It isn’t too late to start a web design firm and take advantage of the growing Internet industry. In fact, today, web design firms are needed more than ever – with the growth of Web 2.0 and Ajax technologies, companies are looking for web designers with social networking experience.
Starting a web design firm is one with a very low initial investment, but one which can pay high rates for talented designers. If you are primarily a graphics designer, you may need to hire a developer (or contract with one) for those needs, and likewise if you are primarily a developer, working with a talent graphics designer will make your web design firm much more successful.
The greatest challenge for many designers is not finding customers, but finding the right customers. You want to work with web design clients that fit your niche and your business, are easy to work with, and allow you an opportunity to make a profit. It is often difficult to find these customers and you will often work through several relationships until you find the ideal clients.
We recommend focusing on a niche – either geographic (local clients) or vertical (specific industry or style) – it is easier to sell based on niche experience than it is to be a generalist web design firm and try to be everything to everyone.
How do I get started?
Starting a web design firm is not difficult at all. From a technology perspective, you will probably need Adobe Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Illustrator, and Microsoft Visual suite of development tools – if you are going to be a .NET shop.
Many designers are opting for an Apple computer – you can run all of your favorite applications and even keep Windows handy in a dual boot mode or in an emulator. This allows you to work with people on any platform – and look cool doing it.
Initially, the best marketing tool is word of mouth. We recommend contacting your friends and family for referrals for business. You can often find several initial clients to build your portfolio before responding to bids and increasing your marketing.
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