.

Marketing Skills - your skills become a product and being able to compete with other agencies can become a challenge, especially when starting out. When you are beginning your business normally you take responsibility for all aspects of the business. Marketing can be a difficult skill set to acquire as it is very different from the skill sets needed to be a good programmer. Two very different types of personalities.

Presentations - you have to be able to get up in front of a group of people and sell your ideas to that group. Sometimes one or two people and many times, depending upon the size of the project, a large group of people. This can be the biggest challenge for many people as most people have a fear of public speaking. It is important to be confident, without sounding arrogant, sell your strengths, downplay any weaknesses, and we all have them, and convince your potential customer that you are the right fit for the project.

Project Planning - Understanding just how long it takes to get a good web design project completed. When you are estimating the project costs you need to fully understand and set the customer expectations, customer requirements, what they have to supply to you, customer milestones, and the project timeline. You will have to explain how missing milestones will impact the project and then keep the customer on the timeline to complete the project. Sometimes much more difficult than it sounds. This portion of the project can make or break you as far as financial gain. If you miss the timelines or exceed the budget there goes your profits. The margins in web design are pretty good as long as you stay within the project scope and budget.

Lock Down the Requirements - Many customers will begin a project not really understanding what they want. They will give you generalizations and expect that you will be very flexible in your design. You need to make them understand that when making small changes in a requirement those small changes can require big changes in the code structure. You need to make that very clear to them at the initial meetings. Lock down what the requirements are and have a Change Order process in place that requires initial payments for additional work. Not only will this protect your profits on the project but it makes you appear much more professional to the customer to have all these processes in place.

This is a small list of what I do when I am beginning a new project. So as you can see it is not a simple process of having a computer and an internet connection.

To be a successful web designer and developer you need a very good and deep skill set. But it is an excellent way to make a living and control your own destiny. It is achievable and many of us would not change our professions for anything. We really love what we do and make a good living doing it.

I hope this gives you an idea of all that is involved. Let me know if there is anything I can help you with.
 

Rob Whisonant

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Joined
May 24, 2016
Messages
2,485
Points
113
Here is what I would do.

1. Design some sample sites.
2. Decide on pricing.
3. Hit the streets and go door knocking in your local town.
4. Show each business that you can your sample sites.
5. Tell them what you can do for them.

After you have several clients, start branching out to other towns nearby.
 

Khileshhpandey

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Jun 18, 2016
Messages
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With the ability you may have in web designing, it is time to get credit for your work and you can do this by beginning a small enterprise targeting web design, for yourself up and running.

Here are some important ideas that you can follow when starting a web design business.

1. Make Your Own Site

2. Understand What It Takes to Design an Effective Site

3. Look at Offering More Services

4. Make a Profile

5. Work with other Freelance employees
 
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