You have seen some of the coolest and most beautiful website designs as you travel through the Internet. Everything from Flash videos to interactive designs piques your interest and has you wondering about building a living through designing your own websites. Maybe you have pursued it as a hobby, but now want much more from your acquired skills. What follows is a basic guide on how to get you started.
Instead of trying to rush in immediately and start making money designing, you need to get organized. In fact, organization is one of the things that will keep your business running smoothly and also help you when you create a website. Some of the basic tools are free, but be sure to assess each one to make sure it fits your purpose and the way you do business.
The first tool you will need is a time tracker. It is one thing to work on one project at a time, but to have a business will require you to be working on multiple projects with multiple deadlines. In other words, a time tracker is essential. You will also have to manage projects and tasks within those projects, so add project and tasks managers to your list of tools.
Finally, when you start actually seeing money come in you will have to manage that as well. Look for a reputable financing and invoicing package that will best suit your needs. Do not overdo it by thinking you are Google or Apple. Keep it small and simple, and be sure it is expandable for the days ahead.
Step-by-Step To a Future
Now that the tools are in place, the next set of steps you need to see as a process. The reason is not everything is going to happen as fast as you like. Or, everything will happen so fast you will be challenged to keep up. So review the steps as a whole, then go back and evaluate each one to see where you are and how to get there.
- Though many website design startup checklists begin with examining your finances, that is not a step that is always necessary. There have been businesses that start up with virtually no money and are wildly successful. What is perhaps the most important first step is to establish your brand, or reputation, on the Internet. When people believe you are competent and deliver on time, your reputation will often cover your startup expenses.
- What potential clients want to see is what you are capable of. The great thing about designing websites is that you can show people what you can do by creating your own personal website that shows your ideas and work. Make it clear, and make it simple, but have it readily available for everyone to see
- This is one of the most difficult parts of starting your own business in most industries – deciding how much to charge. You can research how much to charge based on where you live, but the basic problem is if you charge too low they client may think you are not that experienced and just trying to make money, while if you charge too much you will overprice your value. Keep your prices in line with the competition and you will adjust your prices to find exactly what you are worth.
- The next step is to find ways to market your business and your talents. You can use social media marketing or simply advertise your business locally. The marketing method you choose will have to be one that gives you the greatest opportunity to sell yourself to people who are willing to pay for your services. Do not lose perspective and believe you can take any job that comes along. You may get in over your head and harm your brand with larger companies, or you may work very hard for very little money trying to make businesses that truly cannot afford your services satisfied.
- Keep current by using the vast number of websites and blogs committed to educating people about website design. Take advantage of the experience of others, and learn and refine their ideas so they work for you.
Do Not Expect Too Much Too Soon
The reason to not expect too much too soon is to avoid early disappointment. Things take time, and one of the better problems to have is to be forced to manage rapid expansion. That day may come sooner than later, but at the beginning be patient and do not get too high or too low. There is a strong demand for quality website designers, and will be for the foreseeable future. What will separate you from the crowd is your creativity and your experience. But be certain that there is very strong competition out there until you get yourself established. Until then, be patient with yourself and with your clients.