2 min read

Web design company overhaul

For years now, I have designed websites for my own projects and for clients. Designing and building is something that I enjoy doing, and therefore don't want to put the company in the bin, however something needs to change to make it viable to continue to run.

Historically, I have undercharged clients due to a) wanting to get the business at all costs and b) lack of confidence in ability given that I operate as a one-person business, only outsourcing when truly required. My systems and processes were not optimised as it was just me completing every stage. My third party integration works were only carried out when requested, rather than advised. The list goes on...

That being said, the websites that I produced loaded quickly, were secure, ranked relatively well with Google and were (and still are!) aesthetically pleasing. The way I was operating just wasn't sustainable as a 'side hustle' alongside a busy day job, and spending time with my wife and kids.

The purpose of this post is largely to serve as a reminder to myself as to why I am changing the business, what the problems were, and how different and better things will be in the future; especially when I have a steady stream of clients as I'll begin to outsource where appropriate.

So, what's changing?

In short, the entire business model and the way that I operate, as well as trimming down the additional services. I have been guilty of trying to offer too much, so now it's purely focused on what I'm good at - design, build and manage.

What happens now?
I rely largely on word of mouth advertising, and get introduced through clients or mutual friends. Due to this, the quote and build up process is always a bit more informal, leaving some guidelines and boundaries unclear. This has often led to me undercharging and bending over backwards for little reward - it's the latter that is the fundamental reason for change here. The scope of the works were not clearly defined at all times, which led to some messy situations. We live and we learn.

What will happen going forward?
The new format of the business will have set parameters and set pricing for each project, given that the new model is based on an upfront design fee where templates are utilised, and then a subscription model for hosting and maintenance going forward. With the set parameters and timings associated with each package, there will be a heavily reduced impact on my time.

The full process of a new client signing up and paying for the initial set up will be done through the website, with esitmated availability for a start date shown clearly on the page. This will be followed up with automated processes that will email them to ask them to define which pages (up to five) that they wish to be set up, and if applicable to upload the copy they want on each page.

The abovementioned process change will greatly improve the onboarding experience for clients, as well as reducing the time it takes for me to set up each client on the system, therefore allowing the allotted hours to be solely spent on building, and give me more time to focus on the marketing and working on new business.

When will I carry out the changes?

The processes are being mapped out and set up now, with the website redesign coming up shortly after, so that I'm ready to accept new business. There's no point in setting up the website to take new clients without the processes being there first.

Watch this space; I'm excited.