How to Grow Your Web Design Business


Web designers are always looking for ways to give their business a boost. And whether you have an eye towards bringing on new clients or expanding the presence of existing ones, the main goal is to grow your bottom line. It’s part of the natural evolution for freelancers and agencies alike.

And, although we often strive for growth, it can be an intimidating concept. You might, for example, see it as something that takes a significant investment of time and/or money.

However, growth comes in many forms. You don’t necessarily have to toil away for years in hopes of coming up with that one big idea. There are some simple ways to expand your business that won’t require you to move mountains.

To be sure, these aren’t get-rich-quick schemes. Rather, they’re opportunities that may already be sitting right in front of you. Today, we’ll show you how to take advantage of them.

Prepare Clients for Technological Shifts

The web doesn’t stay the same for very long. Both the technology we use to build websites and user expectations change rapidly. Perhaps it’s a little scary – but it’s also a great opportunity.

We tend to implement these changes into new projects. That makes perfect sense, as you want to start with the latest and greatest. But we shouldn’t forget about existing clients.

Whether it’s a change to Google’s search algorithm or a revamped editing experience for WordPress, existing websites need to keep on evolving. Doing so will ensure that these sites can take full advantage of new technology. More importantly, it also means that they won’t fall too far behind the curve.

This can provide a steady stream of revenue. Yet, not all designers take advantage. They instead train their focus on new clients, thus leaving a potentially significant amount of money on the table.

The biggest hurdle here is communication. But by proactively keeping clients informed of these shifts, you open the door to expanding your bottom line.

A woman with computer code.

Offer Complementary Services

Like peanut butter and jelly, some services just go together. And adding the right ones to your web design business can make for a tasty combination. Or, at least improved cash flow.

And there are several complementary services that web designers can choose from. It might be recurring maintenance, web hosting, SEO, or even consulting.

You can configure things in a way that works best for both you and your clients. For example, you might do the dirty work yourself or contract it out to a third-party provider (more on that in a moment). Signing up with various affiliate programs is a popular solution.

That’s not to say that every service, no matter how natural an extension, is the right one for your business. While you can make some money, there is an added responsibility as well. It’s something to consider before making any decisions.

Still, design and development go deeper than just their respective names. There is a whole world of possibilities to grow.

A computer sits on a desk.

Team Up with Other Freelancers

Because web design is such a vast industry, many of us have chosen to focus on a particular niche. This allows for more detail-oriented service. However, it can also mean that we’re lacking in other areas that are important to our clients.

One way to tackle this challenge is by teaming up with other freelancers or agencies. Hire them to take on the work that you don’t typically do – and vice-versa. Tasks like email marketing, social media management, and custom coding are just a few potential areas for collaboration.

If you’re contracting outside help, you can add project management fees on top of what you’re being charged. The result is that you’ll make sure the job is done right while bringing in a little extra cash at the same time.

The other side of the coin is the ability to pick up new projects that cater to your skills. In the right situation, it’s a great way to add to your portfolio without having to hunt for new clients.

Again, there are some extra responsibilities involved. And it requires a solid working relationship with someone you trust. Therefore, it may be wise to test the waters on a project or two before making any commitments.

Two people having a fist bump.

Real Growth You Can Implement Today

The opportunities above are ideal for any web designer who wants to grow without radically remaking their business. They don’t require taking out a loan or spending tons of time developing a new product. They’re off-the-shelf ideas that can be implemented immediately.

And you don’t need to dive in with both feet. Starting small can add up to something over time. It’s possible to create a stable, modest boost to your income. As you become more comfortable, you can aim to take things to a higher level.

The key is in determining which areas will be mutually beneficial to you and your clients. The answer will be different for everyone, depending on your current situation. For some, the potential cash increase may not be worth the cost in terms of maintenance or other hassles.

Still, seizing the right opportunity may be just the thing your business needs to jumpstart growth.

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