Start A Design Firm? A How to Guide By Forrst Users
I want to share with you a question by @garrettbolin on Forrst: Start A Design Firm? A How to Guide By Forrst Users [Click to read the question].
You probably know I’m a little bit experienced in this field, and I read the question during my morning tea so I was really focused and responded informatively.
Lots of people [ok ok.. only 22] found my comment useful, and I want to share it with you:
At the beginning
- If you figure out you need a little bit of money to start, for legal docs and maybe some hardware [printer and etc.] then put this money in, but save it as much as possible. Buy used hardware, nothing fancy. Don’t buy “work” laptop, just use w/e you all have now.
- Set a goal – set a goal, “We need to make $1k each month for the first 6 months. How can we achieve that?” think about your rate for all sorts of different work you can do, and establish a number of projects you need to do each month.
This is your goal now, to have a number of project you must have and working your ass off to get them.
The thing that helped me when I freelanced is to know “I need to sell my CMS app to 3 clients at least,
if I’ll get a new app dev project, then I can afford myself to find only 1 buyer”. Setting a goal in business is very important rule.
- Responsibilities – Who’s doing what. Sit down with your co’s, and define who’s doing what. You don’t want any issues to be forgotten because no one was responsible.
Clients, where are you??
These are some of the things I’ve done to find new clients:
- Contacts – finding business owners through friends and family. Talk to everybody, “Hi man, your dad still has this bakery?”. EVEN IF this business owner don’t need your service [already has a website], try to figure out how the website helps his business, see why he wanted/needed a website from the begin with.
- Hunt – Now, when you know why business X needs a website, write these things down in a nice document. Actually describe why a bakery needs a website and why, include good info like 30% more profit, 70% of the clients order online or using the cupons we have online when calling to order…etc.
Meet other bakery owners in your town, give them a 5min pitch, explain why you think they need a website OR why the current one isn’t enough. Leave them the document for further reading, and wait for the call
Some quick tips:
- Do more then promised – always do more then you’ve promised, but be careful with that. Read this post: Pride vs Payment http://forrst.com/posts/Pride_vs_Payment-BtL , its a very delicate issue, so if you need further explanation just ask.
- Don’t lie/cheat/deceive – if a someone interested in a service, he probably talked to other firms/freelancers, or will be. Especially if its the first time you’re talking. So don’t lie or cheat. It might work for you once, but plz don’t do it. Be honest! if you don’t have an answer on a certain topic, just say so. Don’t treat them as one night stand, because if you’re good to them, they’ll be good to you and even refer people to you.
You may earned few bucks from this client, but if he treated well, you’ll get through him or by him in the future lots of work. Trust me.
Work hard, life ain’t easy, and probably you’ll have hard time to achieve your goals and find new clients. But if you’ll work really hard, you see its worth it.
This is it.
If this topic interests you, you can read How to become a freelance web developer – Part 1 I wrote.