Are you interested in starting a web design business from home but you have no existing design portfolio to show to clients because you are a newbie? If YES, then below is an in-depth guide on how to start a web design business with WordPress.
The awareness is increasing globally about the effectiveness of the internet as a tool for business growth and lead generation. And with this trend comes an escalating demand for all professionals who work to help individuals and businesses establish an online presence—especially web designers.
The web design industry has been enjoying tremendous growth for close to two decades now, and it is expected to keep waxing for many years to come. If you understand the steps involved in setting up a website, then you can turn that knowledge into the most lucrative business venture you can ever dream of.
This article discusses the steps involved in setting up a web design business from home even if you have no existing portfolio. If you have always loved to be your own boss, working at your own pace, and earning an unlimited income, then this guide is for you.
Starting a Web Design Business from Home With No Portfolio – Sample Business Plan Template
1. Calculate startup costs
Every business will cost you some money to start. So, you should expect to part with some cash as you dip your feet into the web design business. You can start by making a list of the basic equipment you will need to start and run your business effectively. You should also include the cost of the latest versions of the software packages that you will need and the cost of getting a new PC (if necessary).
Also, you should include the cost of getting a web design service business plan, a reliable internet connection, domain name registration and website hosting, stationery supplies, and so on.
2. Set up your portfolio website
Setting up your own website is a must. If you don’t have yours, how would you convince potential clients that you can really set one up? You will need to set up not just a website, but a flawless one that really shows you off as a professional and creative website designer. Who will hire a web designer whose website is poorly designed?
Aside being professionally designed and aesthetically pleasing, your website should clearly state the services you offer and boldly flaunt your contact details.
Your website would be incomplete without samples of web design projects you have handled in the past. The flawless look of your website alone might not be enough to convince many potential clients; they will need proof that you can replicate the same level of expertise on other projects.
If you are just starting out, chances are that you don’t have sample design projects to show on your website. You can get some easily by doing some projects for free or very cheap prices.
Better yet, you can do some projects just to use them as samples. Only a few samples would suffice; so you don’t need to do more than 3 or 4. Your portfolio will grow bigger with time as you handle more client projects.
After setting up your website, you need to figure out how much to charge. You can decide to charge by the hour or by the complexity of the project.
Although being rigid on price can be difficult when you are trying to attract your first set of clients, it can help you avoid clients that are out to lowball your prices and pay you less than your worth. So, you will need to suppress your emotions by setting standard rates, or you will end up working your tail off for meager pay.
4. Set up your routine
Although being your own boss gives you freedom, you need to have a consistent structure for your typical working day. Have a daily schedule that sets your various activities for the most appropriate times of the day for them.
Have fixed times of the day for working on client projects, answering emails, marketing your business, interacting with other professionals online, and attending to personal and social needs. After setting this routine, you must stick with it strictly. This will help you become consistently productive.
5. Join networks
You will need to join online communities where you can interact with other individuals. These include veteran web designers from whom you can learn more about your craft, and other freelancers who offer services that are closely related to yours. For example, by interacting with copywriters, SEO experts, and other internet marketers, you can get some client referrals from them, just as they can from you, too.
6. Market your business
No one will hire your services if they don’t know it exists, so you will need to create awareness about your business to attract clients. Adopt effective online marketing techniques such as advertising your services on relevant blogs and websites, forum marketing, pay-per-click advertising, classified ads, and so on.
Offline advertising media such as local newspapers, handbills, and display adverts are also good strategies you can use for promoting your business.