Creating a web studio – a business that offers graphic design, web site development, e-commerce, SaaS and related web services – is a great way to get into business. Essentially, you’re a B2B provider, even if the clients are often individuals trying to start their own company and haven’t incorporated yet.
Surviving the first 12 months is tricky. If you’re not careful, there will be so much to do that mistakes will be made. Sometimes, they don’t matter and other times, they’re fatal to the survivability of the business. To help you, here are a few tips on how to get though the first year relatively unscathed.
Use Existing Connections
Anyone that you know in business once upon a time is a viable person to approach about needing your services. That doesn’t mean you’ll have a great deal of success, but at least getting them on the phone or reaching out by email is usually initially successful.
If you’ve developed a network of business contacts, at least let them know that you have a business now and what you offer. Join business associations or the local Chamber of Commerce to network and find new people to discuss your services with and get to know them better.
Also, don’t forget to ask for referrals from existing clients as their recommendation goes a long way with their business associates too.
Provide a Broader Set of Services
While you do need to drill down to the specifics on what services you’ll offer to avoid being a Jack of all trades, there’s nothing wrong with providing extra services that relate to your main offering.
For instance, with a web studio, be sure to sell associated services like web hosting, domain names and other extras that some customers would appreciate. A quality host like Krystal.co.uk offers hosting reseller accounts and domains can be registered through them at an affordable price.
It’s tempting to sign a long lease right away and pay monthly rent for an office. Don’t!
There are web studios that have gone out of business when they made this move too early. Plenty of remote studios hire a meeting room from Regus or another office provider to meet clients instead of maintaining an expensive office year round.
Outsource key tasks to freelancers with a good rating on gig sites like Upwork or Freelancer to keep payroll costs manageable. This way, there’s a lower fixed overhead in the first few months which is easier to manage.
The road to business success is sometimes long, certainly uneven and at times, scary. It’s necessary to have resilience and perseverance to get through to the other side. Often, the first year or two for a new business is said to be the most difficult, yet also exhilarating too.
Make sure that you’re emotionally prepared for the turbulence that you’ll likely need to withstand as you get buffeted about. It’s all part of the journey, unfortunately.
Surviving as a web studio in the first year puts you into hero mode. Once you’re through that gauntlet, it gets easier from there.