How Do I Outsource Web Development and Find Inspiration for My Website Design?

Finding a firm or freelancer to help get your website up and running can be a complex and time-consuming process. Your choice of design and Development Company will largely depend on your resources and objectives.

Whatever type or size of business you are starting or already running, you’re going to need some inspiration. It might come from a conversation with a friend, a chance encounter with a magazine or book, an existing website or any number of other sources. My personal favourite is picking your topic and start brain storming with a pen and paper. Once you’ve picked your short list type your ides to Google and right down ideas you like colours, call to action or even the way other people have structured their site navigation.

The important thing with inspiration is to be open-minded and aware of developing trends and techniques within the online marketplace. Observe which online businesses are enjoying success. Ask yourself why what they’re doing is working and try to see the connection between their business model, their website design and the way they connect with their audience to make a profit and grow their business.

Once you decide how you want to position your online business, how you want your site to look and how complex or simple you want to make your online presence, you’re going to need to find someone to turn your vision into reality.

This is where outsourcing your web development work comes into play.

You need to find someone who is going to suit your budget, style and objectives. If you are a sole trader looking to form a modest online business with a very simple website, a freelance web developer might do the trick.

If you’re a small to medium business looking to reach a wider audience and potentially grow and develop to take on bigger competitors, you’re going to need to connect with a larger and more versatile web design company.

It’s all about matching your resources and aims with the resources and abilities of your web designers and developers.

Begin by getting inspired. Be clear in your own mind what you want to achieve with your online business and how you want to get there, and be open and observant to the ways others in your industry (and other industries) are attacking their objectives.

Once you have done the necessary brainstorming and research, you’ll be in a strong position to make a sensible choice about outsourcing the web development work you’ll need.

Managing Your Clients Expectations As a Web Developer

When you’re a freelance web designer or developer, one of the biggest challenges you worry about is how to manage and keep up with all your different client’s expectations. Being that your main purpose is to solve the challenges brought on by business, it’s understandable that you would worry about such a thing. All businesses encompass the need for a website that will help them make a sale, thus your prime motivation is to make a web site that will help them make that sale. It’s a tough job and stressful, but completely doable.

What is important to present to all of your clients is your understanding of their vision, business-wise and aesthetically, as well as being able to give them the website in the allotted amount of time. Your promises will be sought after and highly regarded if you show that you completely understand and complete your tasks on time. However, failure to do so will hurt you tremendously and you may end up looking for a new profession.

Your biggest commitments and priorities are centered on your communication, goals and the sharing of ideas with your clients. Much of your talent may come from your knowledge in web design tools, developer tools, trends and other issues that your clients will simply not know much about, and it’s your job to fill them in.

When you’re hired to do a web development or design job, your client doesn’t expect you to know about their field or specialized niche, but if they are willing to share, you should listen. It will help you in the long run if you have an understanding of what they are about.

Negotiations: Sometimes a client may ask you to enlarge their logo, add Flash and every other bell and whistle that can be included. Business owners are all about their business, brand and their vision, so obviously they are going to want the best, even if it’s not right. That’s where your knowledge and appreciation for design comes in. You will need to explain to them why or why not this will work, in easy-to-understand terminology. Not to say that they are dumb, but they aren’t web developers. With your knowledge, you need to design what is best for your client, their business and the website. If you think what they want is just wrong, research it first and come up with the best suitable answer for why it won’t work, and always have an alternative.

When to let go: If you can negotiate appropriately, you will find solutions that fits both you and your clients. The ultimate goal is to have your client walk away happy. After you’ve presented why certain things in web development or design will work and why some won’t by outlining the facts, they will see you as someone who is honest and trustworthy and they are more apt to be completely satisfied.

However, it’s important to remember that your clients are the ones that pay the bill, and when it’s all said and done it really doesn’t matter what you think might work better. You just have to bite the bullet. Offering your knowledge usually will persuade them into the right direction with tons of admiration for your suggestions.

Writing a Web Developer Business Plan

If you’re in the field of developing your own business either as a freelance web developer or as a business entity, it is imperative to your business to have a written business plan. Chances of succeeding without a guiding business plan are very slim.

Business plans help provide you and your business a strategy to test your ideas while ensuring your marketing plan is effective.

Below is a brief guide for writing a business plan based on a business as a freelance web developer. After writing your business plan, it’s always a good idea to keep it updated as your business grows.

The Executive Summary:
Basically, this portion will summarize the 5 W’s (who, what, where, where and why) about your business. This should include what services you’ll offer, your target market and how you will reach this market.

Sector Overview:
This part of the business plan is dedicated to your competitors. You need to outline who else is in the same category as you by defining your market. Then compiling research about the things your competitors offer and their prices for service.

When you’ve summarized your competitors, you will also need to provide a summary of how your business will be different. You will also include the estimated sales from your industry and what kinds of trends are happening in web development.

Market Research:

After you’ve defined your target market, this portion of the business plan will explain that market as well as how your business is going to generate new clients. Important information to include will be the demographics, physical locations of the market, all the boundaries, and what the needs are of your prospective clients. A good way to get this done is by researching and compiling a list of other companies in your target market and reviewing trends.

SWOT Analysis:

This portion of the business plan is to go over your weaknesses and strengths for being a web developer. This step is one of the most important. You’ll need to again, conduct some research to find trends and see how other businesses failed. You’ll want to search out any threats your business may come face-to-face with as well as the opportunities.

Marketing Strategy:

This part involves writing out all the ways in which you’ll attract prospective clients. This may include networking at business events, internet, and newsletters, targeting certain companies or even cold-calling. Also, very important to add is pricing plans and promotional offerings you intend to use.

Legal Structure:

In this section, you will need to outline how your business can operate legally by county and state. You need to establish whether you are a company or a sole proprietor as well as whether or not you’ll be required to purchase a business license and/or tax ID number. You’ll want to include any fees you may have to pay, due dates and the method of payment for each collector.

All Finances:
This portion is for writing out all your business finances that you’ll need to stay in business as well as your personal cost of living. Most importantly, is keeping in mind things you’ll need to pay for in the future. Are there any extras that you haven’t thought about? You definitely should spend the most time on this to be sure you don’t leave anything out.