Starting My Web Design Business
I’ve been working for my father’s small company for a total of 15 years since I graduated from college in 2003 with an associate degree in small business management. I started in sales and hoped to take over the company in the future. After 5 years in sales I started to build the company website as a form of marketing. This was one of the best decisions of my life now that I can look back because it led me to go back to school for a master’s degree in IT with a focus of web design and further led me into the interesting world of blockchain technology. The knowledge that I’ve gained about web design, search engine optimization and database management have been a foundation to my success in a way that I never thought possible.
I waited about 10 years to go back to school after getting my associate degree in 2003. In 2014 I received my bachelor’s degree in IT with a focus of web design and database administration by taking online classes as SNHU in New Hampshire. I proceeded directly into a graduate curriculum and graduated with a master’s degree in 2016. This gave me the idea of continuous improvement in life and in work, so I continued my education into business and received a second master’s degree known as an MBA in finance near the end of 2019. I found this to be the perfect time to transition my career into entrepreneurship. I have a strong grasp of how to start and operate a business from an accounting point of view, while also having a grasp on marketing through my career history of growing my father’s website to increase sales.
I’ve nearly completed my company brochure that I’ll use as a presentation when I speak to potential clients about their marketing needs. There are 3 main parts to building a website for a new client which starts with a basic 5-page website. Once the website is launched it needs to be optimized for Google because Google is scanning websites to find keywords and phrases that match search queries. My clients wouldn’t want their pages and pictures labeled with tropical vacation keywords when their website is about selling vehicles. Thirdly, and lastly, there’s an ongoing promotion phase that submits the new website to local yellow pages, social media pages and other directories that allow you to post content about your website. This is a monthly process of writing one blog post and sharing it throughout social media for the remainder of the month. Then repeat the process with a new post.
My ideal clients are small companies, very small, so small that they don’t yet have a website. I’m not overly interested in promoting a website that someone else built, but I might dependent on the exact circumstances. I’m interested in helping people that own small businesses to get online and attract the attention of new customers in their local area. I also prefer small companies that offer services rather than products, such as cleaning companies, photography, dog sitting, plumbers and electricians. Listing products online is a different type of national offering that involves a database and shopping cart. My client list will also remain local for some time so that I can easily visit them, take pictures and meet the rest of their staff.
My pricing structure is simple. $750 per month with added discounts for paying ahead. The first payment for the first month covers the entire 5-page website that won’t yet show up in Google. The second payment will start the optimization process of labeling URLs, pages, headers, tags and images with keywords that match your business and your local area, such as “Creating Visits Bedford NH”. The third payment starts the promotion process of building social media accounts, writing blog posts and signing up on local websites such as Yellow Pages and Google Local. After the third month, every subsequent month will be added promotion which inflates your website as if it’s a balloon taking more and more air. There are no magic tricks and I never operate in shady ways to gain a few visits. I work hard to build quality content that your customers will read and prompt them to pick up the phone to call for your services.
My proudest moment in my web design career was helping my mother-in-law with her cleaning business. During the recession she lost many of her clients and took a local bus driving job to supplement her income. I told my wife I wanted to build a website for her mom and promote it for free so that she could quit the bus driving job and get back to cleaning full time. It only took a simple 5-page website, basic optimization and a few months of promotion to get her the clients she needed to quit her second job. After a year went by, she asked me if I could shut the website off temporarily because she had more clients than she wanted. It would make me proud to help more people like this because most people truly enjoy work when they’re doing what they love.