If you run a PC business, you're sure to come across plenty of clients with website requirements. It's well worth having a firm strategy regarding how you deal with web related requests.
As a minimum, you should arrange a formal partnership with a Web design firm, and agree on a fixed rate of commission for any clients you refer. It's even better, however, to do the work yourself through your own PC business.
At this point, you may feel alarmed by the thought of designing websites, especially if you see yourself as a PC technician and not a creative type. Perhaps it's been a while since you looked at what's involved in building a modern site? If it has, you'll be surprised just how easy it has become to create a professional web presence.
Many modern websites are now created using content optimization systems (COS), such as HubSpot, or content management systems (CMS), such as WordPress or Joomla. CMS websites use simple building blocks of templates and plugins, and make it easy to create a simple but attractive site in just a few hours.
We are not, of course, trying to claim that all Web development is easy, and that there's no longer a need for skilled web designers. If you're only planning to offer web design as a sideline for your PC business, there are sure to be plenty of complex sites and ecommerce projects that you'd rather send straight to the experts. But when it comes to simple brochure sites, there's really no reason not to simply do them yourself, and benefit from 100% of the revenue! Here's how:
- Become familiar with a CMS platform. There are various different content management platforms, and most of them are free and open source. Although you can arguably do more with the likes of Joomla and Drupal, WordPress is probably the easiest to learn and is more than capable of producing professional sites. Once you've chosen a platform, dedicate some time to learning the basics: installing themes, adding plugins and playing with layouts. The beauty of WordPress is that the answer to every possible question is just a Google search away.
- Think about hosting. If you're going to design sites for your clients, then it makes sense to host them too. Many web hosts offer inexpensive reseller packages, so you can profit from an annual hosting fee. Don't forget, though, that you will become responsible for ensuring sites are secure, and probably end up providing email hosting and support as well. As such, make sure your annual fee reflects the fact that you will have to provide some Web-related support throughout the year. It's easy year-after-year revenue, but you do have to work a little for it! A final note on hosting: try to choose a company that offers a "one click install" of your chosen CMS platform - It will save you awful lot of time.
- Think about templates. The cornerstone of every CMS-driven website is its template or theme, which dictates how it looks in the browser. CMS platforms usually come with several templates, but you you'll want to be a little more original than to use one of those. Hundreds of websites offer ready-made templates, for free or on a commercial basis, so you'll have no problem finding unique ideas. Alternatively you can use a program like Artisteer to create your own. Regardless of your choice, have a strategy ready - you don't want to be scrambling through a mind-boggling selection of themes every time you need to create a new site.
- Create a portfolio. If a client considers using your PC business for Web design, the first thing they will want to see is some examples of previous work. There's no getting away from the fact that you will have to put some effort into establishing this portfolio, but if you're smart about it, you can make (or at least save) some money in the process. First, think about your own PC business website. If it’s in need of a revamp, why not make it your first project? Next, think about friend's companies and clients with whom you have a good relationship. Some will probably jump at the chance of a cheap new website in return for helping you build up your initial portfolio.
You only need to spend a couple of hours with WordPress to realize just how easy it is to create a decent website, and you can do it without going anywhere near any HTML code. So next time a client asks about websites, ask yourself whether it makes sense to do it yourself.
Does your PC business offer web design services? Share your thoughts on the matter in the Comments box below.
And to follow-through on the tips introduced in this short article, be sure to download your free copy of the special report on How to Start a Computer Consulting Business: 6 Proven Ways to Build Your Initial Client Base.
Topics:- B2B Digital Marketing Strategy