By Anurag Gupta
At the risk of sounding boastful, I must say my web designing company has seen 17 springs and is still going strong. Time was kind when I began this company with just a handful of designers. The competition was tough but not cut-throat; we enjoyed a breathing space that the businesses of this decade can’t afford.
Today, when I trace back our growth journey in order to skim off the five valuable tips I’ve listed below, I feel this knowledge and actionable advice must float to my fellow web designers. So here’s a sneak peek into how you can grow your web design business.
1. Set Up a B2B Portal
Yes, you read correctly. I must also tell you, the idea draws raised eyebrows and grins from all first-time listeners. But it has played a big part in the growth of my web designing company WeblinkIndia.net.
I may be spilling too many beans when I say that we set up a B2B portal www.exportersindia.com as a lead-generation tool. This is an online marketplace with more than decent footfalls a day. The sellers in pursuit of prospective buyers land on the portal, post classified ads, develop connections and return happy with the business. In the process, we strategically target those leads which either don’t own a website or run one that needs a facelift.
This way, the flow of leads never stems; one of the key determinants in the growth of your web designing business.
Caveat: Maintaining a B2B portal requires a team set up so, you should be prepared for that investment.
2. It Takes “Many” to Tango
Here are the excerpts from a failed yet enlightening telephonic sales pitch:
My Marketing Executive: “Sir, we have beautiful web designs for you.” ………
Prospective Client: “What else do you have?”…..
My Marketing Executive: Silence, Stutter, Pause………. “Sir, we have beautiful web designs for you.”
This seconds-long conversation revealed the limitation of our only strength. The lesson was, if you offer only web design, there will be few takers.
So we devised packages that complemented web designing with website development, SEO services, content writing and digital Marketing as add-ons. As a result, our marketing executives never stuttered again, and the conversion rate spurted.
Caveat: We roped in professionals for all the complementary services but that paid off as our revenues swelled.
3. Be a Regular Face at Web Designing Competitions
I admit the first two tips may be a little too demanding for they require team-building.
Here’s actionable advice for companies running with tight purse strings. Enter online web designing contests! Apart from Brushing Up Your Web Designing Skills, you reap two direct benefits from it:
- You stand the chance of winning the prize.
- More important, you gain exposure to a niche community where showcasing your web designing Skills brings inestimable returns.
Without an ounce of embarrassment, I confess we entered many such competitions and returned empty-handed on many occasions. But the sponsoring companies, the jurists and the participants involved in such competitions today constitute a big share of space in my business contact books. There are a fair number of current clients who got to know about our company in such competitions. So today, I can comfortably say, I never really came back empty-handed.
Caveat: Beware while applying for an online competition if it involves an upfront registration fee. Fraudulent cases have been reported.
4. Try Out Freelancing Platforms
I carry a mixed feeling of pity and envy for people involved in web design now. I pity them for the ruthless competition they face but also envy the streams of available freelancing platforms, where they can find some quick assignments.
I wish I had had such broad and systematic exposure to freelancing options back when I entered into the field. You definitely have this option at your disposal today. In just three simple steps, you can trigger the growth of your business:
- Launch an online search for freelancing marketplaces
- Set up an account, which is usually free, and enter complete profile details
- Maintain a hawkish view on web designing freelance jobs being posted
Once you trace the job of your interest, send your proposal. A round of waiting, rejections, negotiations and approval may ensue, but once you bag a few assignments and deliver them successfully, you would be doing your business a world of good. Your customers become your promoters, and your work, your marketer. As you find more and more work, you build authority, which eventually spirals up your business.
Caveat: As far as possible, work only on verified freelance assignments.
5. Shun Competition, Embrace Collaboration
The art and science of website designing evolve at a brisk pace. The time-window in which a new technology gets outdated and obsolete is shrinking. An attempt to learn all the languages and master all technologies is a wild goose chase.
I realized that fact quickly and smartly pitched some of my local competitors to join hands as collaborators. The pact helped in multiple ways:
- My company offered broader suite of services
- We operated over a bigger technology spectrum, which gave us a competitive advantage
- Skill sharing resulted in skill acquisition
On comparing my sales graphs before and after collaboration, the sharp positive gradient proved that we headed in the right direction. My web designing business registered good growth.
Caveat: Collaborate with “like-minded” designers with clearly defined and documented terms & conditions for the association.
The innovators keep debunking the conventions and reminding us that there are no set rules. I fast-tracked my company’s growth by setting up a B2B portal, including add-ons to my web designing services, participating in online web designing competitions, trying out freelance assignments and collaborating with local competitors. It worked for me, and it may work for your business as well.
Anurag Gupta is a budding entrepreneur with stakes in WeblinkIndia.net, an acclaimed Web Designing & Development Company, headquartered in India. He also happens to be a keen writer, sharing insights, tips, and tutorials on subjects related to the ever evolving landscape of Web Designing and Development. He maintains a blog. You can also follow him on Twitter