Starting a web design business

Discussion in 'Starting a Business' started by Preemo, Jul 7, 2011.

  1. Preemo

    Preemo
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    Hey,

    A while back, I bought the domain laserwebdesign.co.uk - I like the thought of having a 'laser' as I think there would be so many things you can do with the name.

    Starting up a business at 16 is a scary thing, obviously I'd probably put it in my Dad's name, as he knows quite a bit about business stuff having run a building one before. I'm not actually going to register the business until late as possible (3 months after my first official client).

    I'm going to run the business around my education and job for the time being, as I doubt even in 5 years time it'll be popular enough and busy enough to make a full-time thing.

    As I said, I'm 16, so I appreciate any bit of money I get. That's why I wouldn't want to charge a lot compared to the hundreds other sites charge. Also, I'm still earning, so I can't actually do much like other designers.

    I'd just like a bit of starter knowledge, and maybe some tips. Also, how would I keep track of clients? Like a free program maybe?

    Best Regards
    Ryan
     
  2. JBMedia

    JBMedia
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    There's so many tools and resources today Ryan, that's the good thing. Some tips that I could give you would be as follow:

    1. Get business cards - Even though I know your business is mostly online, it's still good to promote your ideas/business in the local areas around you. Business cards are a great way of doing this. I'm still a firm believer that word of mouth can be one of the best advertisement mediums out there.

    2. Start off with some promotional pricing - It's a very good idea towards the beginning of your business experience to offer some type of promotion. As you said, you want to offer the services cheaper than most others. Personally, this is a good idea for a while. Although you eventually want to raise your price to something that's completely worth your own compensation and time put into a specific project. You will want to be competitive though, with possibly offering extra services.

    3. Know your competition - Find out who the best of the best are with web design businesses as of right now. See what there prices are and their services. Can you offer the services/goods they do for a better price, but not kill yourself in the process? Market research is always a MUST.

    4. Offer peace of mind - Start off your business with providing excellent customer service at the same amount that you provide excellent product. Customer relations is huge in business and a lot of people tend to look a bit past their consumers. Remember this, no consumers, means no money, means no job. Keep in touch with your customers and always try to give them exactly what they want. Possibly offer a 100% Guaranteed Satisfaction clause with your business.

    Those are just a few off the top of my head. I hope they help a little bit.

    As far as a free program that could keep track of clients. I do not know of a good one out there that's free. However, I do know if you have decent knowledge with Excel, you could create some spreadsheets that could do the trick. I'm sure you could find a few pre-made spreadsheets somewhere on the net to download and use for beginning purposes. Note: Always write all of your clients and information down on paper as well. Even though technology is wonderful, it still has it's faults at times. Write it down in pen and paper as a more permanent/safer back-up.
     
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  3. Preemo

    Preemo
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    I brought 500 business cards when I started it up a few months back. So they're ready to be handed out!

    Thank you for that awesome bit of advice! I'm donating some BAF to you now as I really appreciate it!
     
  4. Fergal

    Fergal
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    The first thing you will need to do is to set up your own site, with details of the services you offer, how to contact you and some examples of the type of work you can do. Once you have that you can start looking for clients. If I was you I wouldn't worry about other business issues such as tracking clients, just yet. Instead I'd concentrate on getting your site up and getting your first client.

    How do you plan on getting clients? Will you look for them over the web or in your local geographic area?
     
  5. Preemo

    Preemo
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    Well I have 500 business cards as I said. I'm currently doing a lot of charity work designing websites for organisations and charities - to build up a portfolio. So I shouldn't have trouble with the portfolio. I will however use Facebook to my advantage as well hopefully. :)
     
  6. JBMedia

    JBMedia
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    I would have to say on this note that I completely agree with Fergal. First thing is you want to make sure you have a website going already. Get the domain name you want for your business and start designing your portfolio. You can always add projects you've done later to it, but it's a good idea to get a head start on the website itself.

    Previous to my former tips I gave you, I would highly suggest making sure you have your website ready for clientele before you start distributing your business cards everywhere. Make sure your site is on your business cards as well.
     
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  7. daytrader

    daytrader
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    I think you would have to prepare contracts and some papers.

    it may seem unrelated, i'm still providing tech services in our city and that everytime we do business with someone we provide copies of the terms of services, contract and waiver and indemnity.
     
  8. James Greg

    James Greg
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    I like this statement. This is so true how advanced technology may be but make a file and keep all the information on paper and ink in there too. Having more than one backup is always safe.
     
  9. Fergal

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    That's a great way to start, it helps build your profile locally, gives you experience both of building websites and of what clients want from their websites and it also helps good causes. Definitely a win win, well done and keep up the good work.
     
  10. aiyz

    aiyz
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    This is a business where you could be creative on a daily basis and make money. It is important to note though, while you can make a good income with this business, the benefits of running this business go far beyond financial. If you are naturally shy person, web designing can allowed you to do something that you love, something that can make a difference for so many people, and most importantly, something that has allowed you to believe in yourself. For me, that makes this the right business. You should always
    know your strengths and weaknesses as a business owner and have a good support network around you. Many times you will find that your strengths can be utilized in unusual ways to compensate for your weakness in other areas. Your family, friends, and business colleagues can help you determine if you are overly concerned about weaknesses you may have. We are always our own worst critics anyway. If you aren't finding enough support in your current circles then go out and find new ones, because starting a business is hard and you need truly supportive people around you.
     
  11. karoshio

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    Just to add on you do not need to register the business until you are making a certain amount per year so I wouldn't be worrying about that any time soon. I'll post again with more information from my personal experience on this once I'm back on my desktop. I done this a while back to make some extra money.
     
  12. Tejmal

    Tejmal
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    You could contact small local businesses that don't have a website and offer to make a full website and set everything up for them for a lower price than what other web design companies charge.
     
  13. CloptonCapital

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    personally I don't think the money is in web design but in SEO and development
     
  14. Alexishost

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    Have you got your first client preemo? You may offer your family free design . they will be good client don't you think? that's will be good starting point. you may also consider to join hosting affiliate program to help you earn extra cash.

    To make you easier to get started, I recommend you use web site design template - free open source one. Pick that you like and download . :)
     
  15. danytodany

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    Great idea dude...

    All the best...
     
  16. vanisa

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    I agree with your business plan and i liked your thinking too.Today's world needs some efficient web designers with reasonable rates like you.According to Norman chevlin (a business advisor), you should advertise your web designing skills through the people around you and take some projects of it with low charges, also make some web designing templates by yourself, it will help you out for proper advertising of your skills.
     
  17. syed2011

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    First of all Take your own time, look out for the competitions and then take as much as suggestions from anyone whom you thing are eligible for taking suggestions and the main thing don't feel SHY to ask about the doubts which you have in your mind about your business..
     
  18. td2011

    td2011
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    It is a very good idea. Do what you like and be your own boss, I would say try not to let it interfere with your education which it will to some degree but getting an education is very important especially at 16 years old. Good luck with it though
     
  19. peterpan0105

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    I brought 500 business cards when I started it up a few months back. So they're ready to be handed out!

    Thank you for that awesome bit of advice! I'm donating some BAF to you now as I really appreciate it!
     
  20. Henry_Jakson

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    Good post, I've been freelancing for a couple years and have my own company but I only have to worry about myself. But like you said it can definitely be a bumpy road at first and it does take a lot of hard work but if everything goes well in the end its really worth it.
     

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