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WEB SCHOOL Starting Web Design Company(Progress Thread)

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BasedDin99

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Sep 20, 2016
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Hello everyone, I read TMF a few years back but I never really acted on what I learned from it. A couple of years ago I read Fox's thread about starting a web design company and I started to learn html but I stopped shortly after starting. A couple of weeks ago I read Sean's post about starting a digital marketing agency and I started looking into it more. I finally started taking some action after reading that whole thread, my reason for finally starting to take things seriously was that things finally became too much. I have made some financial mistakes and the debt is starting to wear on my mind. I need to do something to fix my situation.

I work a part time job where I usually work 30 hours a week, I'm also a student and I'm taking 20 units this semester, so most of my time is spent doing classwork or at my job.

So far what I've done is I had bought a digital marketing course on Udemy and I have been working my way through the content, I just finished the SEO section and I found Fox's new challenge thread and it made me realize that I should also learn web design so I'm going through the html section on CodeAcademy right now. I also made a couple of sales calls to some general contractors and construction companies local to me, I didn't make any sales but I did learn a few valuable things, mainly that niche doesn't need marketing as much in my area(most businesses are already booked with work months to years in advance)

My goals for this year:
1: Make enough to pay off my credit debt of 8k. I know this may not seem like a huge number to some people but its wearing at my mind every day
2: Pay off half of what I owe on my car= 10k
3: Minimum of 7k in savings
4: Hit atleast 50k in profit this year.
 

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BasedDin99

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Sep 20, 2016
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Quick update: I had posted in a local FB page for Business Owners stating that I was looking for a couple of businesses that needed a new website or update their current website so I could create my portfolio. Using what I learned from @Fox that I may have to do a couple of websites for free but really provide the value to showcase what I can offer and that should lead to referrals.

Edit: So far two people have responded, the first is a permanent make up business, I looked at her website and its really good, I'm not sure where I can add value, she has plenty of proof on her site from past clients and photos/reviews and call to actions in key places. I could help with basic SEO for her but not much else besides a work page that doesn't work on her site. She told me she would like her design updated and that she pays 70 dollars a month for her design. I'm not sure what she means by that, a theme should have been a one time buy for her.
The second website is a salon and they need a complete overhaul, its not mobile friendly, the pictures are old, there's no call to actions etc. I'm leaning more towards a static html site with pictures and reviews and easy to reach contact info and call to actions. The owner doesn't seem like someone who wants to spend time on her website changing anything.
 
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BasedDin99

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Sep 20, 2016
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Quick update:
I chatted with the first business(permanent makeup) and found out what she meant by paying $70 a month. She told me someone had approached her about making her website for free before but she was now paying $70 a month to flywheel, so its her hosting that is costing her so much. I made some recommendations for more affordable hosting and that I could help her transfer her website over. This looks like a warm lead to a possible recurring contract for also managing her google ads, she told me she was trying to run everything herself because she was skeptical of reaching out to digital marketing agencies. Note that for the discussion about SMMA's, everyone who said if you provide real value and cut through the noise is correct.

The salon owner actually changed it into a salon suites business(renting space out to individual stylists, permanent make up lady is actually renting space from her) and I got to meet with her face to face and looked around the building. She needs a simple clean website that allows people to see the building and get the relevant info for anyone wanting to rent space from her. She also mentioned she would like a little space that she could update with upcoming news or announcements occasionally, she is completely fine with the rest of the site staying static. She mentioned she has plans to expand her building and she;s currently in the process of doing the permit work for that.

The real big kicker is she heads a local business group and she said they don't have a developer in their group, and I'm more than welcome to join and they all refer each other constantly to other people and groups, her salon is going to be featured in a magazine as well in the upcoming spring.

Also while walking around the building I chatted with a hair stylist there and she mentioned she doesn't have a website, she would like one and she said if that was something I could do we could discuss price. She mentioned she's not tech savvy and having something she didn't have to worry about or update would be ideal, a simple page with contact info and a way to requests appointments would be ideal.

So far, one actual website to build for my portfolio, an invitation to join a local business group and many potential referrals and someone already interested in paying for a website. I do have two other people who messaged me on FB but they haven't gotten back to me yet. Not a bad start so far, anyways back to learning more html and getting my homework done.
 

Dennis Kaiyer

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Mar 3, 2019
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Hey, I just wanted to let you know that I'm following your progress and as someone in a similar field of business as you, I am rooting for you! :) You're hustlin' hard already and I respect that.
 
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BasedDin99

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Sep 20, 2016
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Hey, I just wanted to let you know that I'm following your progress and as someone in a similar field of business as you, I am rooting for you! :) You're hustlin' hard already and I respect that.
Thank you, I should have started hustling when I read TMF several years ago tbh, things have finally gotten bad enough that I couldn't continue on the sidewalk any longer.
 

Isaac Oh

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Hey, props to you for getting clients so quickly! It was a mental process for me that took about 2 months from learning the concepts and getting the confidence to take on a client.

How much are you charging? or do you customize a quote?
 
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BasedDin99

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Sep 20, 2016
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Hey, props to you for getting clients so quickly! It was a mental process for me that took about 2 months from learning the concepts and getting the confidence to take on a client.

How much are you charging? or do you customize a quote?
They're currently only for my portfolio so I have something to show future clients and leads, so I'm not charging for them. I'm still figuring out how much I will be charging but I will be customizing quotes for customers that have specific needs and don't fit into a more cookie cutter style of pricing. I will be going about payments the same way Fox does, 50% upfront, 50% on completion. Hourly rate for any fixes needed. It's easier for me that way and feels natural charging that way.
 
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BasedDin99

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Read Millionaire Fastlane
Sep 20, 2016
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Quick update: So far still working on first clients website. Been having issues with the cpanel used by the clients hosting company, had issues getting the domain name to show the wordpress site as well. Had spoken to support a few times to get them to change the DNS, finally got someone on live chat and they just changed it. Will be getting back to working on the clients site, next week I'll be going to their salon to take pictures for the website.

I did have another person contact me for a website, it would have been for a used car dealership but they have not responded back to me after a few brief messages. Don't know where this will lead, a car dealership website would have been a good site to work on for sure, newer problems to solve and learn from.
 

dawp

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Oct 23, 2017
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Thanks for sharing your journey!

I have my portfolio ready and i think the sites look nice but i struggle finding my 1st paying customer. I have emailed ~50 companies in my area with old websites (not mobile friendly) saying that they would win a lot with new website - no response so far..

I am thinking about mass-mailing ~1k companies but it feels spammy...
This week I am going to try some cold calling (inspired @Vilox and his thread)
I also wait for business meetups in my area where i can try some networking (some people claim it's the best source of leads)
 

JB92

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Apr 28, 2019
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You should set your development sites up on temporary domains on your own hosting, such as dev1.myagency.co.uk dev2. dev3. etc etc - Saves you messing around with DNS & other hosting companies this early on in the project life-cycle.
 

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Barry_M

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Jul 26, 2019
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You should set your development sites up on temporary domains on your own hosting, such as dev1.myagency.co.uk dev2. dev3. etc etc - Saves you messing around with DNS & other hosting companies this early on in the project life-cycle.
This.
I have dedicated servers set up for my web design company and this is the method I use for all new sites. Good thing is you get to show your clients a semi live site during development. Its then just a case of either parking the TLD to the sub domain or changing the address in the cpanel settings for the account. You dont need to change anything else as all the account details including database names etc stay the same.
 

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