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How to start a website design business


If you're thinking about launching your own web business but don't know how to start a website design business, watch the video tutorial below. Adam and Chad talk about the steps you should take if you want to start a website design business. First and foremost, get that first customer and face all of the business questions and challenges you have after the fact.

TRANSCRIPTION:

Hello, and welcome to our how to start a website design business video. I'm Chad Hill, and I have Adam Stetzer here with me.

Good afternoon, Chad. Yeah, we're talking to our viewers today about how to start a web design business. People are looking at website design and web business. Maybe they've done a few websites. Maybe they have some friends and family who have asked them because they're technical. So I'd like to hear your thoughts for those beginners who are looking at how to start a website design business.

Great question. So I think the first one from sort of a marketing and sales approach is to pick your market. And how you're going to approach that market. So there's two main ways for how you can start a website design business.

One is by selecting a vertical-- an industry niche. So whether that's plumbers, or it's lawyers, or it's somebody that you know something about and picking that niche and working on selling into that vertical market. Or the other one is to sort of be the local website guy. So focusing in on your local market, your city or maybe even your county, or even maybe a region if you take it at that level. So that's where I'd start.

Yeah. And I would think, unless you have a compelling reason to go into a vertical website design business-- and maybe you do, like Chad mentioned with some expertise or some online strategy that's real thought out-- I think, in general, for the smaller guy looking to start a website business, local's really the key. People trust those people they can talk to and meet with regularly. They may already have a relationship. So I think you have to really have a strong reason not to start a local web business.

Yeah, I agree. And then, I think really, the next step that fits right in there is you need to go get your first customer. And so you might say, well, I don't even have a name of a company, or a logo, or anything else. But really, my experience-- and I think Adam, yours as well-- is that a lot of times you have a business when you have a customer. And so you don't have to tell that customer you're going to have their website down for them in a week. But go out to your friends and your family and your business network, and within that group there will likely be somebody who's looking to redo their website. And sort of focus on that person as your initial customer.

I couldn't agree more. Don't spend all this time discussing strategy and thinking grand thoughts if you're going to have that much trouble landing your first, second, or third customer. You got to get those under your belt. And they will kind of train you through the process and force you to confront all the other questions you might have spent time debating. But they'll also show you that there's things you just don't need to spend time on in building a web business. What's really important is getting those customers so that you can have a website design business.

Exactly. So then, just to recap, we've selected a market. And as Adam said, local is best. We now have identified our first customer. So, of course, now you need to build the website.

And at this point, it really gets into, how are you going to build that first website? You may have some skills in design, you may not. Or you may have some programming skills, but not design skills. So you need to decide whether you're going to build a freelance team or whether you're going to work with a company, like HubShout, that has put together all the resources under one roof with a reliable, proven project management program.

And I think there's a lot of reasons to go one way or the other with a website design business. So pick that approach, build the website, and then get busy with the next lead and the next lead after that.

Right. Customers first. Get that flow rolling, and then you'll have time to think about outsourcing and insourcing, partner selection, all those things. But I guess we're saying, don't waste your time talking to firms like us until you're really sure you can sell a few of these.

It will be very instructional, too, because you will have been through the process. You'll have hit your head against the wall a few times. Maybe even been fired. Those things are character and help you know exactly what it is you need when you do ultimately, hopefully get to the point where you're scaling, selling a lot of websites, and making some money and picking a partner to go up to the next level.

Comments (6)

  • Jesse Reply

    Website design is something that one would assume to be a relatively easy sell. Everyone that wants a website will want it to look good. The more options that a website design business owner can provide their clients, the more their reputation will grow and the more their business will flourish.

    The point about putting customers first is incredibly important. Leads and orders are needed before anything else. If you can't make sales, you won't survive.

    01/18/13 at 11:09 AM
  • Jason G. Reply

    "Don't spend all this time discussing strategy and thinking grand thoughts if you're going to have that much trouble landing your first, second, or third customer." I think this point is KEY....to often people thinking about starting any business spend to much time planning everything out that they never DO business.....great watch!

    01/18/13 at 04:48 PM
  • Matt Reply

    When stating a website design business make sure to keep strict control over scope creep

    01/18/13 at 05:09 PM
  • Chris Reply

    A good way to gauge where you are in terms a new web dev business is to sample other developer's work. See what they do and how much they charge for their services.

    01/22/13 at 11:38 AM
  • Terrance Reply

    Another great topic that I have religiously told my clients about.

    01/23/13 at 03:32 PM
  • Paul Reply

    I agree that local clients are best when it comes to web design. There are a lot of great tools to communicate with clients online, however, customers are not always savvy. Nothing beats a good lunch or breakfast meeting!

    01/28/13 at 03:56 PM

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