YOU HEARD IT HEAR FIRST.
Come November 4th I will not ONLY be on a plane headed to Colorado but I will have been running my website design business for a YEAR. HOLY SHIT!?
Honestly, I had absolutely no idea what I was getting myself into a year ago. You think you know at least something on how to run a business but you end up realizing that even a year later you still have no idea what’s going on. And to be transparent most of my nights end with drinking a glass of wine pondering all the things I need to do OR could have done better for the day.
I then go down a dangerous rabbit hole of “I could be so much further along if I hadn’t done X, Y, and Z when I first started.” Which is a totally fucked up way of thinking, right?
And so I’m sure you’re wondering, what did Sarah do that she oh so regrets one year later? Glad you asked! Let’s get into it…
First of all, before I told anyone about my website design business I went ahead and made about 5-6 website templates, put them into a Shop on my site where I humbly thought hundreds of people would buy them (LOL).
If there’s one thing I learned it’s to never bite off more than you can chew. Start off with one goal, get really good at it and then start branching off into different avenues.
Now this second story will sound familiar to a lot of you business owners, and if you’re not a business owner I’m sure you’ll understand. A year ago I was charging $250-$500 for a completely customized and built out website. Something that would take me 25-30 hours to do. HA.
But a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do to get a portfolio growing and create some promotional content to work with. Were my clients great? Totally. Was I undercharging for the amount of time and mental stability I was draining from my life? Absolutely. Was I happy? Questionable.
When you’re starting out you find yourself between a rock and a hard place. You want people to work with you, and you’ll do anything they want just so you can make that happen. But ultimately? People will burn out and quit their business. It’s not sustainable and if you never come to that realization, you won’t be able to make it happen.
My advice? Get SUPER good at what you do, put more effort into your craft so you can build up confidence in your work before putting in hours of effort charging pennies for people who will sometimes, walk all over you.
The reason I was charging $250-$500 bucks was due to my lack of confidence and insecurities, not because I doing people a favor.
Lastly, SET YOUR BOUNDARIES. How? GET CONTRACTS. Seriously, this was the dumbest thing I could have overlooked for the first couple of months. I had no back bone to stand on. Clients could take their grand old time getting me what I needed and I couldn’t do a thing about it. Someone could have had me revise their website 10+ times and I couldn’t say no because I had no contract, and if I did say no they could 100% fight me on that.
Moral of the story? GET YOUR CONTRACTS IN CHECK.
So yeah, I look back on how I started a year ago versus where I’m at now and damn there were a ton of growing pains. The funny thing is a year from this post I’ll probably be roasting myself all over again. But for now, CHEERS TO ONE YEAR. Woohoo! Margaritas for everybody.