This week has officially been the most stressful that I have experienced since becoming a web designer. I was left to run the office in the owner’s absence, I mean I was happy to do so. Why not?
I soon realised what I had let myself in for. I had to coordinate multiple projects (About 10) as well as dealing with any issues that arose, such as websites needing updating or user errors etc. Running a web business is a very steep learning curve.
I guess that in every profession there are difficulties to overcome. When I used to work in sales, the battle was trying to understand and control candidates, a tricky skill to master, especially when considering that you may be competing against 4 or 5 other people, who are trying to do exactly the same thing. Skills that I believe you have to master in the web world with regards to clients are.
1. You have to make sure that you manage client’s expectations and that they are going to be happy with the finished product. I believe this means going into fine detail with all aspects of the site including design and functionality.
2. Working out that the work that you are going to be doing for a client is actually going to be worth it. I mean if a site sounds simple at the first look and you estimate that you can build it in 16 hours doesnt mean that it cant take 24. Once the price has been agreed you have no room to manouveure. A couple of projects where you make mistakes of this type or drop your prices to low due to competition, may result in your business folding.
3. Most people are working under deadlines and some of these people seem to think about there website last. I mean the amount of times I will be waiting for content from a client for a couple of weeks, then I will receive an email with the content attached and a message saying that it need to be finished in 48 hours. Or another scenario where the client will develop a new channel or aspect of their business and will contact you to say that they are losing money and that these upgrade will need to be completed asap.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to say that I know everything about trying to run a web business… I have only been doing this for a year and a third! I would appreciate other tips or observations that could improve my understanding of the industry.