A set web design agency, or would you prefer to stay in a reasonably secure employment relationship, every web designer will certainly be put once through the head. Of course, the employment relationship is a great thing because you can let your artistic talent and creativity run wild. But that’s all over if you want to set up an agency because you have to do all the tasks yourself. This starts with the acquisition of customers and continues through to the completion of your bookkeeping.
Nevertheless, it is understandable that you think about it and want to find a web design agency because self-employment naturally also has some advantages. If you want to start your agency, you have to pay attention to very important things.
Tips for starting a web design agency
When considering founding a web design agency, you should first of all be completely honest with yourself and ask very critically whether you even have the necessary qualifications that you need to have as a founder of an advertising agency. If you can answer this with an honest YES, it makes sense, and you can start with it and set up an agency. Below are a few important agency establishment tips for you.
Set up a WordPress agency?
When setting up an agency, you have to decide what agency you want to set up. This is not related to the type of industry but rather to the size of the agency. You can your agency web design as freelancer reasons, or self-employed small business owners make. Or you think bigger right from the start and want to set up a WordPress agency. A WordPress agency usually has more than 10 employees. In this WordPress agency, your customers can have a unique website created, and you offer your customers a professional web design. Do you want to build a WordPress agency, you can offer your customers the following services after the establishment:
- Professional websites
- Monthly maintenance
- Marketing services in digital form
- Coaching for your customers
- Services tailored to the customer
As already mentioned at the beginning of the article, you have to meet the requirements for setting up an agency. Especially in the start up phase, you have to pay attention to and consider many things. Don’t rush into anything here and go step by step. It would help if you answered a few important questions for yourself.
- Starting an agency or being a freelancer: As a web designer, you have several options. A very important decision is to start a web design agency or work as a freelancer.
- Where are your strengths: You have to know your strengths. It would help if you specialized in what you do best. In this way, you can set yourself apart from your competitors in a highly competitive market. Competitive analysis and clear market positioning create advantages because who wants to work with a company that doesn’t know exactly what it wants.
- What basics do you bring with you: Before setting up an agency, you need a good foundation and certain industry knowledge. How, for example, a house needs a floor slab. Do you have people around you who you can rely on when you need support? Are there already potential future customers?
- What is part of the day-to-day business: For example, target group analysis, and customer acquisition. Defining a clear target group makes it easier to prepare an offer. It also increases customer credibility and saves unnecessary costs. In their initial euphoria, many founders forget that every advertising measure, every offer preparation, and every request that is rejected due to lack of knowledge not only costs money but may alienate potential customers. To cater to each customer as individually as possible, many advertising agencies employ marketing experts, copywriters and graphic artists, and customer advisors.
- What does your offer look like: Full-service agencies are characterized by their wide range of services and are therefore in demand with customers. The disadvantage is that there are not only very many advertising agencies of this type. Specialized advertising agencies have the advantage that they can be positioned very quickly and that their knowledge is focused on a specialist area. The disadvantage is that the customer has to commission other agencies for other offers, but this can be compensated through cooperation.
- What about the finances for the startup: Founding costs money, and you need a business plan for funding. This has to be created in great detail, and you can see from it what financial resources you need. It would be very beneficial if you had a certain amount of equity.
- What is the legal side: When founding your agency, you have to choose a legal form. You should also pay attention to what the particular legal forms mean for you in terms of taxation. As a rule, legal forms such as UG, GmbH, or GbR are most often chosen when setting up an agency.
Advantages and disadvantages of setting up an agency
Setting up an agency has advantages but also disadvantages. However, the disadvantages do not only mean the many planning steps. Below is a detailed overview of the advantages and disadvantages for you:
Advantages when setting up an agency
- If you are very fit in web design, it is worth setting up a web design agency.
- With your agency, you can attract customers quite quickly.
- You can make good money with your agency.
Disadvantages when setting up an agency
- If you want to start your web design agency, you are entering a highly competitive market.
- If you want to set up an agency as a newcomer or career changer, you usually have few chances.
- To set up an agency, you need a lot of experience and a lot of knowledge.
Freelancer vs. agency
Setting up your agency as a web designer or working as a freelancer in the field of web design is very different. With your agency, you have to worry a lot about other things as an entrepreneur. Take a look at the differences between an agency and a freelancer.
Web design agency
- At an agency, you have to do a lot of management work as an entrepreneur.
- Your tasks also include personnel management.
- The costs for an agency are relatively high.
- You usually have several projects and thus significantly higher income.
Web design freelancer
- You can fully express your creativity and realize your ideas.
- You work alone, and you only have to take care of yourself.
- Your costs as a freelancer are absolutely within reasonable limits.
- By processing individual projects, your income is significantly lower compared to an agency.
The costs incurred when setting up the agency can usually be found in or derived from your business plan. The financial plan contained in the business plan must be drawn up very carefully by you. For this planning, you need to consider a few important points and proceed accordingly.
- Startup costs (costs for official documents, consulting costs, etc.)
- Acquisition costs (furnishing your office in terms of furniture and technical equipment, creating an IT structure, etc.)
- Costs for your agency’s website
- Costs incurred for customer acquisition and marketing.
- Operating costs (rent, ancillary costs, etc.)
- Possibly costs for personnel.
- Important insurances (legal protection, social contributions, etc.) and contributions (IHK, etc.)
- Financial reserves required.
Checklist: First steps to start your business
You can’t just found a web design agency overnight. Many planning works are involved, and many tasks are already waiting for you as preliminary work for the foundation. For this reason, you must go step by step and work through task by task. A startup checklist can help you with this.
- Determine which web design agency you want to start. A specialization in one area promises the best opportunities.
- Prepare market analysis and a detailed business plan. Free business plan templates are also available for this purpose.
- Which legal form do you want to choose for your agency? Legal forms such as UG, GmbH, sole proprietorship, or GbR are very often chosen here. Pay attention to what the legal form means for you for tax purposes.
- Register your web design agency. Depending on which legal form you have chosen, this also has an impact on your registration. In the case of a UG or GmbH, you have to be entered in the commercial register. In addition, regardless of the legal form, registration with the responsible trade office is required.
- Membership in the Chamber of Industry and Commerce should not be missing in your checklist for the establishment. It’s a duty for you.
- You are also required to register with the trade association.
To set up an advertising agency, you need a lot of staying power and perseverance. You have to expect that when setting up the agency, you will find a highly competitive market. Specializing in a certain area and thus differentiating yourself from the competition is the most promising path. Setting up an agency only makes sense for you if you are very familiar with the topic and can meet the relevant requirements. You must plan every single step carefully. A detailed business plan and financial plan are therefore necessary.