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Hello all,
I am trying to start a new web design business in my local area...I am flash and joomla proficient but need some help(ideas) how to charge and find customers. Any help is appreciated.
Thanks
Neil

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Last Post by redesignunit
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You know flash and joomla, then create your portfolio or good samples as an image gallery in flash and give the url to the website done.

Send the portfolio to the customers by registering your name and your proficiency in some freelancing websites (google it).

For flash works I came to know there are two modes, hourly basis or a fixed days/month. That is according to your proficiency. For hourly basis you can charge upto 80$ per hour. and for fixed timings you decide the amount.

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I don`t recommend charging 80$...I don`t think someone will hire you at this price....you can find someone who will do for about 30$ an hour..or even less...
I suggest trying different prices and plans...low at first..then after you have a good portfolio you can spice up the prices a little bit...maybe make some offers too

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I don`t recommend charging 80$...I don`t think someone will hire you at this price....you can find someone who will do for about 30$ an hour..or even less...
I suggest trying different prices and plans...low at first..then after you have a good portfolio you can spice up the prices a little bit...maybe make some offers too

Agree with you :)

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Hello all,
I am trying to start a new web design business in my local area...I am flash and joomla proficient but need some help(ideas) how to charge and find customers. Any help is appreciated.
Thanks
Neil

Neil,
What you should be doing is calling your competitors and posing as a potential customer. That way you would know the market rate.

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Yea I agree don't recommend charging 80/hr. I myself would charge about 30-35 range. But i'd also have different packages: Basic - Not alot of work charge 30 * 15 or so hrs, etc.

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Hello!
I think you definitely should first build your portfolio or smth like a on-line store with samples of your works where you also can display prices and product's descriptions. After you will be done with it you should start a SEO part, as u are a webmaster I think you know what it is. If not - than it is a technic which we use to promote all webstuff like forums, blogs, websites, on-line sores, ect.ect. You can do it by yourself whithout any helf from outside.
I hope my post will help you anyhow.

Best of luck!
Oz.

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Check out http://webdesignerdepot.com for a virtually endless supply of articles relating to becoming a freelancer, useful advance, useful tools, pros and cons, etc. for the more business related side of things. There are plenty of other sites out there covering similar topics, but this one is my favourite.

Also, a nice online portfolio is great. But don't forget to promote yourself offline too. Get some business cards and hand them out. Put ads in the paper. Approach local business people. Let friends and family know that your freelancing, and they can pass the word around too, or even give you some work to do (you probably won't get any money but its great for your portfolio, and we all had to start somewhere).

Good luck and I wish you every success.
Laura

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Start off building your portfolio by doing some free work and offer to rebuild a local NGO, business org/assocation website. These are great networking tools and can give you great leads.

If you do a great job kindly ask what they think the website redesign is worth... go from there.

If you produce quality and really know what you're doing then stick with pricing the same or %25 less than your competition.

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I would almost even recommend starting out by helping a few people for free or something and building up a good reputation and then link those sites that you create into your portfolio

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Know your audience and pick your customers.

1. They must know what they want to build. Ask for project specification.
2. There must be a need (find out their deadline)
3. There must a budget. Do not do free work. Set the right expectations.
4. Sign up for website like guru, eLance, etc.

Best of luck,
Naping

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Hi,

First of all you must have a portfolio which should include the details of your product and the services your are providing to your customers.

Also,you may use SEO techniques such as blogging,forum posting,directory submission which would improve traffic to your site.

All the best.

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you can join any freelance website by which you can get the projects. Second thing is a long, in this case you cam make your own website and do seo for it. when you rank on top 10 then you can get the projects.

Thanks

Edited by Ezzaral: Removed promotion links.

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Ha Raja,

I agree with you that before start a new business we analysis our web design to other people then we select a good web design for business.

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When I first started my business, I used to do all kinds of things to find customers. I would do anything from participate in leads programs to advertise in IRC channels.

I remember finding customers was one of the biggest challenges I ran into when starting my web design business.

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have some great sample websites in your portfolio. that's the first thing your customers are going to look at - what have you done!
Make a few sites - maybe for a friend etc. so that you can 'show off' your work.
Also have some basic full-prices (not hourly rate) - ie. full website rate. Basic website g. 1500 etc..
Also - there are lots of web-design companies/ freelancers and graphic designers that often have too much work. You'd be surprised how often they need some help/freelancer to do basic websites while they focus on their larger ones corporates etc..
GOOD LUCK!
Cheers, Joanna

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At the initial phase tell it to your friends,family,comrades etc. This will help you make find a better market because they will be able to help you through word of mouth, but make sure your services are competitive

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It is time for the entrepreneurs to be concerned over business Website Design. Otherwise you would be missing out on tremendous profit if you do not make your mark on the World Wide Web. A neat, organized and user friendly site is indeed the keys to achieve the entrepreneurial success.
Well, people are aware of the fact that making a site does not work under the guideline of copy and paste and you can fortify your online brand image if you know the art of manipulating the graphic designer tools! As a matter of fact business website that is ideally built and professionally marketed is sure to bring in many leads and sales. Avoid the common mistakes while designing the business website.

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First, have you mapped out your company/business using a business plan? If you don't start with that you won't have any goals or direction to keep you going... money is one thing but figuring out what you want from your business is another. I have already made that mistake before.

Who are your customers? Do you just want small businesses (I prefer them when starting since they usually don't have the resources for their own designer/developer and will be good with recommendations to other companies.) or are you looking for non profits (and yes, they can pay at times. Can you afford to give time away? Don't forget that time is money too. If you do something for "free" keep track of your time, and costs. Save it for tax time and then double check with your tax preparer or paperwork if it can be deducted. This includes mileage to and from appointments/and jobs)

Personally, I do think $80.00 is reasonable, especially if you know what you are doing and can do it well. I have seen contract jobs go for more per hour and if you charge too little then people will take that as a direct reflection on the quality of your work. This is especially true (in my opinion) since you are doing both the

As already stated, a portfolio of your work - or even a demonstration site showing how different types of businesses can be represented - will help communicate your skillset. I don't seeing people get underpaid for what they are capable of - and you never know what customers are going to throw at you. Some sites may take no time at all and others will have you banging your head against the wall hoping it knocks the answer into your brain.

What are you willing to provide to customers? With Joomla you can provide the CMS that many companies would love to have - and that is a value in and of its self. Are you going to set up the entire CMS system? Templates and all? Or are you simply going to code a "basic" (non CMS for the definition of "basic" here) and provide the code for them to update? Will you be willing to update the site for them? (if so - I recommend a fee like a subscription fee. If they ask why you can explain it is a retainer where you will make the changes as they need them and request them). How many pages? Are you going to offer packages with so many pages and so many proofs, changes, images included?

So, step one: What kind of business do you want to have? What are your goals for this company? (are you wanting to grow to a major organization? or keep it small just for you?

Step Two: How are you going to carry out these plans? What is the current situation in your area? How many new businesses are there (you may be able to get this information from the local chamber of commerce)? What kind of companies dominate your area? (This information can help you target your portfolio/website and marketing messages).

Step Three: Goals and objectives, strategies - Now that you know your goals, how do you see yourself getting there? What timeline do you see yourself getting there? This is where the website, SEO, social media and networking come into play. Once you have your website ready, blog on it - not just what you had for breakfast - but about issues your customers would want to know more about. What should they look for in a quality web site? What should they expect from the planning process with your company? Why is the planning process important? What is the difference with a site having CMS and just regular coding?
This can bring you additional traffic as people search for this information when deciding about their web presence.

Create a process (another lesson I learned the HARD way) that helps keep the project on track and does make the customer accountable for the direction they give you for the site. I recommend having an initial meeting with the customer (this can also help you determine if you really want to work with them) and ask them questions about what they expect from their website? What is the purpose of them putting the website up? And a chance to make suggestions and set the scope of the project. If the project starts to go past what was initially agreed upon and quoted you can let them know and give them options of how to keep the project in check or ask if they want to be requoted on the additions. You can even offer a "discounted" rate on the additional requests. This keeps their expectations of the final site realistic.

Check the Graphic Artist Guild website - if I remember correctly they have several forms that you could easily modify for this. Or, if not - sit down and create a form for you to keep this information together.

Flowchart the site and let them know the content that is required for each page or section, if you don't have it let them know. This keeps them from expecting you to read their minds and just "know" what they want to say.

Sorry for the long winded response, but alot of this is from having dealt with some of the issues and school.

Also, don't forget about contracting - it can definitely help build your reputation in the community while building your portfolio. Just be very careful and don't run into conflicts of interest. If the situation seems somewhat questionable, avoid it.

and now - back to my coffee and end my dissertation here. >.> (hopefully my profs don't read this and grade me).

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If you want to sell downloads then try payloadz.com or you can integrate your downloadable document with paypal. I am also trying to get into the website design mainstream so if anyone knows of a good XHTML template software then let me know:)

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You can try finding them on classified ad websites, or even on freelancing websites where people are looking to create websites. The best results that I found were on classified ads, and also on your own website.

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