starting a web design business

The 4 Keys to Starting a Web Design Business Successfully

Half of all businesses still don’t have a website! This sounds absurd considering the free access to site builders and themes. This admission is the reason you should consider starting a web design business.

Websites sell themselves if (and when) you can convince the business owner. Sites build brands, attract customers, and benefit teamwork. Show them a sale generated through the Web and they’ll get on board.

Read this if you want to start a web development business.

Starting a Web Design Business: What You Need to Make It a Success

Success in web design poses a difficulty since anyone could gain entry with practice. This tends to create a “race to the bottom“, lowering prices while demanding higher skills.

There’s money made in cheap services but it’s rarely sustainable — it’s not how you become wealthy. The following isn’t about design, it’s what will excel your success in the industry: soft skills.

1. Sales

We know business owners know about sites (and their value, sometimes). What hasn’t happened is a convincing argument for their business to have one. Tech skills don’t matter if you can’t sell services, convincing them to invest in a site.

Improve your sales pitch:

  1. Research and understand your target market
  2. Find what’s causing their website development friction
  3. Push benefits versus features (emotional vs logical)
  4. Solve their problems and back recommendations with experience
  5. Practice your presentation and sell yourself

Take sales courses on Udemy or Skillshare if needed. Else, refine your sales skills through practice and mentoring until you’re convincing. This skill helps business owners overcome their hesitations and agree to your services.

2. Marketing

Marketing fulfills two things:

Word-of-mouth referrals will likely generate the initial clients. From there, a well-ranking website attracts organic search users. This is your marketing funnel, driving leads and converting visitors into customers.

A bold design — confirmed with high rankings — is a selling point. You’re using the website as a case study. A business owner seeing its quality will want the same, plus services you may upsell (like SEO).

3. Customer Support

Customer support develops great relationships, increasing the customer’s lifetime value. Offer on-going support and you may land clients willing to pay a monthly retainer for your skills!

Improve your CS skills:

  • Learn about your client and their goals
  • Schedule regular discussions or follow-ups

Great customer experience can generate referrals, too.

4. Organization

Scope creep derails web design projects through endless revisions. Time spent on revisions prevent you from completing new gigs. This scope creep means you’re earning less each month, tightening the operational budget.

Control your operations:

  • Track tasks using time management apps
  • Set limits to revisions else charge extra
  • Learn to say no to troublesome clients
  • Create and use templates to streamline production

Create a routine you can replicate and apply to every lead or client. The routine saves time and resources, helping you reach goals and get paid.

The Market is There, Start Something Great

Do a search for local web design and you’ll find lots looking straight from the 1990’s — they’re laughable! Yet, they have a client list meaning they’re profitable ventures.

What does this say about your idea of starting a web design business?

Know that leveraging soft skills are as important as designing great sites. This is the difference in being successful in web design (and business as a whole).

Need more inspiration to get things going? See our favorite design posts.