web design company

Starting a web design company for beginners

How I started my web design company

I always dreamed of having my own web design company but working for an employer seemed like the safer option. Many of us are at that place in our lives where we wish we can just throw in the towel and quit our jobs. Maybe we get paid too little or we just don’t like taking public transport or sitting for hours in traffic to and from work.
Some of us would be too scared to quit out jobs and take the risk, and only a very small percentage of us would actually risk everything to try making our dreams a reality.

So, this is how my webdesign company began.

Launching my web design company

At the launch of my web design company, I thought to myself, this is going to be a piece of cake. Boy, oh boy was I wrong. Firstly, I created my own website and placed 1 single ad for my services offered in the local newspaper to run for a month. I was so excited to see my very first website design ad. I didn’t leave my desk that day because I thought that the phone would be ringing off the hook. To my surprise nothing happened for the whole of the first week.

With 3 weeks left until my ad expired, I decided to start cold calling. It’s probably the most dreadful way to most of us of trying to make a sale, but to my surprise the second call I made, my web design company landed our first client. I was over the moon. Through continuous cold calling and landing a few more website clients, I was starting to feel demotivation settling in. I was burning out and decided to stop.

With no knowledge, I turned to Google Adwords. I had spent a good amount of money on it, but got no interest. When I had checked the search terms used, it was either for people looking for a web design company to work at or for website themes and others were simply just looking how to create a website themselves. So, I turned off the Google Ad and by now my web services ad in the local newspaper had also expired with no luck.

My big break

Then, I did some research on how other web designers were landing web design clients. Basically, they were doing the same things I was doing, but so much more. With much despair, I went back to cold calling. At the same time I placed my website and some of my completed projects on various business directories as well as those especially created for web design companies in South Africa. I also made use of free ads and some paid ads. Slowly, people started enquiring about my services. At this point I had some hope that my web design company would succeed.

That’s when my company landed its first “major client”. He started off just wanting a simple website for his start up company. Then he needed me to do attachments to his website that required back end web development. This has taken my web design skills to a whole new level, but that wasn’t the end. Soon he realised that he needed a monthly website maintenance plan in case anything happened to his website. This was something he definitely couldn’t afford because his website was the focal selling point of his business which by now was booming.

Lastly, he also had Search Engine Optimization (SEO) done on his website. This is a true example of a perfect webdesign client. These are the types of clients that makes web design companies flourish all around the globe.


To conclude, when starting a web design company, advertising plays a vital role in your business. One source of advertising could possibly cut it, but widespread advertising would reach so much more potential clients.

Luckily, in this industry you can work all over the world from your office. The website design industry is a worldwide phenomenon, as businesses can operate via email, phone or Skype. Always measure the returns and losses (whether it be in time or money) on all the advertising that you have done in 1 month or even 3 months to see what is working and what is not.

Thank you for reading my article about how I started my web design company.

Graham is a professional web designer in Cape Town.

G Web Design is a webdesign Cape Town company.

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