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WEB SCHOOL Web Design Business in a Developing Country. Is it feasible?

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Omar91

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Apr 14, 2021
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Hello everybody!

This is my first post in the forum, so I should introduce myself first.

I am from Libya, and now I am based in the UK. In August 2020 I read The Millionaire Fastlane and Unscripted book while studying for my master’s degree in Urban Planning, and my mindset changed ever since. I felt that I’m wasting my time by pursuing those degrees which will eventually lead me to a SCRIPTED life. So then I joined the forum and start reading different threads and got hooked on web design. @Fox and the other guys’ stories in this forum were so inspiring. Then I immediately started consuming courses about WordPress and copywriting on YouTube & Udemy and now I feel I am ready to start my journey.

The reason that spurred me to take web design as a business model is the fact that over 95% of businesses in my country (Libya) do not own a website, which makes it a very good opportunity to add value to the market with almost zero competition. But I believe that most of those businesses are not interested in having a website, and they think a FB page is more than enough for them. I recently contacted two of my friends who own small construction companies and I offered them free websites, they welcomed the idea at first, but after I told them they have to pay $10/month for web hosting & domain services they stopped replying to my messages. Why pay monthly recurring fees–even though small–while I get most of my clients from a free FB page? That’s how they think.

I am focusing on the Libyan market at the beginning of my journey because first; I feel that the market is hungry for this kind of service. Imagine that even big and reputable hospitals, private clinics, football clubs, etc. do not own a website. Second, what motivates me more is the scarcity of websites that offer services to people, like property marketplace websites or e-commerce marketplace websites. There is only one website in the country that offers this kind of service and it is not specialized in one niche–it’s general. So I am thinking of having my own web marketplace services that specialize in one niche for real estate or cars or freelancing, etc. Third, there is no competition in my country in this field and I want to take advantage of that.

However, I think there will be a huge challenge ahead of me as the mentality of business owners — as well as customers — who live in a third country is totally different from those who live in Europe or the US. Most of the businesses get their clients from either FB or through the word of mouth. Also, the overwhelming majority of Libyans exist on FB and very few use Google when they want to look for a service/product.

What are your recommendations about this? Do you think it is a viable idea to start a web design business in a Third-World country that is yet to recognize the value of websites for businesses? Do you think I should persist on it and be patient and get ready for the right opportunity when e-commerce and business websites start to have their place in the country?

I really appreciate your advice.

Cheers,

Omar
 

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Last edited:

AveSatana

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May 4, 2021
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But I believe that most of those businesses are not interested in having a website, and they think a FB page is more than enough for them.
Have you talked to businesses to see of that’s what they really think? It may not be the case. And even if it is, you may still get some new insights/ideas after talking to them.

You can even ask them what would make them say yes to a website. e.g. maybe if they saw some proof of people going on their and it having positive results.
Most of the businesses get their clients from either FB or through the word of mouth. Also, the overwhelming majority of Libyans exist on FB and very few use Google when they want to look for a service/product.
What if you designed the website with this is mind? Instead of trying to get people there from search engine results, bring them over from the FB page and use the website to show more about the company, demonstrate its value over competition, do things you can’t do on a fb page, etc.
 

ProcessPro

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Apr 26, 2018
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@Omar91 Check the volumes for business/niche searches locally, i.e. set the location to Libya and check terms like 'plumbers near me', 'mechanics near me', 'local restaurants' etc. If there's volume, you just need to persuade one mechanic/autoshop, restaurant, business etc that there are people searching for them and that you can build a site, they can pay for ads and they'll get more business etc. Once you get ONE person to bite, it will be alot easier as you'll have a portfolio piece of an actual result - sales.

The next business you approach, you're not selling a business...you're selling leads/sales/revenue etc, just like you did with your first client. Have proof to show to add validity to your offer etc. If the business you can bring them will repay your fees many times over, it should be a no-brainer. The next step would be to start prospecting like hell (law of large numbers) to get past the 49 people that say no, to the find every 50th person that will say yes - those that see the value in your offer. Hope this helps.
 

Alfie321

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Sep 29, 2016
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I personally know the founder of an agency who can afford to do basic website development in Mexico. The answer is no, don't do it, at least not for now.

While she is not struggling to make ends meet, she definitely gets paid less (probably way, way less) than me, working as a remote web developer. She has told me it is not an easy business, and the only way to make it work consistently is to get to know the rich kids or rich guys who need a website and can afford to pay decent money so she can pay her staff. She knows one of Mexico's ex presidents daughter, and she gets a lot of business thanks to the referrals she gives to her.

So, tough business IMO that doesn't pay well for the amount of work you will put. Take into account you cannot really automate a huge chunk of web design or web development.
 

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