So, you’ve recently finished studying all of the crucial skills needed to create websites, managed to save some money, read several articles on starting a business, and now you are all excited to set up your web design agency.
Considering that modern companies desperately need websites that help increase their visibility, improve brand image, gain new customers, and boost sales, a web design company is potentially a very profitable business. There are many web design companies out there that are trying to establish themselves as specialists. Of course, not all of them meet the standards of services they claim to provide. And this is one of the things you can use to your advantage. By delivering high-quality web design services, you can set your company apart from your competitors and become one of the top providers in the market, at least in your local area.
But how do you start? What do you focus on? Don’t worry - we’ll try to make everything simple and straight forward. In this brief guide, we’ll take a look at the first steps you will have to take to successfully follow through the process of building your web design company.
At first, it may seem scary, but if you apply the tips from this article, you will be capable of going through the initial process and have your own company up and running in no time. So, let’s take a closer look at the things you should do when starting your own web design company.
Tip #1. Establish a Vision
If you want to build a successful company, first of all, you must understand that it’s not enough to do something you’re good at. You have to believe in doing excellent work. You need a mission that encourages you to succeed.
Although tricking customers into overspending for cheap and badly designed websites may help you “get rich quick”, it is not a good strategy for building a successful and lasting web design company. Therefore, you must decide what type of business you are going to establish. Whether you choose to set up a web design company that targets a particular industry or to go big by providing full-scale web design services no matter the niche, you must have a very clear vision for your firm. This is the vision you are going to keep following, no matter what the market tells you.
Tip #2. Develop a Business Model
Once you have clarified your business approach, you can take care of what most entrepreneurs consider the least fun part of starting a business: conducting research and handling legal work.
The very first thing you will have to do is to apply for a business license for your web design company. Then, you will have to acquire business insurance for your organization. This procedure will vary depending on where you reside. If you are creating a company in the US, you can find out more about obtaining a company license on the website of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). You can also talk to a lawyer for more information and advice on the matter.
Then you’ve got to do some research and get a better idea of your competition. Whether you are aiming for a local or worldwide audience, you will always have competitors in the web design industry. Be sure to explore your immediate surroundings to see how your competitors handle their business, what kind of work they do, and how they attract new clients. Take all that data, analyze it, and come up with a way to do it all better.
You will have to find out what kind of issues customers are having when creating websites and then offer a way to either go around them or fix them. A business plan like that will always bear great fruit.
Tip #3. Arrange an Excellent Team
Remember that you’re setting up a real company, not a freelance entrepreneurship. Therefore, forget about trying to handle all the tasks alone, no matter how able, and effective you consider yourself. Also, don’t try to set up a business with a team that doesn’t cover all of its initial needs.
What you have to do is build a team that includes members who bring expertise, skill, and understanding to cover every single aspect of your web design company’s model. Try to avoid amateurs and find the most experienced people for your company’s team.
If you don’t have a big enough budget to hire expert web designers to work in house, there’s always a way to assemble a remote team for an affordable price. If you look around, you’ll notice that tons of start-up companies resort to this strategy along with outsourcing and manage to do some spectacular work.
According to research conducted by Global Workplace Analytics, an average company can save up to $11,000 per employee annually just by letting them work from home half of the time.
Tip #4: Launch Your Site and Upload Your Portfolio
This is the stage where you design your company’s website and arrange your portfolio. Developing a web design company site is all about communicating the identity of your company. Invest all your skills and expertise to work and create a website that demonstrates what sets you apart from the generic competitors in your industry. Your website has to look original and catchy, but also functional and usable. This way, you will not only show off your portfolio, but also your team’s skills and abilities. In other words, you will make a statement about your services with actual work, not merely slogans.
A portfolio is something you will have to start assembling in the early stages of setting up your web design company. You will be asked to show your work examples with team candidates, clients, and other people you’re going to work with in the future. You have to be ready to impress everyone, especially potential customers with great designs.
You may also consider doing some free work to give your agency an initial boost. Try finding clients that will agree to get redesigns for their sites for free in exchange for mentioning your web design on their websites. You can create an amazing website template and post it online at no cost. Doing some web design work for friends and family can also help you get your name out there.
Tip #5. Devise a Marketing Strategy and Start Promoting Your Brand
It’s very hard to get web design customers by just sitting at the office and hoping that they come to you directly. You will need to promote your brand to get noticed and to obtain at least the minimum amount of trust.
You may begin by starting a blog and developing a unique image for your brand. Take advantage of such web design and development platforms, like GitHub and StackOverflow, so that your potential customers can notice you and your work.
Then, develop a content strategy and select social media platforms where you can advertise your agency. Don’t try to conquer every platform. Instead, find the one that suits your business model and start investing in it. Dribbble and Behance are perhaps the most appropriate for web design companies, so you should check them out for sure.
The Bottom Line: It’s Just the Beginning
The most important thing you have to remember at this stage is that launching a company is an easy part of your journey. Finding prospects, winning customers, and becoming successful in this highly competitive area is the hard part. For better or worse, the difficult part only starts after your agency is set up and working.
Just remember - always stick to your business model and create great designs for each and every one of your customers, no matter how big or small the project. And it’s okay if you hit a bump or two along the way. Building a reputation takes time, and it is going to be a matter of time before customers start lining up at your door, waiting for excellent web design services that your amazing team provides.