To start a web design business, It goes without saying that you should have the knowledge and experience in web design before starting a web design business. Once you have that, you’ll need:
- A home office that is quiet and free from distractions
- Hardware, including a computer, quality monitor, scanner, printer, and digital camera
- Software for graphics, photos, and video, which may be free or cost hundreds of dollars
- A high-speed Internet connection and perhaps server space for site hosting and testing
- A menu of the services you’ll provide and what you’ll charge for them.
- A contract that outlines all the policies on how you work.
- A business plan, outlining your services, target market, and financial goals.
- A marketing plan that includes your target market and how you plan to reach it.
- A website of your own that not only represents your skills but offers a place to showcase your portfolio of work online.
- Marketing materials, such as business cards and brochures.
- A strong network to access for possible referrals. This network can include people you’ve designed for before, but also other professionals that work with businesses that can use designers. For example, you should have a network of copywriters, graphic designers and others involved in developing websites. It’s possible you’ll have a client that wants a website, but doesn’t already have text and graphics. With your network, you have other businesses you can refer your client to, as well as the other businesses can refer their clients back to you for web design.
Once you have your business set up, the challenge will be to find that first client. There are many ways to find clients, including using your network. Be sure to gather testimonials and develop a program for getting referrals, as obtaining repeat and referral customers is the cheapest and most effective way to build your web design business.
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