Web design can be a lucrative business choice if you have the creativity and knowledge required. The majority of businesses will not have the skills in-house to create an outstanding website from nothing. Therefore, if you are able to do it for them then they can hire you and pay for your time. The work you receive can vary from a few hours of simple designing to large undertakings which may require you to work full-time for one employer for some time.
Skills needed: You need to know HTML language and be must able to update the website of your clients. Knowledge of multimedia programming languages like Flash or Java is also required for the sophisticated webpages of today. You also need to be capable of doing your own graphic design to a high standard. Other programming languages would be extremely helpful and make you more valuable, but due to the rapidly changing programming standards it is difficult to keep up to date with all the latest ones and instead you should focus on becoming an expert in one or two.
Business environment and set-up cost: There are not many barriers stopping you from working internationally, you can even travel abroad with your laptop if you need to meet with clients. The biggest issue is probably the client trusting you with full access to their website. The business should not cost much to start as you will be able to design your own website. If you do not own them already, you will need various software web design tools like Dreamweaver. The total cost will range from almost nothing to about £1000 if you need to purchase software.
- Join a pay-per-click scheme at one of the major search engines
- Build your site around a quality portfolio that showcases your previous work and includes testimonials
- Become actively involved in forums and newsgroups, not just those related to web design but also general business ones. When you post make sure you have an impressive signature which directs people to your website
- Add your website address to business service link directories in order to reach your target market
- Consider adding regular content to your website that encourages repeat visits, like advice columns about the software you use
- Use OnlineOffice to set up web-site, blog and online shop to promote your business online
Complimentary business ideas: As a web designer you have numerous related sideline business opportunities such as graphic design or project management.
Notes: Due to the highly competitive nature of the market, the only thing that will set you apart from the others is a portfolio of very high standard. Make sure you provide links to the clients you have worked for so potential customers can see for themselves.
Online examples & resources:
- Verb Interactive – an example of an impressive web design company
- Web Design – daily web design advice blog from About.com
- Open Source Web Design – free web design templates
- Tlbox – free web design tools