Pros & Pitfalls of Starting a Web Design Company
Small businesses benefit heavily from an online presence. Well-designed websites are one of the many ways small businesses can establish themselves online. And as a trained or self-taught web designer, starting a web design business might be a tempting offer to quit your normal nine to five.
However, you need to understand that the idea of starting a web design business can be a bit challenging. For this reason, you need a well thought out business plan to start and maintain your web design business. The Hook Agency has a detailed article on options and tips for creating a web design business plan.
Away from this, running a successful web design company takes more than just a good business plan. You require many clients to have a viable business. When you start, you will be spending more time chasing down opportunities than you will be working. But in the end, the returns will be priceless.
Want to go straight to the business plan that Hook Agency CEO, Tim Brown put together? Click the image above.
Below are the pros and cons of starting a web design company.
Pros of Starting a Web Design Company
Among the reasons to starts a web design company we have included:
1. You Get to Do What You Like Everyday
If you are like many other entrepreneurs thinking of starting a web design company, your main drive is that it is something you like. Starting this type of business is a perfect way of helping small businesses establish themselves online while following your passion.
As if that was not enough, a web design company will help you get creative every day. And with enough practice or experience, you will get to refine your web design skills while making something out of it. So, if you are a self-taught or trained web designer, a web design business could be the perfect way to fulfill your dream of being a small business owner.
2. Your Business Can Be Home Based
One of the biggest advantages of starting a web design company is you do not need an actual office. Having a physical place to go to work is a more traditional way of doing things. And while owning an office might give you a place to meet clients, there are additional costs associated with offices. You have to deal with rent, maintenance, and even bills.
Luckily, the offices are not necessary anymore. These days clients are usually open to meeting at their own offices or in a café or restaurant. If a client seems un-easy by your lack of physical location, be confident and honest about it.
However, when your web design business eventually grows and you need people working for you, it would be best to get an office.
3. You Can Work Part-Time
Starting a web design business can be done on a part-time basis at the initial stages. There will be long hard working hours ahead, but you can do this in between. What can be challenging is meeting with clients. Hopefully, you can try to squeeze those into your free hours, before or after your normal nine to five.
In some cases, you can even try to have online meetings using video conferencing platforms like Zoom or Skype. The work can be done at the weekend when you are not at work and in the evenings. Just make sure you take smaller projects you can handle and finish.
This way, you can build up your experience and portfolio.
4. You can Start a Web Design Business Without Learning Coding
Maybe you're just starting out and do not know CSS, HTML yet or maybe you do not have any coding knowledge at all. Luckily, coding is not a requirement. There are many platforms like WiX and WordPress that allow users to create professional websites with pre-built plugins and themes.
You can start out using such platforms to build your website design business when working with smaller clients. However, as your business grows to bigger clients, you might need to apply some coding knowledge, learn it if you must, or hire someone who can. There are plenty of online resources where you can learn coding for a small fee.
5. Not all the Competition is Up To Date with Everything Web Design
Web design is a business that is always developing and changing at an alarming pace. According to C# Corner, there were 23 million web developers in the US in 2018. However, most of these developers started out around 5 to 10 years ago, and are likely using out-dated techniques or falling behind.
The market is open for newcomers who are keeping up with the times. Potential clients need developers who have new knowledge and experience. If you can base your business around what's new in the web design business, you can have many clients willing to pay you for that.
So, make sure to always stay up to date with technology and use the knowledge in your web design company or you might find yourself out of date in 5 to 10 years.
6. It's a Great Opportunity for Under 30s
Starting a web design company is a great chance for young and aspiring web developers to make something for themselves. But don't get us wrong. Web design businesses are not necessarily for the young but there is an advantage to being under 30. Your view of things will be different compared to those older than you. People under 30 are likely to be up to date with the latest developments in the web design industry and are likely to relate better with the younger generation.
However, being over 30 should not stop you from starting a web design company. There is always room for improvement. You can still start and build a successful web design company irrespective of your age.
7. You Don't Need Much to Start
The best reason why you should start a web design business is that it takes very little investment to start. With just a good computer, you can complete many projects just sitting at home. Away from that, you'll need a small amount of cash to:
- Buy each domain for around $10
- Sign up for a managed web host for $25 to $30 per site
- Design your own theme for free, or you can buy a premium theme for around $40 to $50 traditionally (depending on the platform you use)
If you look at it, this adds up to an initial spend of around $100 maximum. Beyond that, everything else you make from the business will be profitable. You can start out working with smaller clients and make more investments into your business as you continue to earn.
For example, you can start out by upgrading your equipment, upgrade the hosting plan you are on, invest in your training, or invest in upgrading.
Keep in mind that if you want to go full on business, the above items are some of the things you'll want to cover. Don't forget that you'll need to decide if you're paying for hosting for the sites you build or if your client is. There are some niggly costs that can add up.
8. There's Always a High Demand for Specialists
When it comes to web design, there is a large spectrum of needs and skills that fall under it. And with the growing need for more businesses to have an online presence, there is a huge demand for these skills especially those with a more specialized focus.
When you finally decide to open your web design business, make sure to direct your business to something specific like web development. And the options are many. From mobile development, engineering to design, you can focus on one area where you can bring your skillset to.
Experts are sought after for their work and the advice they can give. At some point, you will be able to charge higher rates because of specializing, and with time you could become a leader in your field.
9. Web Design Comes With Higher Margins
For those still looking for a reason to start a website design company, money should be enough motivation. As we previously stated, web design requires little investment to start, and most of what you need to invest in is your time. Initially, things will take longer to do but with experience, you will get things done quicker and for higher prices.
Most experienced web designers charge rates per project. You can start looking at around $70 an hour and then increase rates as your experience and skills grow. If you become a web designer that is in high demand, clients will pay you premium rates for your services.
According to FreshBooks, the average cost of building and creating content for a basic website is around $6760. Become more than average and earn more.
10. Web Design Opens Up Doors to Other Opportunities
Web design is an area where you can make some great contacts. When you decide to venture into the web design industry, there are a variety of clients and companies waiting to use your services. And later in life, those contacts might come in handy. Just make sure to keep an open mind when dealing with clients and good things might come along.
Many large companies started from small businesses and through connections and partnerships have turned into multi-million dollar firms. Maintaining a healthy business relationship with most of your clients will go a long way toward earning you more money in the future.
11. There are Plenty of Information and Tools Available Online
A professional degree or certification is important in any profession. Those qualifications are an added advantage in starting a web design business. Clients find certifications reassuring and might be drawn to those with them. If you are qualified you can also likely start at a higher rate and maybe you can even take on larger and harder projects with ease.
But here's the good news, having these qualifications are not a requirement. There are many opportunities to learn along the way. You can read books, blogs, and even go through websites giving useful tips while teaching you some skills. Udemy and Code Academy are perfect places to start learning the basics.
Udemy is a fantastic place to start for a small fee if you don't consider yourself an expert in web design.
You can also get very useful tips by getting a job with an organization that offers training. These types of companies give you the needed skills and experience to start your own practice.
12. Web Design is a Large Industry to Work in
The web design industry has many companies both large and small. However, most companies are willing to share ideas and new skills. Most companies are happy to share their work with others to learn from it.
Think of the industry as a large network or team of people helping each other to be better. Website design communities are ready to offer technical support, advice, or talk with you if you are experiencing any web design problems.
13. Now is the Right Time
It might be a bit cliché but it's true that there has been never a greater time to get into web design. With the way people are using the internet, today businesses need experts to design websites for a better online presence.
Most businesses need a professional online presence but most of their websites are out of date and need updates or improvements. As a web designer, you have the chance to take the creative control of these types of businesses while making extra cash along the way.
Starting your own web design company means you have creative control over the projects unless the client says otherwise.
Pitfalls of Starting a Web Design Company
Don't get us wrong, a web design business can be successful and fun to work in. However, like most businesses, web design has its pitfalls too. Below are some you might want to check out before taking the next step.
1. Your Fate is Sealed
Any creative work for a client needs you to share large chunks of your personal time.
Web design is far from an entrepreneurial venture like most people think. Clients are your bosses, and you are at their mercy. During your time working you will encounter some wonderful and amazing clients. However, you will also encounter misguided and tyrannical clients along the way. And the worst part is that you never see them coming.
As a web designer, your work is to constantly keep your clients happy since unhappy clients never pay their bills. And regardless of how good your contract is, a web design company that does not please clients will not go for long.
2. It's Not the Easiest Business to Make $
No matter what anyone tells you, it's not easy to earn a lot of money from this business. Web design is good if you have a loyal customer base. In reality, there are many web design companies in a global marketplace. It's hard to find one company dominating the market.
Pandemic or no pandemic, small businesses fail all the time. You really have to have conviction to see it become a profitable venture and you have to be extremely dedicated to turn it into a career.
Before starting your web design company, you need to understand how different your services will be from other businesses. If you have already started, you might need to change your brand, product, or strategy as you see fit.
If you tailor your brand to be the best, your rewards will be immense.
3. There are limits to Size and Location
Companies all over have natural sizes that might change depending on how business is doing. For example, there are a few car companies worldwide that make billions of dollars every year. Yet many plumbers and electricians are one-man bands.
In web design companies, people tend to range from 1 to 10 people with most companies having a few staff of not more than 100 people. And like plumbers, web designers tend to focus on one geographical area, as long as they can meet face to face with their clients.
4. You Might Be Tied to Your Computer Every Day
If you're a person who doesn't fancy sitting facing your laptop the whole day, then web design might not be the business for you. Many web designers have to go through countless hours of designing websites and templates for clients who might not even appreciate the work when done.
The website design industry is not for the faint of heart, you have to be prepared to allocate most of your time to work. Sometimes, working on major projects might take even more time compared to your normal nine to five job.
Before You Leave
Being a web designer is a whirlwind of problem-solving and being creative. If you decide to get into the website design business, be ready for mistakes and understand that web development businesses will not always be smooth. In the beginning, there will be more risks to be taken and some hard decisions to make along the way. If you have other work to do, it might be best to start slowly before investing all your time into the business.
However, with the right lead generation techniques, and tips to create regular leads, you have the chance to start and maintain a successful web design company. To those committed though, all the best. Web design is work in high demand, takes little investments, and there is always room for growth. Just get started an we'll meet you half way.
If you are looking to provide web design services, you need to find an agency that puts all your needs first while getting the desired results. At Agency Jet, we understand the needs and limitations of Minneapolis web design businesses. Our services are tailored for Minneapolis businesses, and we always have the best package suited for you.
Moreover, we are not like other agencies and we will never hide our work from you.
If you are thinking of starting your web design company in Minneapolis, contact us today for more information. We promise to take your web design company to the next step.
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