Looking to start a web design business?

  • (2 Pages)
  • +
  • 1
  • 2

18 Replies - 2554 Views - Last Post: 02 March 2009 - 05:12 PM

#1 hempton  Icon User is offline

  • New D.I.C Head

Reputation: 0
  • View blog
  • Posts: 1
  • Joined: 10-November 08

Looking to start a web design business?

Post icon  Posted 10 November 2008 - 10:18 PM

Hi all,
I want to start my own web design business. There are some questions that are luring in my mind. I do have one or two clients to get started but how can I get more and spread my work to masses? How do I start designing for people? Do I need a site that displays my work, etc?
Is This A Good Question/Topic? 0
  • +

Replies To: Looking to start a web design business?

#2 no2pencil  Icon User is online

  • Toubabo Koomi
  • member icon

Reputation: 5189
  • View blog
  • Posts: 26,896
  • Joined: 10-May 07

Re: Looking to start a web design business?

Posted 10 November 2008 - 10:23 PM

View Posthempton, on 10 Nov, 2008 - 11:18 PM, said:

Do I need a site that displays my work, etc?

That would probably be helpful. It could function like a portable portfolio.

It wouldn't be a bad idea to just have images with a water mark over them, so people can't take your html code.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#3 b.ihde  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C for life
  • member icon

Reputation: 43
  • View blog
  • Posts: 1,070
  • Joined: 29-September 08

Re: Looking to start a web design business?

Posted 11 November 2008 - 12:26 AM

Hi!

I think no2pencilīs way is the best way to show your work online on your on homepage.

I was thinking about to start a business too, but in my opinion there are too many people
how do this already. Today it is too easy for the people to make a simple homepage on their own...
I donīt know how it would get succes in the US or UK, but in Germany i donīt see many chances to
start a good paid business... :(

And i really feel sick about it ;)

Iīve already made 2 homepages for small companys but the business competition is too big..
The people donīt wanna pay the price for really good work...


Kindly regards

B.Ihde
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#4 Martyr2  Icon User is offline

  • Programming Theoretician
  • member icon

Reputation: 4316
  • View blog
  • Posts: 12,096
  • Joined: 18-April 07

Re: Looking to start a web design business?

Posted 11 November 2008 - 12:37 AM

Well you definitely want to have your work displayed online in an online portfolio. I agree whole heartedly with no2 on that. And like b.ihde has said, it is a hard business but it can certainly be doable. Just know your limits, be willing to take a cut in your prices when you first start out and learning and as you get better you can increase your price.

The way I have done it was to take a few site projects at low cost, learn as I do them and almost do them for free. This will build your portfolio, make the customer a little less demanding (since they are paying very little or not paying at all) and may even get you some good word of mouth going. Try doing a few non profit organization websites as well because it is always good on a resume to have worked for some kind of charity or such.

In addition to an online portfolio I also print out a bunch of work and put it in a binder (laminated pages) to bring with me on interviews and show the customer as we talk without having to go online.

And be honest with your customers. If they are asking for the moon, don't be afraid to cut them down a little and tell them what you CAN DO in the given time frame. If you don't know something they want, let them know that you don't have much experience in that particular part of the site but that you are willing to learn and will give them a discount on the work because of it.

For your first few projects I would go with people you know or are friends with perhaps. Get into the business slow of making something and seeing how long it takes you. Get a routine down and by the time you are done you will know a bit more about how you work, what you can ask those bigger clients in the way of pay and can judge time lines a bit more accurately.

:)
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#5 b.ihde  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C for life
  • member icon

Reputation: 43
  • View blog
  • Posts: 1,070
  • Joined: 29-September 08

Re: Looking to start a web design business?

Posted 11 November 2008 - 02:04 AM

Hi again!

i totally agree with Martyr2! I think his way to get in the business is a pretty good one!
Of couse, somebody who just starting to build homepages, should not go to a company
which want an pretty large homepage with p.a. a shopsystem..
If u donīt really know, that u can do it correctly and make in work
without errors or complications, u should say, that youīve got no, or not enough experience
with that. The best way is to stay true. Donīt talk about things u have no idea what it is ;)

I had such a case. I should build an ecommerce soloution for a small company. I said, i didnīt
do that before, but i will tell them within 2 weeks, if i think i am able to give them a good soloution.
And i did ;) I spend pretty much time to test some shopsystems.. but i found a good one..
Of course i didnīt get much money for that, but i did make an ecommerce soloution...
now i can say, for small companys, i can do it again, in less time.

Another thing you have to think about is what u know about databases.. they will be very important
if u want to get a larger project..


well kindly regars again ;)

Benni Ihde
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#6 5ubw0r1d  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Head
  • member icon

Reputation: 2
  • View blog
  • Posts: 78
  • Joined: 18-May 07

Re: Looking to start a web design business?

Posted 11 November 2008 - 06:51 AM

I felt like I must send a reply to this. I live in the UK and am currently studying Web Systems Development. I'm only in my second year of this course but I have enough experience working with a variety of programming languages outside the university so I felt that I was ready to set up my own Web Design/Development business and set up just prior to starting my second year.

Although I haven't been set up long I hope I can give you a bit of advice you may find useful. Firstly, if you have no background business experience and live in the UK I would recommend you look into something called Business Gateway which is a government funded programme providing information and services for start-up and companies which are already running. There are a lot of aspects of setting up a business that many prospective web designers may not be aware of such as tax,vat and legal issues. One thing which I found really useful about Business gateway is that they hold seminars which other businesses as well as yourself will attend. These seminars are great for meeting new people, particularly people like yourself who are a start-up business. The way I think about it any business owner I meet is a potential customer. In the age of the web everyone is looking for a website. We should use this to our advantage. Don't be over cocky but at the same time interact with other business owners and make them aware of your business. My first three projects have come through contacts I have met at these meetings.

Another good way of getting business and even just making people aware of your business is to look at established companies in your local area. At the moment I'm undecided if I will do this before or after christmas, but I plan to approach companies with websites which I feel are outdated and offer a free website review in a bid to perhaps encourage them to ask me to update their website.

One thing I would say about the pricing of your web design is do not under price yourself. Take in to consideration the amount of time you will be working and the amount of work you will be doing, including if you have to learn any new technologies. Yes offer a concession with the first website you design using a technology which is new to you, but do not do the work for nothing. Something that my business gateway meetings taught me is that companies who start off with the lowest price for a service will get business to start with but will not get consistent business as the cheaper price implies that the quality of the work is less than that of more expensive providers. Of course you will have to strike a happy medium and not over price your services.

Hope this has been a bit of help to you. Good luck with the business if you do decide to set one up.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#7 TheAKB  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Head
  • member icon

Reputation: 2
  • View blog
  • Posts: 59
  • Joined: 11-November 08

Re: Looking to start a web design business?

Posted 11 November 2008 - 11:44 AM

I recently tried to do this and for me it did not work out.
The main reason for this, was i under priced my products and did not market the specific need.

There is a lot of competition for this and is hard to make an impact.
So in reply i would recommend that you create a site full of demos and look into Google ad words or some other way of getting noticed.

Good Luck

Andrew
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#8 no2pencil  Icon User is online

  • Toubabo Koomi
  • member icon

Reputation: 5189
  • View blog
  • Posts: 26,896
  • Joined: 10-May 07

Re: Looking to start a web design business?

Posted 11 November 2008 - 09:40 PM

View Post5ubw0r1d, on 11 Nov, 2008 - 07:51 AM, said:

if you have no background business experience and live in the UK I would recommend you look into something called Business Gateway which is a government funded programme providing information and services for start-up and companies which are already running.

We have something similar here in the states, it's called Score

View Post5ubw0r1d, on 11 Nov, 2008 - 07:51 AM, said:

Another good way of getting business and even just making people aware of your business is to look at established companies in your local area.

I had a friend who's brother did exactly this. When business was slow he would just find crummy websites & redesign them & put them on his webserver. He said 9 out of 10 customers would just host with him & use the new site.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#9 b.ihde  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C for life
  • member icon

Reputation: 43
  • View blog
  • Posts: 1,070
  • Joined: 29-September 08

Re: Looking to start a web design business?

Posted 12 November 2008 - 12:37 AM

View Postno2pencil, on 11 Nov, 2008 - 08:40 PM, said:

When business was slow he would just find crummy websites & redesign them & put them on his webserver. He said 9 out of 10 customers would just host with him & use the new site.


thats pretty good!!! I guess he just found the right way, to sell himself, as the best man
to help these companys to a better online-presence...

I know, it s not so easy to convince a company of giving them a better online soloution..
At least, in germany, the companys are pretty closed-minded, and are not likely to
give somebody much chances.... I would say min. 8 of 10 would say directly no ..

If somebody made diffrent experiences, please excuse me, but this is just my opinion...

kindly regards

B. Ihde
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#10 Fredheim_Holm  Icon User is offline

  • New D.I.C Head

Reputation: 0
  • View blog
  • Posts: 8
  • Joined: 11-November 08

Re: Looking to start a web design business?

Posted 12 November 2008 - 03:18 PM

Hi all,

I'm currently in a similar situation, having been in business for about 3 months. We've finished one website, quite a complex one for our first go and got the guy on hosting too. We then got recommended my my mates uncle and should have another job done within 2 weeks. Added to that a mate from school wanted a site done but not quite yet, which should cover the software fee's we've just laid out.

However, the problem is getting the next job in. It's such a hard thing to do, do you go for paid advertising? Do you just get business cards and go around small business in the area?

The latter is what we're going to do soon, however I'd love to know if there are any other good ways of getting business. Forum posting is so competitive and you have to offer such low prices to get the job, it doesn't seem like a good idea to me.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#11 Trogdor  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Addict
  • member icon

Reputation: 15
  • View blog
  • Posts: 627
  • Joined: 06-October 06

Re: Looking to start a web design business?

Posted 13 November 2008 - 05:35 AM

Deviantart.com is a good place for a home for the graphics-types.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#12 FtK Shadow  Icon User is offline

  • New D.I.C Head

Reputation: 0
  • View blog
  • Posts: 26
  • Joined: 25-September 08

Re: Looking to start a web design business?

Posted 13 November 2008 - 07:20 PM

View Posthempton, on 10 Nov, 2008 - 09:18 PM, said:

Hi all,
I want to start my own web design business. There are some questions that are luring in my mind. I do have one or two clients to get started but how can I get more and spread my work to masses? How do I start designing for people? Do I need a site that displays my work, etc?

Your going to need a web site to show your work defiantly. Everyone likes to see your old work before they choose to go with you.

As for advertising I would recommend buying some ads and some business cards
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#13 5ubw0r1d  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Head
  • member icon

Reputation: 2
  • View blog
  • Posts: 78
  • Joined: 18-May 07

Re: Looking to start a web design business?

Posted 14 November 2008 - 05:31 PM

Quote

I had a friend who's brother did exactly this. When business was slow he would just find crummy websites & redesign them & put them on his webserver. He said 9 out of 10 customers would just host with him & use the new site.


I really like that idea. But whats the IP / Copyright implications of doing such a thing? I pressume the guy wouldn't have used actual content from the website.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#14 ludjer  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Head

Reputation: 15
  • View blog
  • Posts: 186
  • Joined: 31-October 08

Re: Looking to start a web design business?

Posted 15 November 2008 - 01:35 AM

i like the idea of going around and looking at badly designed websites and remaking them, then contacting them and ask are they interested
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#15 ValPaliy  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Lover
  • member icon

Reputation: 12
  • View blog
  • Posts: 1,395
  • Joined: 06-December 07

Re: Looking to start a web design business?

Posted 17 November 2008 - 08:58 AM

View Posthempton, on 10 Nov, 2008 - 09:18 PM, said:

Hi all,
I want to start my own web design business. There are some questions that are luring in my mind. I do have one or two clients to get started but how can I get more and spread my work to masses? How do I start designing for people? Do I need a site that displays my work, etc?


First and foremost - get yourself a reliable team of freelancers - that's how I got started. Than, as you grow bigger - get yourself an office. And yes - you do need a web site to display your portfolio. The site should be eye-catching, yet professional, but not overloaded with graphics, though. Hope that helps a little bit.

View Postludjer, on 15 Nov, 2008 - 12:35 AM, said:

i like the idea of going around and looking at badly designed websites and remaking them, then contacting them and ask are they interested


Don't waste your time - contact them first, show the potential clients your portfolio, and make a targeted offering.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

  • (2 Pages)
  • +
  • 1
  • 2