Starting Your Own Web Design Company: How to Freelance, Find Clients, and Grow Your Business

web design company

Deciding to start a web design or development business is no easy task. It requires a certain degree of diligence, tenacity, and ambition to begin working for yourself. You’ll be faced with some very hard decisions along the way that can impact the success and growth of your entrepreneurial venture.

To help you get started, we’ve compiled our most popular articles and guides into a comprehensive collection. These posts cover every stage of your journey including working as a freelancer, finding and managing clients, and tips for taking your creative endeavor to the next level. If you’re thinking of launching your own design firm, dive into the resources below before you get started.

Good luck!

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Starting your freelance journey

Learning the ropes of freelancing

Before you find yourself managing an agency full of designers, you’ll most likely begin your journey as an independent freelancer. If you’ve never done it before, freelancing can be a challenge — you’re now your own boss and in charge of every aspect of running a business, from finding clients to prototyping every design to invoicing (need a hand with prototyping? Learn more about rapid prototyping, and check out some great prototyping tools).

In this section, we’ll share advice and insights for managing the transition and finding success as a freelancer.

Making the transition

Once you've decided that you're ready to go the freelancing route, you'll be presented with many challenges and tasks that will probably be foreign to you. We went out and asked some of our partners how they made the transition — here's some of their advice. 

Getting paid

Understanding what it takes to get paid as a freelancer will help set you up for success. From pricing projects to invoicing clients, these strategies and techniques will help ensure your new business venture is a profitable one.

Tools for freelancers

Even the most organized freelancer needs a little extra help sometimes. There are a ton of tasks you can simplify, and even automate, through the use of software. We've compiled some of our favorite tools that can help any freelancer become more organized and productive.

Promoting your new venture

Now that you’ve taken the leap into freelance, your next step is to build the foundation that will help you promote your business. Your website is a great place to start growing and marketing your brand. We’ve included some useful tips below for getting the most out of your business’s website and building a strong web design portfolio.

Finding and working with clients

Finding new clients

Your business is set up and your website is live — now all you need are some clients.

Finding new clients is one of the greatest challenges you’ll face when starting your web design business. There are countless tactics for landing new contracts, and we’ve included a few below that are guaranteed to help you get started.

Working with clients

While finding clients and closing deals is undoubtedly challenging, it’s only the beginning of the battle. The real work comes when you start working on their projects and managing budgets, timelines, and expectations. The articles below cover the why’s, what’s, and how’s of managing client relationships.

Project management resources

Project management is a foreign process for many designers and developers, especially those working as freelancers. In order for you to build a strong working relationship with your client, you need to ensure that your project workflow is as smooth as possible, from creating an effective project brief to avoiding scope creep. Luckily, we've compiled several articles to help you build out your project management toolkit.

Growing your web design or development company

Scaling your business

There might come a point when you feel the need to expand your freelance operation into something bigger. While growing your business is exciting, it’ll involve some hard decisions and serious strategic thinking to transform your one-person operation into a multi-employee business. The following posts offer insights and advice for taking your web design or development business to the next level.

Additional services to offer your clients

Your client relationship doesn’t need to end after their site or app is built. Your path to long-term client relationships is paved by adding complementary services outside of your core offering. You have been hired to reduce a store's bounce rate; but you can offer additional services to continuously improve their conversion rate. The articles below will introduce you to some new opportunities to help expand your services.

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Building your business with Shopify

Getting started with Shopify Themes

If you find yourself working with an ecommerce client, Shopify offers an easy-to-use platform for creating ecommerce stores and templates. We’ve compiled the following articles to help you become familiar with Shopify theme design and development.

    Getting started with Shopify Apps

    Shopify also offers tons of opportunities for app developers. If you’re looking to build an app for an ecommerce store, or to help Shopify merchants in general, here are some tips for getting started.

    Success stories to inspire you

    Hundreds of web design and development companies have built and grown their businesses with Shopify. From app developers to ecommerce design specialists, Shopify’s Partner Program provides the resources, support, and technology needed to jumpstart your career in web design. Below we’ve included success stories of some of the designers and developers in the Shopify ecosystem.

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    Starting your own web design company is a major undertaking

    Whether it’s learning how to freelance, searching for new clients, or growing your business to new heights, this resource roundup is a great starting point. We hope it will help you take the leap and follow your dreams.

    Good luck — you’ve got this.

    Grow your business with the Shopify Partner Program

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