Small Business Brief

Technology & Software

A Complete Guide to Starting a Web Design Business

There are about 1.5 billion websites in the world as of January 2019, with more surfacing each day. Even then, the demand for new websites is still present with more businesses surfacing day by day. These new businesses won’t survive unless they do venture forward with an online presence.

This creates a wide landscape for a career in web design.

Web design provides a new field as a business venture. It provides a flexible work schedule and a chance to work remotely in any location. But with every business, it also needs careful planning.

Here are some steps to take and consider when starting a web design business.

1. Plan Your Business Approach

When starting a web design business, you need to set up plans on how to approach it. What should your business approach be and where will you get your client base? These are among the questions you will need to answer and fulfill before you set off.

Decide on how your services will operate and who your target customers should be. Are you going for a niche or will you broaden your base by offering services related to web design? 

Think about where you will get your funding. One good advice is to not cut ties with your day job yet. During the first few months, you might not have a steady flow of clients to sustain your day-to-day expenses yet.

Take your time with the transition and once ready, you can go full-time.

2. Create Your Business Model 

The next thing to consider is to build and create your business model. Will you be operating as a freelancer or will you be forming a web design team? That is one of the things to consider, which we will go in full detail later.

Among other things, you will also need to check for paperwork like certification and a business license. Insurance is also another consideration that you should include. The research and legal work can help you as you start out and eventually grow as a business.

You will also need to research on possible competitors, your target market, and how to structure your payments for clients and your staff. This way, you can also formulate the strategy that would bring you clients to do business with.

3. Build Up On Your Skills and Image

You also need to build two more things: credibility and skill. 

The first part involves building your image as a credible expert on web design. This involves posting useful content on social media to show your expertise. You can also offer to write guest posts or even join in seminars then posting reviews on them.

This approach allows you to build the image and credibility. You can bring in a network that you can tap for potential clients.

The other aspect you need to build is your skillset. In this case, you need to learn and polish your web design skills. Practice and apply what you learned. If possible, go for certification in different areas as clients prefer to hire professionals with proof of their training.

With this, you can also gauge what services to offer. Whether this involves services using WordPress or this could be other web design tasks that you can provide. Always be on a learning posture and deliver your best service.

Make sure you learn more about web design and then show it off.

4. Set Your Work Environment

You need a work environment that provides you a conducive space and workstation that invokes creativity and productivity. If you plan to work-at-home, this becomes an important factor as it will need you to set a space where you can focus on web design and set boundaries to avoid distractions.

Power or internet service outages occurring in your area? Have a contingency plan ready for where you would be conducting your work. Make sure you have about two to three locations that you can get to. This could be a coffee shop, a library, or a coworking station.

5. Invest in Capable Hardware and Software

You also need a capable machine to handle your web designs. Invest in hardware and software that can deliver results without crashing.

Among the items that you should invest in include a powerful computer with the best peripherals. Planning to take photos to use on client websites? A camera with a lot of features and a high resolution would also be a worthy addition.

Take note of the software that you will need for web design. Make sure to go for the ones that offer the best results but also provide you an edge in using them. 

Once you have all the tools you need, also make sure to maintain them.

6. Starting a Web Design Business with the Right Team

If you choose to have a team for your business, you will need to pick the best ones you can work with. When picking, think about their skill sets and work ethics. 

Consider picking team members that have expertise on different aspects of the design process. This way, you can streamline the design process. Make sure to pick the best ones and not settle for less.

Look into their portfolios and see if their previous work show off the types of skills and sensibilities you want. The more previous projects they can show, the better since it means they have experience under their belt.

7. Get Your Website and Portfolio Online

Another fun aspect for your business is in designing your website and building your portfolio.

For your web design website, make sure to express your company or business identity. Make sure to apply your skills and experience in your design, highlighting your expertise. This can act as a reflection of your capability as a web designer.

As for your portfolio, this can clue in your prospects on your capabilities as a designer. When they ask to see examples of your work, you show them the roster of projects you worked on. You can build this over time, with more projects that would help you nail the deal.

8. Create a Marketing Strategy and Start Promoting

Do not forget to market and promote your business. Consider launching a blog for your business. Make use of your online presence and draw them closer to you, establishing your network of clients.

This is where your online credibility comes in, which we mentioned earlier in this article. Combine this with content strategy and social media marketing. You can also include SEO into this, making your business appear in local searches and more.

The tough part will be in finding prospects. Stick with your business model and build your business.

Start a Design Business Today 

Starting a web design business would require a lot of planning and preparation. Launching the business comes off as easy. What would make this a challenge is in finding clients to do business with.

Make sure to build your network and polish your skills. It is a venture worth investing in.

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