How to Start a Web Design Agency in 28 Days: Week Four

Three weeks ago, you started a web design agency. Then in the last two weeks, you have taken a step towards making your business viable by defining who you are as a business and putting together your documents.

This week, we’ll tie up loose ends so you’re a fully functioning agency that can pick and choose the work you take on.

Day 22: Deck Park

In the next few years, you’ll be doing a lot of pitching: walking into a room and trying to convince someone to give you their business.

Here’s the good news: if you’re in the room, you probably got the job. Stakeholders in successful businesses are usually very busy, so if they take the time to see you, they take you seriously.

The best way to allay their doubts and secure the job is to walk in with a pitch deck. Pitch decks are usually associated with startups but work well for design agencies.

Consider your portfolio pitch deck formatted for business concerns. Include work samples if you have them, your elevator pitch, and as many tangible facts as possible about the service you offer. Keep it short, and use it as a framework for meetings.

Day 23: Initial Checklist

No one would suggest that web design is paint by numbers. You can’t lay out websites with a checklist as if you were doing laundry. However, there are several steps to the process is repetitive, one of which is the start process.

Too many projects are derailed by a slow start. You’ve probably agreed to a deadline, and making sure you have everything you need to make progress is key to meeting that deadline.

As with any repetitive process, it is advisable to create a document, in this case a checklist, to speed up this phase of your projects.

Day 24: Get Some Backups

Whether starting out as a freelancer, in partnership, or with a skeleton crew, you can’t do everything yourself.

This does not mean hiring staff – that is an expensive step that you should only consider if you have the financial resources to guarantee a stable cash flow.

Instead, reach out to your network or even independent boards and see who is available if and when you need help. For example, it’s always helpful to have the contact details of an experienced server administrator – you’ll only need them once or twice a year, but when you do, they’re worth their weight in gold. It’s also worth having a few contacts who can do simple, time-consuming tasks like image processing.

Outsourcing means focusing on the parts of the job that maximize your profits. Don’t wait until you need them; start developing these networks now, so when the need arises, you know who to contact.

Day 25: Website

Ok, 25 days in, it’s finally time to build your website. Yes, in one day.

You already have your elevator pitch, logo, and intended niche. You also have the terms of service and a link to your social media. That’s all you need to get a simple business card design online.

Of course, as you start onboarding clients, you’ll develop a portfolio that will allow you to improve your site. But now, you need presence quickly.

You picked up your hosting on day 19; today is the day to put something on.

Day 26: Client No.1

The biggest challenge for any web design agency is getting good, paying clients.

I know an agency that burned through seed money for a whole year, waiting for clients to knock on the door. I also know an agency that was only founded because one high-profile client showed up in the creative director’s dorm room. Those are the extremes, but whatever your story is, your clients will define it.

Back on the eight day, you wrote a list of potential clients. Today, you have to approach one. Your goal is to set up a meeting where you can sell them your service. You don’t need to phone or visit in person; it’s okay to email them or send them on social media if those are your strengths. Then, invite them for coffee and an informal chat at the coffee shop of your choice on the twelfth day.

Most of you will be hit back. That’s the nature of the business. The key is to get back on the horse. Try to learn from your approach, and take steps to improve next time.

Your first cold approach is nerve-racing; if not, then maybe you’re not taking this seriously enough. But I can promise that approach number two will be easier, and by the time you’ve done a few dozen, you might start to enjoy it.

Day 27: Quit

A wise man once said, “You will never make money working for someone else.” Twenty-seven days ago, you began this process, hoping to gain control of your destiny.

The last step is to quit whatever dead-end job you’ve been accepting until now. You don’t have to burn your bridges; you don’t have to punch the boss and kiss your office crush on the way out the door; you need to take a mental break from your old life to focus on the future.

If you can’t afford to quit, you should quit smoking quietly. Make sure you find the mental space to give your agency the attention it needs.

Day 28: The rest

Over the past four weeks, you’ve maneuvered yourself into the best possible position to launch your new agency. You have decided who you are, who you plan to be, and how you will express that to the world.

Whether this plan is viable in the long term is up to you. You make your own luck in this world.

Today, do what you always do on the last day of the week and rest. Then, tomorrow, you will start creating your path to success.

Image featured via Pexels.

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By LocalBizWebsiteDesign

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