I Don't Regret Launching a Web Design Business. Here's What I Wish I Knew.

10 Tips for New Web Designers from The Pros l Freelance Web Designer Advice  l Advice for Web Designers l Heydays Design l San Diego, CA
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The first year of entrepreneurship is nothing short of overwhelming, exhausting and scary as hell.

But for web designers the first year can be straight up frustrating. I wish I could tell things will be different for you, but honestly there are lessons you will likely have to learn the hard way like:

  • how to price your services
  • when to run from clients like hell
  • how to survive the feast and famine cycles
  • how to run your business

If you a new web designer, you may be banging your head against the wall trying figure out what a client means by "I’m not sure what I want, but I’ll know it when I see it."

Or curled up under your desk with a bottle of wine crying hysterically when you forgot to backup your work.

Or frustrated that your peers are charging 10K for a website and you can’t get a lead to agree to a measly $1,000.

Before you take your site down, throw your laptop across the room and give up on your dreams of becoming a profitable full time web designer, let me say it gets better!

Listen to my online friends’ journeys as web designers and their advice to new web designer (or designer who’s on the verge of giving up)

Running your business doesn't have to be hard. Download the Must Have Tools for New Web Designers to learn how you can launch and run your design business with ease

Breathe. Do NOT give up. You will fail. Pivot and keep going. It’s okay. Specialize in something, start with what you know, then pick something new to learn. The amount of knowledge possible is endless and can be overwhelming at times. Ask questions, build relationships. Stay true to you and value your worth.
— Laurie Baines, Laurie Baines Design
1. Charge more. (I started way too cheap)
1a. You’re worth more and cheap sites almost never work.
2. Clients can be shit, be prepared.
3. Focus on recurring revenue and services.

— James Rose, Aktura Technology
It always takes longer than you planned. Charge more.
— Rachelle Gomez, Honest Pixels
It takes more than “feeling passionate” about it. And always being “busy” doesn’t mean you are being productive. Rest. And learn to say NO. And takes TIME. And learn digital marketing or partner with someone who does.
— Maria F. Rojas, Cyg x-1
Cheap clients suck.
Things take longer than expected.
Things involving client approval take longer than reasonable.
— Luke Duggan, Effortless Web
Stay persistent and focused. Stay consistent. Don’t give up. It may seem like everyone else around is moving in rapid succession and they are all making it and not you but that’s ok. Stay focused on your goals and your dreams and keep fighting for it. Also its ok to say NO. It’s a complete sentence. You don’t need to discredit yourself and your work by severely under charging just to make it. In fact that doesn’t work.
— Sasha-Shae, Fresh Medley Designs Studio
Learn about what professional web designers wish they knew about starting a design business l Freelance Web Designer Advice  l Advice for Web Designers l Heydays Design l San Diego, CA
I would find a mentor. Join official organizations if possible (like AIGA or something). Having a mentor or someone to talk to about this will be incredibly beneficial. Having been alone throughout it all, there were times it would have been nice to have someone direct me or tell me I was being stupid about it or lazy.
— Megan Vaughan, Prolific Banana
Take what you think the timeline is and triple it. Charge twice as much as you think.
Always pay yourself first (my dad actually taught me that one but it’s good advice).
You can’t be great at everything, hire out where you’re weak in areas
— Leanne Mitton, Norlink
Go with your gut. If in your first meeting with the client they are either
1) Nasty
2) Unorganized
3) Asking you questions then telling you the answers
4)Highly suspicious
5) Here’s my favorite: late to the meeting...
DON’T take them on as a client!
It’s not worth it.
— Galeet Lee Levy, Nex Graphics
Don’t blame the client. If they are difficult chances are you weren’t discerning enough when you said yes to the job. Don’t be afraid to say no to shit jobs. Your intuition is usually spot on, plus you’re making way for clients that share your values and happily pay you what your service is worth.

If you still get them, there’s something you’re missing in the discovery stage, identify it and learn the lesson.
— Raquel Fernandes, The Mighty Fox
Get process and systems in place to save you time and you’ll look more professional. Also get into the mindset of a boss. Always ask yourself how would a boss do it. Think like a boss do like a boss.
— Rosanna Guillot, Create You

Download the Must Have Tools for New Web Designers to find out how you can launch and run your web design business with ease


now matter what industry: If you could go back to the first months or year in your business, what advice would you give yourself? What advice would you give a newbie today eager to start the industry?