Have you ever considered starting a web design business? Are you nervous about the risks involved or your ability to handle clients?
You are not alone. Everyone experiences uncertainty when making big career decisions, especially if it means making a leap into the uncertainty of owning your own business. In this post, we’ll discuss these questions and more as we evaluate what starting a web design business means.
Evaluate Your Reasons for Starting a Web Design Business
Why you want to start your own business? Are you intrigued by the idea of being your own boss? Do you want flexible work hours? Do you think you could make more money this way?
What ever your reasons may be, starting a web design business will need to be backed up with a lot of determination and drive. Do not adopt the mindset that you’ll be able to find success without ever lifting a finger.
Initially, you may be working longer hours for less pay. But, f you’re passionate about your work, longer hours at the beginning will be less of an issue.
7 Self-Evaluation Questions To Ask:
- Do you work well alone, or do you need constant human interaction?
- Do you have good communication skills?
- How well do you handle stress and uncertainty?
- Are you driven and self-motivated?
- Do you possess the discipline to meet deadlines and produce quality work?
- Can you survive without an immediate reward?
- Are you sure this is something you want?
Understand that starting a web design business, or any business for that matter, will be stressful, time consuming, frustrating and overwhelming.
But also know that with persistence and dedication there is real potential to create a successful future for yourself with flexible time, limitless growth, financial independence and many more freedoms.
What Does it Take to Start a Web Design Business?
If you are interested in taking things to the next level, there are a few more actions you can take to getting your startup off the ground.
- Invest time into your branding.
- Create a website to showcase your portfolio.
- Develop a presence online through social media.
- Design business cards to give to potential clients and take to networking events.
- Brush up on your SEO knowledge to give your website a boost in the search engine ranking.
- Find a mentor who has experience in starting a business.
- Get an accountant and attorney
Work on Your “People Skills”
Personally, I’m an introvert. I’m not exactly a poster child of a “people person,” so I sympathize with people who, like me, lack the super-natural ability to strike up a conversation with strangers.
Introverts may have to stretch themselves a bit to create a client base so challenge yourself, but remember to go at a manageable pace.
Easy for me to say right? As I sit silently in a dimly lit office with headphones on, providing encouragement through thoughtfully crafted words and phrases.
It is easier said than done, but it is doable. Here are five tips for how to work on your “People Skills.”
- Practice talking to strangers. Whether it’s your waiter, barista or someone you’re in an elevator with, make an effort to at least say “hello” and maybe even ask how their day is going. Doing this will better prepare you for future interactions with potential clients.
- Go to networking events and challenge yourself to meet at least two people.
- Network with a friend.
- Think of questions beforehand that you would want to know about a potential client. This means you need to imagine the type of client you wish to work with. Quality over quantity.
- Schedule time to recharge, this way you know there is a light at the end of the tunnel where you’ll have time to yourself.
Regardless of whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, read “Turning Contacts Into Contracts” Ebook for more ideas about how to develop a client base.
Resources for Starting a Web Design Business
There are a number of platforms to choose from when deciding what to use to create websites.
If you are a seasoned web developer, you may decide you want to build your own framework and content management system.
If you lack the knowledge to build your own custom content management system, WordPress is an excellent, free resource. Over 25% of websites are powered by WordPress, so if you go this route, you’re in good company.
Webflow is another platform for web designers. It is the all-in-one web design tool, CMS and hosting platform. You will be able to create websites without ever writing code.
Maybe you do want to write code, but you don’t know how. HTML.com offers multiple tutorials, guides, and cheat sheets. Their goal is to provide the most fun, fast & helpful guide to learning to code HTML anywhere.
Depending on your workflow, you may want to design before you ever think about implementation.
For designers, there are endless resources from design software to free image libraries.
6 Helpful Resources for Web Designers
- Adobe Creative Cloud – This one costs a pretty penny so take advantage of the free 30 day trial to be sure it’s something you find beneficial.
- Sketch – Sketch is an excellent design platform that costs one flat fee, but also offers a free 30 day trial period.
- Dribbble – Explore designs, show your own and promote others on Dribbble.
- Pexels – Download free, high res images for your projects.
- Unsplash – Another free, high res image library.
- Pikwizard – Pikwizard has an extensive library of beautiful, free pictures. What I like about this library is the number of pictures they have of people and the relevant categories pictures are sorted in.
For a full guide on starting a web design business, take advantage of the free ebook “So You Want to be a Freelancer? Ebook”
Some Reading: The Ultimate Guide to Starting a Freelance Web Design Business
If you’re serious about starting a web design business, we have a great resource in our first real book, The Ultimate Guide to Starting a Freelance Web Design Business.
In this book, we compiled our most helpful webinar content, blog posts, ebooks & interviews with successful web design freelancers to get you everything you need to know about starting a successful web design business with WordPress. Coming in at 294 pages, it’s the ultimate reference book for anyone ready to go freelancing or hoping to make their web design side business a full-time gig.
Saylor writes blog posts and designs/develops various projects for iThemes. Saylor loves gardening and is currently at war with all squirrels (if anyone has tips on how to get rid of squirrels, she’s all ears). If she’s not traveling or hanging out in OKC, there’s a good chance she’s in southwest Oklahoma doing manual labor, including roofing, or as her father likes to call it – “building character.”