As every small business owner knows, time really is money. That’s why it’s essential to streamline your process to reach peak efficiency. Like any skilled craftsman, mastering multiple tools is key to your success running a website design business.
If you want to scale your business to new heights you’ll need to use the right tool for the right job, so don’t be like so many business owners who avoid learning new platforms because they’re content with how things are.
We’ve broken down the 4 key elements of streamlining your website design business and provided 3 tools for each to help you unlock your maximum potential.
Get Organized to Get Ahead
Failing to plan is planning to fail, so don’t let a lack of structure be the downfall of your business. Take charge now so you can grow without growing pains.
Teamwork makes the dream work
- As your business grows, you’ll undoubtedly find yourself working with other people to complete your tasks on schedule. Whether you work with individual freelancers, outsourced agencies, or in-house employees, keeping all your files organized will save both your time and sanity.
- Even if you’re still flying solo for a while, getting well organized now will make you more efficient and make it easier to grow in the future.
- Our Choice – G Suite: https://gsuite.google.com/.
Manage your projects
- Another often-overlooked aspect of business efficiency is effective project management. If you’re working by yourself, you’re already aware of how important it is to keep an eye on looming deadlines, access relevant resources, and budget your limited time.
- If you’re working with a team, these things only increase in importance, as it’s crucial for you to always be on the same page as you cooperate to complete assignments as a team.
- Our Choice – Monday.com: https://monday.com/.
Keep your ideas handy
- Have you ever had a great design idea, just as you were drifting off to sleep? Ever realized the solution to a pesky site problem, right in the middle of doing the dishes? Or maybe you’ve found your inspiration while taking care of other “business”? Of course you have – we all have!
- And in those moments of unintended brilliance, you have to make sure you capture that lightning and bottle it up for later. If your handy-dandy notebook is back at the office, you’ll want to make sure you don’t just jot your idea down anywhere.
- Take advantage of any of the many available tools to keep you working smarter, not harder.
- Our Choice – Evernote: https://www.evernote.com/.
Communication is Key
No matter how big your website design business is, you have to stay on top of your communications: from prospects to clients, from partners to employees.
You had me at hello
- Attracting new clients can be as easy as making the first move. If somebody landed on your site, the chances are good that they are a relevant lead. There are lots of ways to capture your audience, including banners, pop-ups, and newsletter signups, but many users are already used to ignoring these by default.
- One way to get more than just an address is to actually start a conversation with an onsite chat tool. An initial investment of time to set up automatic answers for frequently asked questions can pay huge dividends when your customers start closing themselves. Bonus? You can recommend it to your clients to use on their sites as well and get a referral kickback.
- Our Choice – Intercom: https://www.intercom.com/.
The customer is king
- Keeping track of your customers and maintaining a healthy pipeline of leads is perhaps the most mundane of universal business operations, but it’s also universally important.
- You should make it a priority to start moving your communications to a purpose-built platform where you can effectively manage your entire funnel.
- Too many business owners keep running with Gmail alone, long after they should have adopted a proper customer resource management platform (CRM). This is how potential customers go unattended and become cold leads. Don’t let your leads get cold.
- Our Choice – Hubspot: https://www.hubspot.com/products/crm.
Somebody is typing…
- How many different WhatsApp, iMessage, Facebook Messenger, and Skype groups are you in JUST to communicate with your team and/or contractors?
- Those are fine platforms for social messaging, but a smart business owner should take advantage of a professional communications tool, like Slack.
- It integrates with many other popular tools (and everything on this list, so far) allowing you to keep an eye on everything from what your team is saying to you, to what your customers are saying about you.
- Our Choice – Slack: https://slack.com/.
Additional Design = Additional Dollars
Part of streamlining your business should include building additional revenue streams. That way you can get the most value out of each client you work with.
White-labeled site-building platform
- The best way to streamline your website design business is to white label an existing site builder that already includes many of the functionalities you need to run your business.
- Instead of coding sites from scratch, or constantly searching for new WordPress templates, you can use a top-rated platform that tens of millions of people already use to build their own individual websites, but make it your own!
- That way you can continue to build sites for customers, but you can also sell access to the site builder itself, giving you an additional revenue stream for no additional work!
- Our Choice – IM Creator: https://www.imcreator.com/whitelabel.
Team-friendly design tools
- If you have a client who trusts you to design and build their website, that means you have a lead who would be more than willing to use you for their additional design needs.
- From sassy social media banners to professional pitch decks, you could make a lot more money by selling more packages to your existing client base.
- Canva’s extensive catalog of templates makes it easy to quickly create beautiful designs, and their paid upgrade gives you access to features like teams, brand standards, and folders, launching you from “just” a website design business to an end-to-end to end design agency.
- Our Choice – Canva: https://www.canva.com/.
Logos “R” Us
- Providing unique logos is an easy upsell that is well within the wheelhouse of most professional website designers, and it doesn’t have to be difficult. Use a custom logo-making tool to easily speck out and iterate potential logo designs for your customers.
- Don’t underestimate the value-added of providing a folder with variations of the official logo in scalable vector graphics files for your customers to use on their own.
- Our Choice – Looka: https://looka.com/.
Make the Most of Media
Don’t build sites that look like time capsules. Be sure to use updated media so your sites always seem like the latest thing and don’t become cliches.
Pictures worth 1000 words
- Every designer knows the value of high-quality photos, and website design businesses are especially in need of large quantities of free-to-use images.
- You probably already recognize many of the most over-used images from Shutterstock, so be sure to expand your horizons and take advantage of sites that constantly add new images to their libraries.
- Our Choice – Unsplash: https://unsplash.com/.
Video killed the radio star
- More and more website designers are capitalizing on our constantly shrinking attention spans by using video to attract our eyes.
- From dynamic backgrounds to video splash screens and beyond, properly used videos can really make a difference. Just be sure to vary the videos you use so your sites don’t look too similar to one another.
- Our Choice – Pexels: https://pexels.com/videos/.
- From personal experience, we know how frustrating it can be to have your site design derailed by a lack of appropriate icons that fit the brand.
- And from your own experience, you already know that even though they’re small, the right icons are a big part of good website design.
- So don’t sweat the small stuff and take advantage of a tool that not only includes an impressive icon library but also gives you the power to customize icons to fit individual brands.
- Our Choice – Iconfinder: https://www.iconfinder.com/.