How to Start a Home Based Web Design Business
Before starting my very own freelancing web design business I had 5 years worth of web development experience. I had been employed by both local and state government and had been fortunate enough to become exposed to some pretty big projects, as well as ongoing training.
This knowledge and experience allowed me to utilise my skills directly towards my very own business. However I had no real business experience and this proved to be a pretty steep learning curve!
Before venturing out on your own, you need to ask yourself.
Are you really cut out for the task? Is it really just a case of finding clients, building websites and making money? Will I be able to support myself financially?
Given the ever increasing demand for web development and freelance designers over the last few years, I’ve found it quite amazing the number of people who label themselves as “web designers” or “developers”.
It seems that almost everyone that has a little knowledge of HTML, or at least enough to be dangerous, considers themselves a qualified designer. But this certainly doesn’t mean they have business expertise.
Having been self employed as a freelance web designer for over 9 years, I know only too well, that quitting your full time job and moving towards self employment isn’t for everybody. Even if you can put up a WordPress blog in an hour, or you’ve played around with a bit of HTML using Frontpage there is still a lot more to learn.
Regardless of how brilliant you may be at all the technical stuff, running a business involves more than just being able to build nice websites. It involves running a real business, based on a strategic plan, establishing customer relations, generating income and overall – management.
But I need to be able to program and design websites don’t I?
Well having those skills certainly helps but it isn’t an absolute necessity. Forget about having to possess a university degree or a diploma in graphic design or programming. Having that knowledge is great to have, but it isn’t everything. And this is what makes freelancing so unique. It is possible to run your own freelancing web design business, without being a technical wiz, and simply outsource to external developers, or your team, leaving you to focus on running the actual business. Whilst I wouldn’t encourage this for absolute beginners of the industry, it is a possibility. However being a developer yourself is for obvious reasons, a better option and will form a stronger foundation for your business overall.
Now don’t be discouraged, I’m sure you can succeed, and you will. Just be mindful and realistic of your expectations and the implications of what’s involved before you quit your day job and begin setting up a desk in the back bedroom. I mean, why exactly are you doing this?
For most, its about freedom and doing something you love – web design. And in turn building a successful freelancing business. The definition of success however, will vary. For many, it may mean making thousands of dollars a month, and working towards employing staff and having a huge office, whilst others may be satisfied with earning a few hundred dollars a week and the overall satisfaction that comes with being self employed.
In summary, becoming a freelance web designer isn’t rocket science, but it can be challenging. As is with every business, there are elements of risk that can make you feel like you should have kept your day job. But the rewards once you are established, far outweigh the duldrums of the daily grind.
So whether you are a technical wiz, or perhaps just a keen business minded entrepreneur, or both, have a think about your current situation and ask yourself. Is this really for me? Is this what I really want to do?
If you are absolutely certain this is what you want to do – then I wish you the best of luck. There should be absolutely nothing holding you back! Go for it!
Let’s recap what we’ve learned in this
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