Web design is an in-demand service. With the world going online, every business wants to have a piece of digital real estate. However, there is always a challenge to grow web design business.
At some point, you might see yourself stuck with a certain number of clients, and this may happen because of your limited time or limited resources.
Creating processes is the best way to extract the most productivity from your time and satisfy as many clients as possible.
Processes help you amp up your productivity, guaranteeing excellent outcomes and saving a lot of time and money. They are also a great way to productize your services, so everything you do becomes replicable and scalable.
The best thing is, when you grow your company and hire more team members, you can use the same processes to improve their efficiency too.
This blog post will discuss creating efficient processes that help you scale your web design business.
10 Must-Have Processes To Scale Your Website Design Business
Let us look at ten proven processes that help you grow your web design business. No matter where you are right now and where you plan to be, these can all help you succeed.
1. Target a Niche Market
A niche, by definition, is a subset of a market catering to a specific group of people. A niche is a service specialization (s) dedicated to a target customer.
There are two essential factors to consider while deciding on a niche.
Your Specific Skills
We know that you are a web designer. But you can have a specialization as well—for example, a WordPress developer or a Drupal Developer.
The Industry You Serve
The other end of the spectrum is the target customer. It is the answer to the question, “Who do you serve?”
As a web designer, you can build any kind of website. But when you are starting, it helps to focus on a specific group of people you want to work with.
For example, You are a WordPress web designer for eCommerce businesses.
Like a specialist doctor can charge higher fees than a general doctor, having a specialization lets you charge higher fees than general services.
Specialists tend to be much more in demand too.
2. Setting Up Client Acquisition Processes
Understanding where your clients are coming from is critical when running a business. Once you figure out whom to serve, you need to have a proper client acquisition strategy.
Getting more clients is how you maintain a positive cash flow for your business. This means you need to have an efficient sales process in place.
Sure, you may be getting word-of-mouth referrals. But such referrals are unpredictable, and you do not want to be stuck in a loop where you have a feast one month and famine the next.
Trust me; I have been there!
Instead, you should develop a sales strategy. It may seem a little much initially, but it’s a beneficial process to help growth.
Some popular client acquisition strategies include:
Cold Calling and Cold Emailing
Cold emailing is a popular method among agencies and freelancers. Here you find potential businesses yourself, and you figure out what improvements they can make in their web design and then pitch your services.
Though it is still somewhat unpredictable, you can always reach out to your favorite businesses and start working with them.
Online Job Boards
You can find a lot of job postings in online job portals like:
This is more feasible because here, you find businesses that are already looking for people to hire. Instead of working full-time, you can pitch them for freelance or web design businesses.
If you have a marketing budget, you can run advertising campaigns in channels like Google. Paid advertising is the most predictable way of getting clients, as you attract qualified leads looking for your services.
3. Easier Client Onboarding Process
Once you start seeing a steady flow of clients, you need to work on an onboarding process. The better the onboarding process is, the better relationship you build with the client.
A solid onboarding process inspires confidence that the client has made the right decision to hire you.
Here are some tips on how to make the onboarding process easier:
- Be transparent in your communication
- Be available through all channels of communication (phone calls, Slack channels, and emails)
- Answer questions positively
- Use survey forms to understand client needs
- Give a clear timeline of the project
- Explain your KPIs and how things work
You can create an onboarding template or use a downloadable one from the internet. You can then customize the template to match each client’s requirements.
4. Project Management Process to Complete Work on Time
Once the client is onboarded, you need to use workflows and project management tools to efficiently complete the right tasks at the right time.
You can use tools like Trello, Start Infinity, or simple WordPress plugins like WP Project Manager to deal with client projects.
You can have internal Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in a place where you create step-by-step instructions and checklists for yourself and your team members to complete client tasks.
Checklists help you make the entire process more efficient and productive and help forget steps or tasks when things get busy!
5. Have a Robust Hiring Process
The best way to scale up is to hire more staff. Sure, you might find one tool or the other to solve a problem, but having the right team makes your task much more manageable.
When working alone, you take care of the back-end processes, hosting, client acquisition, project management, finances, and delivery simultaneously.
But when you expand and start getting more business, you can and should delegate specific tasks to your team. In such a case, you need to have processes to manage your team.
You can have a marketing and sales team that takes care of your lead generation and sales. Similarly, a development team can take care of all the development activities.
When building a team, you can create different SOPs for different teams. You can easily create and manage your team in WordPress through the MainWP’s Team Control extension.
6. Client Feedback Process to Speed Up Development
Do you know what consumes the most time for a web design project? It is the client feedback system. The time is justified because feedback lets you make sure that you design the website exactly as the client wants.
But the more you can do to streamline it, the better.
Having an efficient feedback system improves the experience and quality of your web design project.
Here are some more benefits of having a feedback system:
- You get a different perspective from the audience or client
- It builds trust with the client. The more you interact with the clients, the better rapport you build
- You get more clarity on the client’s expectations
However, the problem with usual feedback tools is that you need to spend a lot of time finding standard schedules and teaching clients how to use whatever tool you use.
ProjectHuddle efficiently solves this problem. It’s a straightforward and well-developed tool that allows your clients to add sticky note style feedback on the web pages that you design. Though it is a WordPress plugin, you can still use it on any external CMS as well.
The best feature of ProjectHuddle is that it simplifies the client feedback system, saving you hours. It should make the client happy too!
7. Billing Process To Get Paid on Time
Whether you get paid after or during your work, having an efficient billing process helps you get paid at the right time.
It can be a simple checklist to follow while finalizing your services to the client or a full-service payment platform.
Create invoice templates, include taxes where appropriate, offer multiple ways to pay, and consider step payments for longer projects.
When setting up the billing processes, keep the following in mind:
- How are the prices broken down for each service that you provide?
- What addons can you provide?
- What will be the price of such addons?
- What payment methods will you accept?
- When will you get paid?
A well-developed billing process helps your accounting team get the numbers right. It becomes easy to judge the cash flow and plan the course of action for your business.
8. Hosting Process to Host Client Websites
As a web design freelancer or an agency, it is always a good idea to have a hosting account to manage client websites.
Not only does this make testing and visualization easier, but you could also sell hosting for future recurring income.
If you don’t provide hosting of some kind, you have to ask your client’s credentials every time you perform backend changes, which will become tiresome for everyone!
9. Processes To Manage Multiple Websites for Clients
If you create websites on WordPress, you can keep the following steps in mind and include them in your processes:
- Setting up the hosting and domain
- WordPress set up
- Google analytics and search console set up
- Theme installation
- Page builder installation and design
- Setting up the backend
All the above processes can be even more streamlined using MainWP.
MainWP is a completely free tool that lets you manage multiple WordPress instances from one dashboard.
It comes with 1-click WordPress core updates, automatic updates of themes and plugins, security scanners, users, and content management. It also detects abandoned themes and plugins and sends alerts to update.
With this, you can take care of all your client websites’ basic website maintenance processes at once. This helps save a lot of time and energy!
10. Optimize Your Business For Client Retention
One of the most underrated ways of income for any freelancing or agency business is client retention. It is vital to get new clients, but it’s even more important to keep your existing clients coming back for more!
Once you build a website, you might retain the clients for more services. You can do it through upsells, cross-sells, recurring income like hosting, website maintenance, regular updates, security updates, and other services.
MainWP can quickly help you with all those services.
There might be a few more changes that your clients will need regularly. Some examples include:
- Creating and A/B testing of landing pages
- Optimizing the website for better conversion rate
- Adding systems of lead generation through websites
You can create simple processes for promoting these opportunities and implement them whenever possible. That way, you can generate more revenue with little extra effort.
Grow Web Design Business Today
The best way to scale up your web design and development agency is by being organized. Even though some of these processes may seem a little much if you’re starting, planning is a vital part of any venture.
The more you plan, the more prepared you are for any eventuality!
You might not see immediate results. But over time, you will start seeing progress and more productivity, which is good news for you.
This article has covered ten essential processes you need to have in place, starting from finding clients to delivering the work.
Do you use processes to streamline your workflow? Have any to add? Let me know in the comments below!