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How to Start a Web Design Agency

Insight into the office design of an agency where employees sit and work at their desks.

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Are you tired of being an employee and want to be independent? Being your own boss sounds very tempting at first. 

However, you should be aware that starting your very own web design agency also comes with a lot of work and responsibility. 

Whether it’s about content creation, tax regulations, the appropriate tools, or other areas, starting a new agency involves a lot of decisions. 

It’s all about you getting a clear vision, a suitable business model, a good strategy, enough capital, and all other necessary resources. If you have these, nothing stands in the way of starting your business. 

As well-experienced founders of what has developed into a very successful web design agency, we at GREYD would like to share all our insider knowledge with you to make your start into self-employment easier. 

That’s How You Start a Web Design Agency

Let’s get one thing clear: What exactly is a web design agency? Simply put, an agency is a company that offers services to other organizations. 

Compared to freelancing, with an agency, you can more easily take care of multiple clients and projects at the same time.

You can also offer a wider range of services, take on more complex projects, and earn better money as a result. 

If you build a team of professionals, you can delegate some tasks to them and focus on specific projects, or management. 

Business Model and Legal Form

The good news is that you don’t need any training or certificates to start an agency. However, you should have industry knowledge, work experience, management skills, and a sense of entrepreneurship. 

The only kind of certificate required to start a web design agency is a trade certificate. 

After that, you should decide on a business model, and a suitable legal form (i.e. sole proprietorship, partnership, etc.). 

Safeguard Your Business

Accidents, damage, or other incidents can be very costly for your business and, in the worst case, even threaten its existence. Therefore, you should get sufficient insurance. Depending on where you live, this may even be a legal requirement for your business. For example: In Germany, every business is required to register with an accident insurance company. 

The business liability insurance works similarly to private liability insurance and covers damages to third parties for which your company is responsible. 

Content insurance can be just as useful. It covers damage to technical and commercial equipment, i.e. office equipment, machines, tools, but also goods. 

A Business Plan Makes It Easier for You to Get Started

A good business plan will guide you through each phase of setting up and managing the web agency. It is a roadmap, so to speak, that will help you structure, manage, and later grow your new business.

The business plan will help you clarify your strategy, identify potential obstacles, and decide what resources you need before you start a business.

It’s best to ask yourself a few questions to identify the most important key facts about the business. What is your vision? Who is involved in the industry? How do you differentiate yourself from the competition? 

With these and similar questions, you can analyze the following points and record them in your business plan.  

  • How would you describe your web design agency?  
  • What are your vision and mission?
  • How can you analyze your future market?  
  • What exactly will the management and organization of the agency look like? 
  • What products and services do you offer?  
  • Who is your target group, and how can your target group be segmented? 
  • Do you already have a marketing plan? What is your strategy? 
  • What could your logistics and operational plan look like? 
  • What are your expenses? Do you already have a financial plan?

How Much Starting a New Business Will Cost You

Of course, when you start a new agency for web design and website creation, certain expenses are involved. These need to be calculated in advance so that you know what you’re getting yourself into, and so you can factor the cost into your budget planning. 

Some of the expenses will vary, because they differ from situation to situation. In any case, you will have to pay fees for registration at the trade office, as well as for entry into the commercial register. 

In addition, you must expect to pay any consulting fees or lawyer and notary fees. In addition, there are costs for trademark protection, or for licenses that are subject to fees. 

Other expenses are:

  • Rent for office space  
  • Cost of materials
  • Insurance costs 
  • Costs for domain registration
  • Advertising costs
  • Personnel costs 
  • Running overhead costs

Once you know what these or other costs will be, for the time being, you can create a better budget for your business. 

It is recommended that you set aside additional money when you start your business. You must always be prepared for unforeseeable events that can shake up your financial plan, or even your cash flow plan. 

However, we cannot give specific details on costs or payments here, due to the different agencies and start-up situations.  

Getting Financial Support

If you do not have enough equity, you have several options for financing. 

On the one hand, you can take out a loan, but that is not quite as easy if you have little equity. With little or no equity, you have little chance of getting a bank loan.

On the other hand, you could try to convince investors of your business model. For this, you need a good business plan and some persuasion. But this is rather untypical for web agencies.

You can also apply for a subsidy loan or similar subsidies for your web design company. The funding programs where you live may vary, but you can usually get start-up loans even with little equity. 

More Tips for Founding Your Web Design Agency

But this is not the end of the story. Many other factors need to be coordinated and questioned before you start your agency for web design. 

With such a big step, you don’t want to leave anything to chance. Instead, you want to be well prepared. 

Since every agency is different, we can only give generalized tips and no exact information, recommendations, or concrete figures.

The Right Tools for Your Webdesign Agency

Whether you run your agency remotely or from an office, there are some tools and software that streamline business operations, making them much easier. 

For example: 

  • Messaging tools 
  • File management tools
  • Productivity software 
  • Performance monitoring tools

If you want to offer web design based on WordPress, GREYD.SUITE could be interesting for your business. 

It offers you numerous features to create professional websites even faster. For example, you can efficiently design and manage complex web projects without programming, page builders, or countless plugins. 

You’ll be using the world’s first WordPress suite with a native Gutenberg integration. 

And not only that. GREYD.SUITE is not only compatible with the block editor, everything is fully integrated. It uniquely optimizes the WordPress editor and lets you create professional websites easier than ever. 

So you’ll find everything you need for a creative, fast website in one tool.

GREYD.SUITE

GREYD.SUITE offers you possibilities that go beyond the well-known WordPress standards. Create websites faster and according to your taste! 

Your Office Space

Your office is your place of success, motivation, and creativity. That’s why you should be careful when choosing a suitable office space. 

For web design companies and online agencies, it is a good idea to save on office costs, especially in the beginning. This means that in the beginning, you can easily work from home. 

Since most of the work happens online, it is not necessary to find your own office space. Depending on the size of your team and your preferences, your employees can also work remotely.

You can save the project of an external office for future development of your company.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Running your own agency is demanding and, with more and more clients, will soon no longer be possible for a single person. An important step in the development is to get partners on board.

Slowly but surely you can build up a trustworthy team of capable employees. Your team may consist of only a few people at the beginning. Therefore, it is even more critical that you can work well together, not only on a professional level but also on a personal level.

However, if you don’t feel up to managing a team, you can simply work with freelancers. Here you have less responsibility for personnel and monthly salaries, but there will be more coordination needed. 

Pricing

Even though you will be inexperienced in this category at the beginning, you should know your value and not hide it. It is important to set appropriate prices for all your services from the beginning.

Beginners tend to sell their services very cheaply. However, this exerts pressure on your competition, and also makes it difficult for you to justify any price increases in the future. 

Therefore, it is better to adjust your prices according to the industry and services from the very beginning. Those who are not willing to pay a fair price are not worth your efforts either. 

Know Your Audience

As already mentioned in the business plan, you should be clear about your market. You have to know the needs, doubts, and problems of your target customers to perfectly adapt your services to them. 

Your knowledge of your target group is the most crucial factor in your chance of making a profit. Without an accurate idea of your ideal customer, you will be marketing aimlessly, and, probably, pointlessly.

In the course of this, you will also learn how you can best generate recurring revenue. Long-term contracts with clients give you peace of mind and encourage revenue growth. 

What may seem a bit hard at first glance is definitely worth the effort.

From our own experience, we at GREYD can claim with our successful agency that, above all, diligence and perseverance in the strenuous initial phase are soon rewarded with clients and earnings. 

After all, it is a well-known fact that all beginnings are difficult. But with the right tips and enough zeal, nothing will stand in your way as a successful entrepreneur.

About the author
Patrick Mittner
Patrick

Patrick loves good texts. Preferably about topics concerning online marketing and WordPress. Having built websites by using well-known page builders on his own and being very experienced in the SEO industry, he is very familiar with any kind of problems regarding those plugins. This is the reason why he adopted GREYD's mission to simplify work for web designers as well as agencies.

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