Is a Web Design Business the Right Choice for You?
With the world moving online, many businesses in Australia have started investing in website development. So much, so that research by IBIS World indicates that the Web Design Services industry is worth north of $1 billion in 2021. There has been, on average, a consistent 0.7% growth in the sector per year.
The demand for websites is certainly not going to go down in the country anytime soon. According to findings in the Fourth Industrial Revolution Benchmark Report, Australia will see a rapid acceleration in the adoption of technology and automation in the upcoming years. Websites have always been one of the pivotal points of contact between people and technology. Now definitely seems like an excellent time for entrepreneurs to try to set up a website design business.
But the fact remains – just because a web design business seems like a good idea, is it right for you? Here we explore a few benefits and challenges posed by web design companies, and we check who a web design business might be right for.
Advantages of starting a web design business
- You don’t have to learn complicated coding to design websites
When you’re starting and taking small scale projects, you can quickly begin using ready-made website templates from WordPress, Wix, Squarespace etc. You won’t need to code anything but only work on the aesthetics.
- You will gain access to a large client base
Since hundreds of companies are started each year in Australia (and globally too), and most companies are coming online, you won’t have a shortage of clients. There will be a start-up willing to hire a new web design business for affordable services.
- You don’t have to spend so much money to start a web design business
All you need to start a web design business is a laptop and an internet connection. If you do code the websites, you may need to purchase coding software. But you also get HTML editors online like Komodo Edits and Visual Studio Code, where you can use certain functionalities for free.
- You can help bring brands to life
If you enjoy working on creative projects, then a web design business is perfect for you. Brands will approach you with a vision for how they want customers to view them, and you’ll have to create the ideal graphics, content and features to suit these specifications. It can be a fascinating and rewarding job, where you can display your creativity all the time.
- You will have a steady stream of income always
As part of the website designing service, many businesses also offer website maintenance services. This maintenance work takes place every few months or annually, and you can earn an assured income through this from all of your clients.
- You can quickly expand into related niches and over various services
Let’s say you start initially as only a coder and design the website template. But you can always decide to get trained in niches such as content development, SEO & social media. That way, you can offer a bundled service that includes all of this to your clients and become their go-to-choice for web design.
- You’ll be able to work on your terms
A website design company can be a work from home business. You can choose to do this full/part-time and freelance. If you find that you need to change your work schedule, you can easily do so.
Disadvantages of starting a web design business
- You will have to familiarize yourself with cutting-edge tools at some point
Not knowing how to code or use state-of-the-art web design tools only works initially. As your business grows and you start to handle more complex projects, you will need to know how to use diverse technology. It may be challenging to learn so much in a short while, and the expenses of upskilling yourself may be very high in the future.
- Your work opportunities may not be stable always
Australia has hundreds of web design companies, and many of them have been around for a long while. Some companies have their chosen web design partners that they always work with. So, while you will get clients, you may not get a new order every day. You will need to hire a business development professional to get more business, increasing your expenses.
- You may not have the ideal work-life balance
Although you’re based in Australia, your clients may be from all over the world. If you’re a small web design company, you may not have the workforce to have different shifts to cater to clients from different time zones. You may need to work at random hours to complete client requirements. This can affect your work-life balance.
- Your business growth may be restricted
If you don’t upskill yourself with related skill sets and expand your service offerings, just web design and web maintenance services may not be enough in helping your business grow.
- You will always have to provide fresh and creative ideas
With so many web design companies doing such creative things, your clients will expect you to come up with unique ideas each time they give you a fresh order. This can get taxing, and if you don’t live up to their expectations, it can become problematic.
- Your business expenses will increase in the long run
As your business grows, you will need to invest in office premises, servers, laptops, coding technology, employee insurance & retirement funds, training etc. All of these can become quite expensive.
- Your health may take a toll
Web design is a desk job, and you may have to spend hours at a stretch seated in front of a computer. This can cause health issues in the long run if you’re not careful.
So, who is a web design business for?
Depending on the pros and cons we’ve discussed above, it’s safe to say that a web design business should ideally be started by someone who is:
- Passionate about website design and working with brands for web development.
- Willing to invest in purchasing and upskilling themselves in the latest web design technology.
- Open to not having a steady and assured work all the time.
- Not interested in working according to a fixed schedule.
- Okay with working at odd hours of the day and night.
- Working another side gig to support them while the web design company becomes stable.
If you decide to start a web design business, consider getting business insurance to protect yourself and your business.