Keep your overhead low.
2.) Do create three separate bank accounts for taking money in, for paying your labor, and for paying bills with a debit card. It’s never fun when a vendor dings your card and accidentally adds an extra zero at the end of a bill and you needed to make payroll.
3.) You are not a Bank, don’t lend money by working first then getting paid, take deposits on phases before you start a phase. If a client has a big project and needs NET terms then use a factoring company to check the credit worthiness of the client and to take over your accounts receivable for your company.
How do you do this though? Banks/creditors generally demand a personal guarantee on any small business credit cards, loans, etc. Specifically because small/new businesses are very risky.
Small businesses are risky. It doesn't pay to put your personal financial well being on the line to sign up a customer. You aren't starting a bank. Good factoring companies do a monthly credit worthiness check on your clients for you. A real asset for this kind of business.
I will keep in mind to keep overhead low, and develop strong relationships with people in my niche.
His father-in-law enjoys pointing out that this is today, a rather absurd career. Anybody can go online and create a website using a builder in an evening and get near professional results.
I don't wish for a moment to suggest that this business is up against it, but I will be curious to see how businesses will react compared to some years ago: most people who want an online presence, are either happy enough with nothing more than a social media presence, or are able to get something together that's good enough in wix.com or similar.
Of course for premium brands, they will hire in marketing agencies or even in-house staff, but that's not this niche market approach.
It could be a challenge to make a profit at this sort of gig soon!
That said, there are a few questions:
1. Do the gains of getting a professionally designed website offset the costs in some way? It should, but in many cases it does not.
2. (Mentioned elsewhere in this thread) The market has a lot of participants (saturated?), and the median end user is not good at differenting quality other than by personal reference (kind of... sort of...). As such, being a provider in the market can be a bit sketchy.
3. Anyone who is really good at web design (esp. if it extends to other aspects of the digital experience) will quickly realize that they can make a lot more money (and consistent money) by owning one or more businesses and crushing the online presence aspect of those markets. The startup costs are higher, but the ROI is really good.
Yes, the surface of Web Design market has changed a lot in past few years. But I still see lots of people making good money with this. I do not want to earn money by fooling customers tough, I will continue this only if I can make my customers at least 10x their investment in a year.
I also don't know how this journey will turn out but I want to give it a shot. I have dropped a lot of ideas previously in middle due to self-doubt, this time I want to give this one 100% effort and see what happens.
"Bla bla bla" is not going to cut it.
You need to partner with a copy writer. A business website lives and dies by its copy.
Good luck. There is good money out there. You just need to stand out. :)
Kudos to you, I'm just amazed people will pay that for what I tend to view as a DIY service!
I went a bit further and setup a dev environment so I could do custom tweaks if required but almost all of it was pretty simple and could be done from the UI. (There were some wonky responsive things that I had to take care of manually but that was more a personal issue since I hate leaving something I touch looking a little off).
I handed back the keys and said you're good to go. Weeks later the client attempted to do some updates and the contact form wasn't working and some weird other issues propped up from their changes. I quickly went back and fixed it.
Many people haven't put in the time nor do they have time (they are likely focused 100% on the literal business!) so this saves them headaches and maybe allows them the comfort to hang out with their family instead of tinkering with a website.
I tend to go for niche markets and own them through a combination of exceptional service and value. Squarespace allows is one of the services that allow for that. Do know that Im not affiliated in any way. They just make me money.
A business client will be focused on their business. Their website, while important, is likely not their core competency. So it makes perfect sense to outsource that and they won't care what the underlying platform is.
I just find it odd, is all.
Perhaps I should poke my head back into the space then, help to pay for the occasional holiday here and there!
Also, any tips on how to stand out?
I go by one rule:
Focus on their success not yours. No one cares about a website. They care about more leads and sales. Dont sell them a website. Sell them thr money they will make from it.
I'm curious about how you decided your niche and pricing. Did you do market research? Specifically, talking to dog trainers and see if they would be interested and how much they are willing to pay for your services?
As someone who has tried to sell to niche markets like that before I've found many niches are very stingy with cash. Some of them are likely sole proprietors and what you are asking for their website might be an entire week's pay for them.
Frankly, I have not done such market research. I saw a niche where people are actually buying website (by looking at Insta accounts of Dog Trainers), then checked for competition (there are a few, and that's good; I avoid Zero competition markets).
Before writing the copy I did some research on Dog Trainers, what they like, what they love and what they hate. Without knowing my target public I can't write a good copy. If you find places of improvement on my current copy then please let me know.
Also, thanks a lot to mention that the price may be expensive for them. This means I have to do one of two things - either lower the price, or build a copy that make them realize the ROI.
Thanks again mate :)
1-2 sales per week - that would be a good target for me. Thanks for pointing that out!
Change the headline on your landing page to clearly say what you do. E.g. add "Bespoke web sites for dog trainers" after the "More ..." bit.
The CTA at the bottom is easy to miss on skimming. Make that bigger.
Thanks for your input friend :)
Would like to be in touch with person who thinks I am like him/her!