What should I know in starting up my own web desig

2 posts / 0 new
Last post
#1 Sat, 08/04/2007 - 10:54

What should I know in starting up my own web desig

I have some experience supporting a large website, but not with the entire design process yet. But I really enjoy doing this type of work and would love to make money doing it. I have most of the software I think I would need (Photoshop, Dreamweaver, etc), as well as space with a hosting service. I am still working on my personal website and I don't have much to include for a personal portfolio yet. What would be the best steps to take to really venture out on my own by starting my own web design business and find potential customers? With all of the 'do it yourself' Free Templates out now, is there a big demand for this type of work still?

http://freetemplates.webdesigningcompany.net/<br><br>Post edited by: navjeet, at: 2007/08/25 14:23

Thu, 08/09/2007 - 14:56

I would suggest working on a referal networking basis to start with. Go to business meetings/breakfasts etc and get to meet business people. That way you will know your client / size / budget etc and it makes it easier to &quot;pitch&quot;

CMS systems are great as they take a lot of the back ache out of putting all but the most specialised sites up on the web. Customers still use &quot;designers&quot; for that even with the template appraoch as there is still a lot of work to do and products like Joomla can still be daunting for DIY'ers.

Most clients are too busy/lazy/technophobes (in the nicest way of course - they do what they do, you do what you do etc... it makes it cost effective and efficient all round) You are already streets ahead of them so practice on a couple of sites and maybe set up charity one for someone to help them along so you can start to build a portfolio.

Optimization and good content is important for these / all sites and collating / putting all that together is a task in itself so sell that to people. This is actually a bigger money spinner than designing the actual site. Clients pay me big retainers just to keep their site optimized and the content fresh.

Don't be shy of price and under price particularly when starting out. There are the right clients out there who pay correctly for the service. Don't do anything for free beyond your own and maybe one site for a charity. (charity means a charity - not a struggling business which is different)

Consider taking up photography / videoing / recording etc. podcasts, photos, etc all go a long way to offering added value and additional services.

The money is quite good as is the independance/workanywhere/take your business with you if you move type of thing.

Hosting can a headache and probably not worth the money so use other peoples servers (he said with the benefit of hindsight :-) )the next best thing is to use Virtualmin/Webmin on one of yours as it is a truly excellent product.

I still sell about two decent sites a week just by networking with business people in the UK and could probably do more in the USA if I put my mind to it (I go to Florida regularly so have a feel for the market there too)

By staying small profits stay high without high overheads. Don't get an office - you will spend most of your time at your clients or working from home, so run a virtual office.

Far from removing the work products like Joomla, Virtualmin, Webmin etc actually create more as it makes it possible to create and market sites without to much technical headache. The sites then look good and sell well which is what clients want and they come back for more.

I could easily survive off, indeed live well off, just half a dozen of my SME clients by just adding and building to thier Joomla sites in retainer and doing additional enhancements to the site.

If setting up on your own why not create and run your own e-commerce shop - it will generate alternative revenue and show what you can do too. (Virtuemart is a great plugin for Joomla for example)

Overheads of bigger operations suddenly eat into your profits so I would say stay relatively small but seriously profitable. Less stress/more money :-)

Hope those thoughts will encourage you on your way!

Paul D

Topic locked