Whether you are a freelance web designer or looking for a salaried position business sense is important. What to wear, what to say, how to price, how to hire; these are all things you will need to know. Below are a few helpful business tips related to the web design industry.
1. Be Professional
For the freelancer the need for professionalism is as important as in the white collar world. First impressions are everything, if you’re gaining a new client or applying for a job some things are everlasting. You will need to be clean, dressed nice and mind your choice of words and topics. The handshake is important, not too soft not too firm. Looking and speaking in a concise, polite manner is key to executing a great first impression.
2. Be Prepared
Being prepared isn’t easy, but the benefits are great. First if you’re applying for a job, make sure you have researched everything about it. Going into a job you should know what the job is, if and why you’re qualified and have all of the important paper work and identification. Make sure to have pens and possibly spare paper. Being prepared means you’re organized and careful and this speaks volumes on one’s character. It seems like common sense but make sure you have gas in your car, directions to meetings and plan your time well. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
3. Pricing & Contracts
To get a rough idea of what you should be charging do some diligence. The occupational handbook is a good place to start. Check out your local competition and get a few quotes. This will help guide you towards a pricing model. Also consider you talent level and personal costs. How much is it going to cost you at a minimum to do any given job? Can you fulfill all of your promises? If not then perhaps you should reconsider. Also make sure you understand what any contract you use means. Know what you’re signing, and make sure your clients understand what they are shining.
4. Stay Smart
Some opportunities are great but others should be avoided. A bad job or client can rob you of precious resources; your time and money. A lot of customers will haggle with you on prices and try to underbid you, be wary of this and stand strong in your pricing model. The old adage “give them and inch, they take a mile” applies here. Don’t discount largely for these customers and insist that your pricing is fair and work excellent. Also as a web designer your reputation is everything. Never do a job poorly to spite a rude customer and never talk bad about an employer.
Networking is one of the most important things in business. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. You could be the best designer in the world but web design doesn’t sell itself. Personal marketing and branding is the key to success, people have to be able to find you and for freelancers word of mouth is often their bread and butter. Knowing people also presents rare opportunities. When you know someone you can often gain inside offers, deals or tips. And when you’re in need having a strong base is always helpful.