Let’s start in the very beginning — with the necessary business basics. Although the information on these pages was designed with the web designer/SEO/marketing expert in mind, there will also be some savvy business owners who will want to use this info as a do it yourself guide to growing their business as well. As a web designer you’re going to deal with business owners too. So I’m going to cover things for both perspectives. The information will be valuable to you either way.
From a business owners perspective, if you haven’t yet chosen what your business is going to be, you should make sure you have a viable idea first. The first thing you’re going to want to know is if there is a market for what you’re planning to sell, and if there is sufficient profit to be had with a reasonable amount of effort applied. If you cannot answer yes to both of those questions you will need to find another business in which to invest your time…. Period! DO THE MATH BEFORE YOU INVEST A LOT OF TIME.
If there is competition in your market there is a good chance that people are buying and selling and profiting from what you plan to sell. Competition is good. Too much competition is difficult to deal with, but if you’re a go-getter you can do well. No competition could be a sign that you’re wasting your time, or that the market is not ripe for your offering. Choose a business that has a long lasting supply of hungry customers. If you can bring customers from an existing business, it would help you get off to a much better start. Example: A barber who has worked for someone else, and is opening his own shop.
Profitability is very important as well, and must be taken into consideration. Failure to think it through will probably result in a business that does not work, or that runs you ragged for a very long time.
As an example: A photographer can sell 8″ X 10″ photos in his market for $10 each. He would have to sell 500 8″X10″ photos per month to gross $5000. After $3000 per month for overhead and expenses he would net $2000. And he would have to shoot and sell 125 photos per week, or 25 per day. Do you see how futile this would be? Better to position himself as a high end photographer, by only showing large photos on his walls, and sell 3-20″X30″ photos per week at $1500 each. That would net him $18,000 minus $3,000, or $15,000 per month, with a lot less work. By the way, this example comes from personal experience.
Action Step: Do some simple math to make sure your numbers add up before investing a lot of time into building a business, and or a website, and getting it to the top of the search engines. Also do some market research to determine if your city can sustain the type of business you plan on doing.