Running your own web design business is rewarding. You get to meet other business owners and interesting people who hustle to make their businesses grow. However, it’s also a highly competitive field. You compete with automated companies, such as Wix, Weebly and other cookie cutter type design sites.
Approximately 125,890 web developers exist in the United States. Not all of those hold the title of web designer and some manage websites for larger companies rather than owning their own business. Grow your business by making your web design business run like a well-oiled machine.
You can implement some process improvements across your business to help offer better customer service, better designs and use your time more wisely. Check out the following eight simple process improvements to get you started:
1. Create Standard Forms
Do you find yourself creating new job quotes everytime you get a new lead? Create some forms ahead of time and add the details of new customers later. A quote form is a good place to start. You can add details such as your logo, the layout of the form and your policies. When it’s time to send a quote to a lead, you plug in their specific information along with the quote amount and zip it over to them.
If you ask your clients to sign an agreement, go ahead and create that. If you follow-up with any emails or letters, get those in place. Anything you can create ahead of time saves you time down the road. Creating standard forms now saves time later.
2. Update Your Own Site
You spend a majority of your time designing other people’s websites, which may lead to a neglected site for your own business. Add content to your site on a regular basis to ensure you keep it up-to-date. Take the time to share news when you add a new client. Featuring new designs puts the client in the spotlight and keeps your website current.
Studies show that companies who post 16 or more times a month get more than triple the traffic of those publishing four times or fewer. While you might not publish four posts a week, go ahead and publish as many as you can and get your numbers up. Schedule posts ahead and use tools to schedule social media posts as well.
3. Ramp Up Your Security
Keep your hard work secure by ramping up your security and adding a layer of protection to your digital property. Keep data backed up in a secure location. Around six percent of computers face data loss in some form throughout the year. In addition to data on customers, back up your designs on a remote server. Automating backups creates a huge time saver and prevents the catastrophe of forgetting to back up and then losing every bit of data you have.
4. Focus on One Task
Multitasking is tempting as the owner of a business. At any given times it feels like 90 things compete for your attention. However, studies show you’re better off focusing on one task at a time. Researchers found multitasking lowers performance and costs companies about $450 million a year.
Start a new habit to focus on and complete one task before moving on to the next thing on your list.
5. Adopt To-Do Lists
The little details you discuss with a client to improve their website can easily fall to the wayside. Perhaps a client asks to add a splash of robin’s egg blue to their header, but since that conversation you talked with at least ten other leads. You never wrote the note about robin’s egg blue down, so you naturally forget it, but if you added it to a to-do list, you would’ve impressed a client with your prompt response. You can compile your to-do list on an app, such as Toodledo or you can keep it old school on paper — use whichever option will drive the most results.
You’ll find satisfaction when you mark listed to-do items as complete.
6. Hone Your Message
What is your unique selling proposition (USP) as a business? What do you offer that no one else does? Once you figure out your USP, share that message in all marketing, on your website and with your employees. If your USP involves offering a personalized experience, then everything about your business must show personalization from the first time a customer makes contact to follow-up with the customer.
7. Centralize Everything
Do you work efficiently? Using project management software allows you to contain notes, design ideas and changes all in one convenient location. Many of the project management sites also allow you to invoice your client from the same platform. Some viable options exist to choose from, but two platforms proven to work well for web designers include Webydo and Slack.
8. Anticipate the Future
The opposite of procrastination is anticipation. Instead of putting off tasks for tomorrow, complete them as you go. Not procrastinating becomes especially important with things such as bookkeeping. Putting off entering items leads to an overload of paperwork.
Small Changes Equal Big Improvements
Make it a daily goal to make one small change that improves your processes. Over time, those little habits turn into big successes. Utilize the tools at your disposal and make the changes that grow your business.