Starting a web development business is not an easy thing to do. When I am asked by people thinking about doing this, I always check with them about whether they think this will be an easy way to earn an income, as this is not the case.
It is true that people who are good at web development are in high demand right now, but that does not make it an easy income.
I ask are you determined, hardworking, diligent, ambitious and organized? Do you truly have the skills to do this. Not necessarily the training or education in a formal sense, but the skills and some experience are needed. To have success at this you will need to make difficult decisions, work longer hours than you are expecting and start out at a lower income than you might think.
If you are still interested in this entrepreneurial adventure and you have what it takes to be successful at it, then I also have some very good reasons why you should start a web development business. So here are 15 reasons why today is a good time to get started!
Starting a Web Development Business
Below you will find 15 great reasons you should start a web development company instead of other business:
1. No actual office needed
One of the huge advantages to starting your own web development business is you do not need an actual physical office to run it from. Owning a physical place you go to work is a more traditional way of doing things, but while it might give you a place to meet clients in, it does add additional costs, rent and bills and maintenance.
It is not necessary anymore. Clients are usually happy to meet at either their own offices or in a cafe or restaurant. If a client seems non-pulsed by you lack a physical location be confident and honest with them about it. You are more mobile and flexible without one and your focus can be more on their project rather than office management.
Perhaps one day if you decide you need people working for you and it would be best to do that from one location, you might consider getting an office. But especially at the start, your money is best spent in other ways.
2. Part time work if needed
Starting a web development business can be done on a part time basis at first if you need to. There will be hard work ahead and longer hours, but if you need to work full time to earn an income while you build it up, or if you are studying still for example, you can do this in between.
The part that could be tricky is the client meetings. Hopefully you can fit those into lunch hours or before or after work. You could try to have online meetings too using a form of video conferencing.
The work itself can be done at the weekend when you are not at class or at work, and in the evenings. Just be sure to only take on smaller projects you know you can handle and finish. It is a good way to build up your experience and your portfolio.
3. High demand for web developers
More organizations and companies are realizing how important it is that they have a presence on the internet, meaning a website. However the skill of developing a website is not something everyone has. So they need web developers to help them not just make a site their clients and customers will appreciate but to also teach them how to navigate and maintain it.
There is so much information out there online and off it. This can be overwhelming for people that have no understanding of these things. If there is someone able to cut the noise down and help them make good choices for their company’s future, they are likely to pay a lot for that.
4. You do not need to understand or learn coding
Whether you are just starting out and do not know CSS, or HTML yet for example or even if you do have that knowledge, really coding is not a requirement. There are some great platforms like WordPress that allow you to use themes and plugins that are pre-built.
You can start out using such a platform especially when you are working with smaller clients at first. Later on as you grow your business and knowledge you can apply your coding knowledge, or learn it if you feel you need to. There are plenty of places to learn online which I will look at in a moment.
5. Not all the competition is keeping up with the times
It is an industry that is developing and changing at an extraordinary pace and the developers who started out 5 or 10 years ago are likely using older techniques and falling behind.
There is a lot of room in this market for newcomers who are keeping up with the times. Prospective clients will want developers who have recent knowledge and experience, not out of date skills.
If you can show you are moving towards the future and can take their business with you, they will pay you for that. It is important though that you yourself stay up to date in the technology you use and the knowledge you apply, or in 5 to 10 years you will find yourself the one out of date.
6. A flexible working schedule
As mentioned, one of my reasons why you could start a web development business was the ability to work part time if needed. Also part of that is that you can create your own working schedule. You can be flexible with the hours of work you put into it, and the time of day you chose to work.
If you are an early bird you can work more in the mornings and afternoon, if you are a night owl you can work afternoons into the evenings.
With client meetings some of that work time has to be conducive to being able to meet with them, but there is a lot of freedom and power in being flexible about your working schedule.
Should you have a need for a couple of weeks off, or even longer you can make it so you are in between projects and do not accept work for that time, or include that absence in your communications and arrangements with them. No office and being your own boss means you get to decide how and when you check in.
7. Great opportunities for the under 30s
Starting a web development business is not necessarily for the young but there is no doubt there is advantage to being under 30. Your perspective of things in the industry will be different to those who are older. You are more likely to looking to the latest developments and technology and can relate more to the younger generation. That link means you have an advantage in being able to reach them too.
It is a fact too that while over 30 can learn new things it is easier for younger people. It is an exciting time for those in tech businesses. It is a great chance for a young and aspiring developer to make something of themselves.
8. Low costs to get started
The great thing about starting a web development business is that it really takes little actual investment from you that you don’t already have. You already have a computer where you will complete the bulk of the work. After that things you will need a small amount of cash for include;
- Buying a domain name for your website for an estimated $10
- Sign up for a managed web host for the site for an estimated $25 to $30 a month
- Choose a premium theme for an estimated $40 to $50
That equates to about $60 as an initial spend and then $25 to $30 monthly. You will need to ensure you are earning enough at least to cover your monthly website costs and travel for meetings. Beyond that what you make is profit.
Start out working for smaller clients and invest back into your business as you earn. You can upgrade your computer for example, upgrade the plan you are on with your host if you want to, invest in plugin licenses, invest in your training, maybe one day invest in expanding.
9. Specialists are in high demand in particular
There is a huge spectrum of needs and skills that comes under the umbrella of web development. There is a huge demand for all of these skill sets but especially those with more specialized focus.
If you wanted to you could direct your business to something specific like mobile development, engineering or design and you could focus then on a specific area or region where you bring your skill set to.
Web development is an excellent place where you can home in on something more particular and become an expert in it. Experts are often sought after for their work and advice they can give. At some point you may be able to charge higher rates because of that specialization. You could also find yourself becoming someone who is actually top of your field and seen as a leader.
10. High margins
For those of you driven by the bottom line the money, an excellent reason to start a web development business is in fact the money it can make you! As I have already covered there is little expense initially in this option, most of what you put into this will be your time. At first things will take you longer to do but as you become more experienced you can get things done at a high value but quicker.
Your rates should be done per project and you can easily look to starting around $70 an hour and then go up from there as your skills and experience grow. If you become a web developer that is in high demand, businesses will pay high money for you. Just as an example the average web developer in London earns up to fifty thousand pounds a year which is about $65,000. Become more than an average developer and you can go higher.
11. Now is the right time
It sounds like a bit of a cliché but it is the absolute truth when I tell you there has never been a better time to get into web development. With the way consumers are using the internet today businesses need experts in this area more than ever.
Some businesses saw early the need for a presence online, but now those sites are out of date and needs someone to update them. Some are later to come to see the need for a website and need someone to create one. Starting your own business means you can have creative control and you can choose your clients. The projects will be yours to complete.
12. Could lead to other opportunities
This is an area of business where you can really make some great contacts. You will be getting a variety of clients and companies wanting your services. Who knows how useful those contacts might be later in life and what opportunities that could lead to? Keep open minded about who you work for and what might come along.
A lot of large companies themselves started from smaller businesses. Take a look for example at some of the large app developers of today. They at some point were doing web development for clients and then saw an opportunity in the market for something new and it was and still is a huge success. Allow yourself to work across various areas and disciplines.
13. As you are more successful so you can scale up
In some areas of business there is not a lot of opportunity to scale up, you can get yourself into a niche and not have much room for growth from there. With a web development business you can really scale up when you are ready for it. As demand grows you could bring in a partner or an employee. You still do not have to have a physical place of business though because of the nature of the work. Use technology to automate parts of what you do, streamline when you can and dream big!
14. Plenty of information and tools available online
I am not saying a degree or some official training in the subject is useless, of course it is not. Those qualifications will give people with them an advantage in starting a web development business. Clients will find them reassuring and be drawn to those with them. If you are qualified you can also likely start at a higher hourly work rate and take on larger or harder projects sooner.
However as stated having these qualifications is not a requirement. There are lots of opportunities to learn as you go, and many sites, books and blogs that can give very useful tips and teach you some skills. Places to go to look for resources and learning include but are certainly not limited to;
- Webdesigner Depot
- Smashing Magazine
- Web Design Ledger
You can also learn by getting a job with an organization who offer training. It will give you skills and experience and prepared you for starting your own business.
15. A large industry to work in
This is a vast industry; some companies are giants and some are small one person businesses like yours will be. But most are willing to share ideas and new skills. Most are happy for others to study their work to learn from it. Use the developers that have come before you to get it right.
Think of it as a huge network or team. Communities ready to offer technical support, advice and to talk with you if you have something on your mind.
Being a developer is an interesting mix of being a problem solver and getting to be creative. Be ready for mistakes, starting a web development business will not happen smoothly. At the start there will be more risks to be taken and some hard decisions. It is up to you how much time you spend on it. If you have other studies or work to do, you may have to start slowly.
To those committed though I would show you those fifteen excellent reasons to start a web development business today. It is work in high demand, it pays well, takes little financial investment to start up and you can grow.