When you’ve worked as a web designer, web developer, social media manager or in a related position in one web design studio, eventually you may want to go out on your own. Being the founder and owner of a web studio is totally different than coming into work five or more days a week but without the worrisome burden of running the whole business.
In this article, we cover a few approaches to starting a web studio that will likely give you a good start and make growth likelier over the first few years.
Starting a Web Design Studio
Office or Work Remotely?
Working remotely is popular right now. There are a number of successful startups and online companies that work entirely from a remote setup without having an office. They manage with occasional casual meetups, hiring a meeting room or using a co-working space to get together periodically. The use of video conferencing between colleagues along with communication tools like Slack makes teamwork much easier at a distance.
The other approach is to open an office right away. This provides a consistent work environment. However, it also increases startup costs considerably. While communication is streamlined, it’s difficult to justify the extra operational costs unless there are either huge expansion plans ahead, or it’s seen as the only viable approach to take.
It’s interesting to note that even some mainstream companies have shifted recently from having large offices to hiring out entire floors of co-working spaces because it gives them greater flexibility to scale up or down their team as the client list waxes and wanes.
Full-time Workers or Freelancers?
When choosing an office, then you’re opting most for full-time employees who’ll work there. It is possible to use a hybrid model where some employees have a desk, and others will be recruited as permanent staff who work remotely (usually these people don’t live anywhere near the office).
Using remote workers or a wide collection of freelancers is another approach when running an entirely remote company (i.e. like Automattic, the creators of WordPress). Using Automattic as an example with their 700 employees, they do still fly remote workers to occasional meetings and a yearly meetup. There are considerable cost savings to working with remote workers or freelancers too.
However, freelancers can be harder to manage. They’re independent and will have multiple clients each with their own projects and deadlines to juggle. What companies save in costs they often give up in loyalty and focus. Therefore, it’s a choice that each founder must make for themselves.
What Marketing Approach is Best for web design a studio?
The people coming into the company may have clients they can contribute. Clients often move with a star developer even if their previous employer isn’t too happy about it. It’s up to each founder where they come down on client procurement in that regard. Some feel it’s ethically wrong while others feel that business is modern warfare and all’s fair.
With any marketing, the approach should be on what’s both effective and affordable. Most startups have limited funds for marketing purposes, yet must reach a certain level of revenue to survive in the early years. Therefore, companies must correctly assess the cost of acquiring each client into what they bill for their services.
Prepare Prudently for Slower Sales Growth & Higher Costs
When on the road to entrepreneurship, it’s easy to be overly enthusiastic. That’s fine, but not great for financial forecasts where prudence is much better.
Figure out what your sales estimates are and then halve them. Use lowered cash flow estimates to anticipate less money coming into the business.
For business and web design studio costs, be frugal in your spending. Should sales fail to materialize as quickly as hoped, you’ll need the extra money you’ve yet to spend to survive until things pick up.
Study Business to Get Better at It
To be a better entrepreneur, it’s necessary to learn how. For most people, while they can see what other founders were doing wrong, starting and running their own business is another matter entirely.
If you want to learn business properly, you’d be wise to consider taking an MBA online program. These are taught at respectable educational institutions covering many useful aspects of business, but they’re now available online too. For the busy entrepreneurs just getting started, their spare time can be spent getting better at business through part-time education.
When owning a web studio, marketing has to be a daily activity. While you’re not going to find new clients every day, your brand has to get known in the marketplace. Use prudence to give your new business a chance to find its revenue sources before it runs out of working capital.