How to start web design business

The reasons why you should start a web design business in Nigeria are quite enormous.

More businesses are discovering how much opportunity an online presence creates. This is a lucrative business because almost everybody in the country needs a website and the service of a web designer.

Brands capitalized on people’s heavy reliance on web-based solutions to offer their products online, hence, creating their business website.

Starting a web design business requires a great deal of intelligence, hard work, persistence as well as great visions to maintain your goals.

In Nigeria today, a lot of people are looking forward to having their own website. This desire to have a website is not limited to companies alone but also individuals that want to showcase their businesses to the world.

So, Nigeria is a good place for you to do your web design business. Anyway, don’t forget to check out our list of top 50 business ideas in Nigeria that you can start right now.

web design freelance business

While it is true that anywhere you desire to operate from and target will be good for you, it is more advantageous to target some industrial areas where you can site your business and make more money than other places in Nigeria.

In these areas, there are a lot of young entrepreneurs who are willing to have their businesses grow. People in these areas know the importance of your service and they can pay you very well.

Both new and existing businesses know the importance of showcasing their product online and also know the advantages in operating their businesses on a website so they will always be willing to need your services.

Put it in mind that web development differs significantly from web design, in that a web designing creates layouts and visuals for a website owner.

The web designer is more concerned with user interface and design, while a web developer creates software and applications that power the website using basic and advanced coding.

However, some developers offer both design and development services. Web developers usually start as freelancers and enlist the help of other developers. However, this article will focus on web design.

Although it’s easier than ever to build a website from templates and content management platforms, such as WordPress, and some business owners may give it a trial, but many businesses still prefer to hire a qualified and competent web designer to build and manage their websites.

As a result, many web design jobs are and will continue to be available. 

Becoming a Web Designer

Web designers are not only responsible for building a website, but also the functions and smooth running of it.

As a web designer you should have a good taste and knowledge of designing including layout and color since you will have to create the layout of a site that should be attractive while still able to serve the purpose of the site.

It is important that you understand colors and fonts and how they can be used to enhance a site. One aspect of a good website is the ease of use and navigation therefore you will have to organize and structure the website to be user friendly.

Knowing coding languages will increase marketability and value of the business.as you will see as we proceed, it is imperative then that you have a deep training in website design.

Related: 15 Daily income businesses for Nigerians

Why Start a Web Design Business?

There are many advantages to starting a web design business and they are listed below

  1. Can easily be done from home or anywhere you have Internet access.
  2. It is highly demanded for.
  3. No specific educational requirements are needed, although certifications and training can increase your marketability.
  4. It pays well
  5. There will always be a need for web designers as there will always be internt service. In fact as the internet service keep improving and getting better the more the need for a website designer
  6. You can be creative every day.
  7. You can easily expand the business into other areas of website related services like website maintenance, SEO, copywriting, and others.
  8. Flexibility. When your physical location changes, your customers can still find you because your main marketing tool, your website, can easily updated to suit the new location.

While there are many reasons and advantages of starting a website design business now, it does not go without some peculiar challenges of its own. Since the web is constantly evolving, you will need to stay current on coding and software.

This will also require spending a good time on your computer every day. Newer, easier to use systems may limit your services as some would-be clients will be trying to create their websites on their own.

In order to attract more clients and customers, you need to show them what you can offer.

You can do this by setting up your own website. The importance of doing so will be discussed shortly.

Note that some of them can be used during your meeting with your prospective customers in discussing why they should build their website.

Importance of having a website

  1. It sets the first impression

When your audience visits your website, it gives them their first impression of your work.

In the first few seconds they are into your website, you want to make a positive impact on them.

If your website looks unappealing or outdated, they will immediately have a negative impression of your business.

You will miss out on potential leads because they’ll leave your page for a competitor’s page.

People don’t want to check out a business that doesn’t value them enough to make a good first impression.

Web design is important because it impacts how your audience perceives your brand.

The impression you make on them can either get them to remain on your page and learn about your business or leave your page and turn to a competitor.

A good web design helps to keep customers to your page and increase their numbers.

  • It aids your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy

Many web design elements and practices influence how you publish content on your website, which in turn affects how search engine spiders crawl and index your website.

This is one thing you cannot afford to mess up. If your on-page SEO fundamentals are not up to the task, it will be difficult to remain in the business and find potential clients.

Web design can be difficult to understand if you’re not familiar with how it works, but to put it simply, your code needs to be SEO-friendly.

The best way to ensure proper web design practices and subsequent search engine visibility is to partner up with a web design agency that knows what they’re doing and tap from their experiences.

Once you know what you are doing, different web designers will also find you to partner with you and by so doing will be increasing your chance of being contacted for projects from different customers.

  • It sets the impression for customer service

People can judge how you will treat them by looking at your website.

Your design gives them insight as to how you view your audience. If you don’t put any effort into your website’s design, your audience knows that you won’t put effort into helping them.

When you are trying to get new leads for your business, you want to build up your brand.

You want your audience to get familiar with your brand so they choose you when they are ready to convert. Online web designs are important because they help create consistency across your page.

Your website is like a customer service representative, make it friendly. If your website is bright, modern, and inviting, your audience will feel more welcome on your page.

You’ll give the impression that you are open and welcoming to new people who visit your website.

Think of your web design as the digital face of your business. After all if someone walked into your physical location, you would want to be friendly in warmly welcoming them.

An updated and modern web design is the equivalent to a friendly face greeting and warm welcome to your new visitors.13:44

  • It builds trust with your audience

People don’t trust poorly designed websites. If they see your poor design or the information looks outdated, they won’t trust your site.

They may view your site as shady because you don’t have an updated web design.

building website for businesses

Think about a person looking to place a bulk order with a manufacturing company. They’re spending a tremendous amount of money, which means if your manufacturing website design doesn’t convey trust, they’ll find another business to fulfill their order.

On the other hand, a professional site signals trust with your audience. They will trust your business and feel comfortable checking it out further.

A company with its domain makes an e-mail more credible and trustworthy rather than generic Google addresses. Websites give businesses their own unique online identity.

In today’s time where everything from groceries to money transfers is done online. A business website establishes your legitimacy as a business. People will trust your products based on your website.

You need to have the same fonts, styles, and layouts across every page on your website.

If you have a different design on every page, this will make your site look unprofessional. It also makes it more challenging to build brand recognition because your audience won’t know which colors to associate with your brand.

It’s important to build trust with your audience so they remain on your site. When visitors remain on your site longer, you create more opportunities for your business to capture those leads.

  • Your competitors are doing it

If you need a reason for why web design is important, here is a big one: Your competitors are already utilizing web design. If you want to remain in competition with them, you must use web design for your site.

You want your website to stand out from the competition. If you have an old, outdated, and low-quality website, your competitor’s will outrank you.

Their well-designed website will perform better than your website. This means you’ll lose leads to your competitors.

Your website’s design is an opportunity for you to set your business apart from the competition. When you’re competing with other businesses, you generally have the same services and similar pricing.

You need that one thing that will make your business stand out from the rest. A well-designed website is an opportunity for your business to showcase your unique features.

You can show your audience why they should choose your business over the competition.

Related: 15 lucrative businesses for ladies in Nigeria

  • Means of generating income

Multiple sources have confirmed that around 4 billion people use the internet every day worldwide.

Your product can easily go international and that gives you a chance to offer your product to more than half of the world’s total population.

Each person spends an average of six hours a day on the web, making it a larger avenue than any print or broadcast medium. Business websites are open 24/7 which extends your service beyond office hours.

Mode of operation will include having a physical location while you operate from an office. By operating from your office, your clients would be able to get the best service because they believe in you.

They must have asked their friends questions about whether you should be chosen or not. They believe that they can come to your office at any time to lodge their complaints.

Another mode of operation in web design business is doing your service online. While doing your business online, you need a number of tools for effective delivery of your service.

Steps Involved In starting a Web Design Business

Training

It is important to undergo a form of training regarding web design.

You may have passion for it and developed skills on your own. However to perfect those skills in designing a website, going through a formal training will be of great help.

There are three processes to pass through in order to acquire the knowledge needed.

  • Tertiary institution training.

If you want to know the science of web design, you need to get a degree in this field.

If you want to get a degree in web designing in Nigeria, you need to write entrance exams and get admission into any reputable tertiary institution that offers computer science or Computer Engineering.

If you have passion for web designing you can skip this process as it will take up to 4 to 5 years to get your certificate. There are companies that offer web design training, you can enroll with them.

  • Internship

After your university degree, you still need to do internship training with some reputable companies.

Sometimes, they may not pay you very well at the start, but your focus should be on the experience you will gain there.

During this internship period, you will be able to create websites for the company or companies.

The essence of this is to get the much-needed experience in the profession and know how to relate to your customers when you start your own business.

Meet Other Web Designers. You can also rub minds with other web designers you know around you to get more experience.

Plan your Business

A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. It will help you map out the specifics of your business and discover some unknowns.

A few important topics to consider are: What are the startup and ongoing costs, your target market, how long it will take to break even, choosing the right name among other things.

Open a business bank account

Using dedicated business banking account is essential for personal asset protection. When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk.

Basic equipment

Most of the startup cost will be wrapped up into a good quality laptop or desktop, ample screen space (using multiple screens for design work), a business phone, a pro-grade text editor, and design reference books. Other things needed

Be unique

Differentiate yourself by specializing in certain industries. For example, if you become known as a web designer for portable mobile toilet rental companies, it will be easier for you to dominate that market and be good at what you do.

So may choose a common or populated enterprise to build website for so that you will have different customers of the same industry.

Having a steady stream of current clients is a great way to make a baseline income, but it is not enough. Finding multiple clients will give you a more stable income.

After all, if one client stops asking for work, you will still have other projects available. Offer other services like hosting, blogging, code websites and SEO instead of just making a website.

Your clients will enjoy the convenience of getting all of their needs met at once, and you will make more money.

  • Work With a Developer

Some Web developers are experts at design, but there are still a number of individuals out there who need help with actually designing the website.

Network with one or more developers and combine your talents. You can offer customers a more in-depth service and reach out to more people by working with someone else.

Designing a website is just one talent that Web designers need to succeed.

Beyond just working on a website, the designer must be able to network with other people in their field and reach out to new clients. By building a strong client base, designers can ensure a higher, more stable income level

Advertisement Tactics

You need to advertise your business especially when you are in a competitive environment where you have to convince the audience why they should choose you.

You can opt to advertise online than offline because a larger crop of people that need your service is always online.

You can advertise through local online listing, by yourself through your social media platforms, search engine marketing (SEM), email marketing or display Ads.

Be sure to gather testimonials and develop a program for getting referrals, as obtaining repeat and referral customers is the cheapest and most effective way to build your web design business. 

Materials, equipment and tools needed

It goes without saying that you should have the knowledge and experience in web design before starting a web design business. Once you have that, you will also need:

  1. A home office that is quiet and free from distractions
  2. Hardware, including a computer, quality monitor, scanner, printer, and digital camera
  3. Software for graphics, photos, and video, which may be free or cost a few Nairas. Also software that can enhance your performance as a web designer and help you deliver early like WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, Weebly
  4. A high-speed Internet connection and perhaps server space for site hosting and testing
  5. An active email. Make sure that you respond to your clients early. If their emails are not responded early, your clients might think that you are either not serious or unavailable for the business.
  6. A menu of the services you’ll provide and what you’ll charge for them.
  7. A contract that outlines all the policies on how you work.
  8. A business plan, outlining your services, target market, and financial goals.
  9. A marketing plan that includes your target market and how you plan to reach it.
  10. A website and social media accounts of your own that not only represents your skills but offers a place to showcase your portfolio of work online.
  11. Marketing materials, such as business cards and brochures.
  12. A strong network to access for possible referrals. This network can include people you’ve designed for before, but also other professionals that work with businesses that can use designers. With your network, you have other businesses you can refer your client to, as well as the other businesses can refer their clients back to you for web design.

Features and Elements of a Website

Once you have everything needed to start designing website, getting your first client will now be your priority.

When you are able to strike a deal with a client, there are a few features to discuss with your clients but are not limited to these:

  1. Home page. This is the first page people see after logging in to your website, it is where you invite people in and explain briefly what you are all about. From there visitors are directed to other pages through navigation
  2. Video section. Including a video they posted about what they do that demonstrates their knowledge.
  3. Testimonials. Visitors could read testimonials from happy customers.
  4. Pricing guide. They might look through their pricing guide or find their location on a map.
  5. Feedback section. Maybe their customers will want to fill out a form to ask a question or offer suggestions.
  6. Links and hyperlinks to social media. They might even click over to their social media sites where they’ll find even more tips, photos and videos.
  7. Your online presence can also give you valuable insight into prospective customers: what they want, and how to give it to them.
  8. Contact pages. Include your phone number prominently on every page and a map of your address with driving directions.
  9. About page. Include on every page the about page. It might tell a story of the business and include photo stories of some of the best work completed.
  10. Maybe you want them to make appointments online? That’s a feature you can build in.
  11. Cart section. You might want them to actually buy products from you online, by placing an order or submitting a payment. That’s called e-commerce, and there are a range of options — from simple to more complex

Summary of Starting a Website Design Business

Web design business is very lucrative in Nigeria or anywhere in the world. The world is now a global village and to a large extent, this has been achieved through the efforts of web designers. If you want to survive as a web designer, you must be diligent, focused, and trustworthy every time.

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