Important Tips when Running a Web Development Business
Here are some important points I’ve come up with while freelancing web development.
The Accountant In You Comes First
So you’ve decided to start your own business, suddenly you find yourself as one person wearing many different hats.? Every case is different, but if you’re an entrepreneur it’s almost unavoidable.
I’ve found it’s best to keep those “people” separate. In other words, don’t let the artist dictate the financial guy, etc., and order them in hierarchy in your mind as to who listens to who. That way you can keep the boat steady, this is crucial.
For example, as freelance web developer, you may find yourself being an:
- project manager
- front-end programmer
- back-end programmer
- SEO guy
- graphic designer/artist
- IT person
- some cases: lawyer/copywriter
As much as you may enjoy any of these, whatever the case, the accountant must come first. It all comes down to the money - will you get paid, what is the fastest, most reliable and most profitable way for you to get paid.
Everything else will fall into it’s most efficient place if getting paid is the main focus and purpose.
Filter Through Incoming Work
one of the worst things you can do for your business is take on work that will chain you down and potentially crush you if you’re not careful. It’s often even worse that not having enough work.
When work comes is in, it’s good to be “lean” and ready to fire into the tasks.
Find Your Niche, It's a Good Thing
eventually you’ll be forced into refining your services into something a little more nice, but that’s a good thing. You simply can’t spend all your time researching new platforms and scenarios and starting from square one every time. You’ve got to build on top of a foundation.
Think of it as being a tree in a forest competing with other trees for sunlight, the trees that survive put all their energy into growing upwards rather than outwards. You don’t see many survivors spread out on the forest floor.
Build a Tool-set
A tool-set can be a code base, some software that you’ve familiarized yourself with like code snippets, design templates or even something as simple as bookmarks in your browser. Whatever you do, make sure you try to make it re-usable in the future, otherwise you’ll be shooting yourself in the foot every time.
Have you ever wondered how people are able to code sites with thousands of lines of code? Where do they find the time? It in the building up of reusable code a little each day that makes for a better tomorrow.
Know And Enforce Limits
We often focus on all the amazing things we can do, but what about what about acknowledging limitations?? It can be the difference between a successful or a disastrous project and believe it or not, clients will appreciate you for it.
Give clients what they want but have a process, have a way of doing things, use tools your familiar with and put control on the things the client doesn’t care about editing as much as you can. Direct them, be their escort to point them in the right direction.
It seems obvious, but sometimes we forget to be nice in the midst of too many stressful project coming in at the same time. A friendly email or some kind words can go a long way. You just don’t know where the work is going to be coming from, so don’t pick and choose who you’ll be nice to. Everyone deserves kindness and courtesy.