Here are a few tips for web designers who want to start their own web design business. I know it looks easy to start out, but trust me – It is harder then it looks. I am a full time designer and I have ran into nightmare projects as well as unwelcomed clients. Here are a few tips to keep things fairly easy and organized.
Get your domain at godaddy.com with hosting too. Build your design website. It must have the following: home, about (optional), portfolio (important), and your contact e-mail.
If you are having the issue of not having a current portfolio, just go to craigslist.com and make a few posting for a free website for people but make sure it’s only 1-5 pages for this deal. Otherwise, there are some people out there who would gladly take advantage of you. Be sure to post your URL in the footer of the website once you have completed it.
Make business cards, only if you can afford it. There are also places on the internet where you can get free business cards. The only cost is shipping, and the catch is that they will have their website address on the back. If you don’t mind that, it’s a preety good deal I would come to think.
Create your Web Design contract. This is very important because if something happens like lets say, you complete the rest of the website layout and your client refuses to pay you – you will have a contract to show in case you decide to take this as far as the court room. It also gives the client a sort of reminder that your design business is serious when it comes to creating a website. There are a couple sites that give you examples of free websites that you can fish around for. Make sure the contract terms include website details of what is to be done, payment details, estimate and length of project, and full name and address of your client along with phone number. Those are the essentials.
Don’t wait to get paid until after the website is completed: This is the first mistake I made when I first created a website for one of my first clients. The project I was creating, well he wanted revision after revision. A month went by and we were still doing the revisions. I finally completed the site and he decided he didn’t want it anymore. So, all that work was spent for nothing but a good lesson was learned. That’s also when I learned – a contract would have served me great in that situation. Always take payment after a preview of the layout or do it in 3 billing steps. Before, in the middle, and after. I prefer to bill my clients in 2 steps which is 50% and 50% for final website.
The client is always right: I know that a lot of you web designers have a great sense of style and creative values. That’s what we were hired for, right? Well, sometimes there are clients who come along and once we create their website – they want changes, correct? Yes! Most of the time this happens, but some of the people want their business website to look almost personal. For instance, I had someone who said to me “Let’s have a yellow backround and falling raindrops for my site.” Well, that would look terrible. But I guarantee if you argue with the client and say no, your out of money. Just politely do what they say. If you don’t like the website you created for them, just don’t add it to your portfolio. For instance, I only add the best websites to my portfolio. The ones I don’t like are saved, but others just can’t view it.
Where do I find clients for my web design business? The best place to find clients is getafreelancer.com. It is a bidding site just like EBAY, but only for web design projects and data entry as well. However, if you don’t have ratings on that site it is preety difficult to win the bids without feedback so I suggest using craigslist until you get a feedback of at least 10 or more on there.