My website building business is rubbish. I’m not happy with the work or what clients have been getting. I expected this. I had not found the right process for the right client. Now I am ready to get serious and I thought I would share my journey.
The Master Plan
That’s a bit grand for me, but I want to explain where I am coming from. I worked for a long time for large organisation. It was painfully slow to adapt to the digital world. There were too many meetings. Too many compromises. It was frustrating. When I decided that I was going to build websites for a living I did not want anything like that. I did not want £10k+ projects. I did not want to deal with multiple stakeholders and dense legal contracts.
I did not want to be odd jobbing either. That’s been fun while I have been travelling. I had a safety net and could live cheaply in Asia too, but it could not be a long term plan.
What I needed was a business I could work on and grow. There’s no grand ambitions to make a stack of money here, but I know I get bored easily and wouldn’t be content only working in my businesses. I think I am at my best when I can stand back and have time to think of new ways to improve our services. Maybe I’m just lazy.
Clearly, if I was going to make something that could expand and employ others I needed to get more organised. I needed to document everything so to have processes that can be taught to others. This is really the Master plan. Nothing new about it, but it’s helped me focus on what kind of web design service I should be offering and how it could be broken down.
The timing also seems right. Page Builders like Beaver Beaver almost demand us to rethink web building services. Now we have some serious developers tools that are also accessible to non coders. Surely things are going to have to shift? Surely client expectations are going to grow?
The Web Design Process so far…
The diagram is a “work in progress”, but shows the timeline for the new “productized” process.
The key points
1. The free video course acts both as lead generation for us and as a “discovery period” for the client.
The advantage for the client is they get to understand what is involved without any cost. They can take want they learn from it without having to work with us.
The advantage for us is we get clients that are better prepared. We’ll only work with clients who have passed the simple course quizzes.
NB: This unlikely to be entirely automated. We will need to answer”student” queries who will not become customers, but feedback should improve the course. The focus of the course will be very much of traffic and conversion which has typically been an afterthought to most of our clients.
2. The website is built collaboratively and the client learns to use a Page Builder.
The advantage for the client is they learn skills that could give them more autonomy.
The advantage for us is we reduce the content adding job ourselves and can be more competitive with price.
NB: We have to make sure we explain the responsibilities that comes with the power of a page builder.
3. The success of this approach depends on how well the Care and Hosting plan can scale.
The advantage for the client is the care plans are competitive. If the client self hosts and pay their own software subscriptions it will cost them more.
The advantage for us is most tasks can be applied to many sites at the same time. We are only supporting the same software.
In the next videos and posts I shall be looking at my WordPress “Blueprint”. This is the install of WordPress I will be starting all new projects with. It has all plugins installed and configured with some templating ready to save time.
Of course, it will be built around the Beaver Builder theme and plugin, but also and quite significantly around Beaver Themer too.
Click here for part two on how we are using Beaver Builder Addon Packs
I build websites at WP Corner Shop and travel. I also co-host a weekly WordPress podcast called WP Builds and make YouTube videos.
Thanks for this David. I always find your BB-specific tips… and overall website building business knowledge… very helpful. Keep up the good work. Looking forward to #2.
Thank you Robert. I really appreciate that. I worry about sharing stuff. I fear I’ll either annoying people or just show my ignorance (compared to some of the really clever folks around) but we all pick up a lot of stuff that we forget is valuable.
I was suppose to have #2 out today, but I think will get a couple more done over the weekend. There seems to be too much to talk about, but not all is likely to be of interest. But I might as well see it through :-)
Thanks again for the encouragement.
A well thought out process. I’m going from “Bigger” jobs which I still look for and do to a turnkey subscription service and may use some of your tips. I find it’s an ever evolving process. I am trying to make it as simple as possible. My client weeding process and onboarding is what I’m still not happy with as even with the low-cost subscription sites there are issues that can be overcome.
Looking forward to the next edition.
So sorry Athlone we talked privately and I forgot to come here. I think it’s great so many of us are rethinking onboarding at the same time. I got delay on following this up, but will be get a few more posts and videos very soon now.
Just trying to sharing stuff has got me thinking harder again. I’m not sure on the value of this with my modest ambitions and skill, but it’s nice to get the support. Thank you.
Wow. This material is a goldmine for me as someone who wants to do something similar. Thanks for sharing.