I’ve been in business as a Norfolk web design company for over two years now, and before that, alongside my full-time job, I did freelance work as a graphic designer for businesses dotted around Norfolk.
It’s fair to say it’s been tough at times but whether I knew it at the time or not, I’ve relished every part of it.
I’ve now worked with over 50 businesses across Norfolk on their web designs, SEO, and PPC (Google Ads), and digital marketing. I’ve met 100s of incredible people and made friendships with other Norfolk web design companies, clients and business pals.
Running a Norfolk web design company
It’s true when they say business is about making mistakes. I’ve made mistakes in my time as a web design company. However, I can proudly say there have been no mistakes that have impacted my clients, but instead mistakes that have impacted how I’ve run my business, my workflows and my own wellbeing.
So, I thought I’d share what I’ve learned, to help new businesses and other web designers in Norfolk make good decisions in their business.
But, I’m also now entirely aware of the power of meeting people. Yes, we live in an online world, but (I bet you’re sick of hearing this), people buy from people.
My advice would be to go to networking events, meet, help and care about others. There are two main reasons I love networking at 4N:
The social aspect. Being a web designer in Norfolk can be lonely at times, getting out and meeting people does heaps for your morale and motivation.
You will get more business. When you meet new people week on week, build relationships and make friends it’ll result in business for you at some point. Be patient and it’ll come.
Have a plan and be consistent
This is a big one, it’s definitely made a huge difference in my business. Just before Christmas last year I lost a bit of consistency. My marketing, sales, workflow and pretty much everything about the way I do things wasn’t as consistent as it should be.
This had an impact on my business in terms of turnover, my motivation and my overall wellbeing.
I soon realised I didn’t have the consistency I needed so I settled over Christmas and used the time to make a plan going into the new year.
From day 1 of 2019 I was on it, I knew what I was doing, I knew where I needed to be and it instantly made a huge impact on my business.
Ever since, I’ve been improving my own marketing, workflows and customer service consistently.
Like most, my first year in business was a wing-it approach. I started as a good web designer who enjoyed building websites that convert visitors into leads. I knew what I was good at and just wanted to do that.
Therefore, I stormed into business by winning new clients, delivering a great service and results, but not really having a clear goal with my own business.
After a chat with a few local Norfolk web designers to share experiences, it was clear a lack of business goals was holding me back.
So, I simply set myself goals. Client goals, customer service targets and financial goals. Pretty much everything in my business now has a process and goal attached to it.
Once again, this transformed my business as I was always able to measure how my business and I was performing.
Under promise and over deliver
This isn’t something I’ve necessarily learned from running my business but instead an idea that has been reinforced.
I’ve always believed that underpromising and overdelivering was the way forward. It’s great customer service but also makes my life as a web designer easier since I’m not stressing about big promises I’ve made.
Focus on what you’re good at and outsource the rest to local skilled freelancers
No one can be good at everything. I realised that early on. I tried to be a one-man agency providing most services a small business would need, including social media management, web design, SEO, email marketing and more.
I soon realised it’s better to be an expert in one area than a jack of all trades. So, I stuck to web design and search marketing (SEO and PPC).
I outsource what I’m not an expert at. For example, recently I was working with a construction company who required corporate headshots as part of their new website design. So, I outsourced to my trusted headshot photographer. My client got a collection of first-class headshots at an awesome price and I got perfect images for their new website. Simple.
I think this has been one of the biggest reasons my time in business has been successful so far. I’ve always tried my best to help people.
By this I mean giving people free advice and doing little bits and pieces for free or at a very fair price. The first reason for doing this is just to be a good person and help others on their journey. The other reason is that people will trust you as a result of you helping them and offering advice. When they need the product or service you sell (web design, SEO or PPC in my case) you’ll be the first they think of.
Learning never stops
These are a few of the main things I’ve learned on my business journey so far. I’m learning new things every single day and I’m sure I’ll share my new learnings with you in the near future.