Monday, November 14, 2016

This Article is 5-1/2 Years old and STILL a good read

A Jan 2011 article by Oliver Emberton, the owner of a design agency in Great Briton, talks about giving up the web design business!  There are 138 comments, and most of them are well-written, too.

This sentiment is really resonating with me right now:

Not a great business

"It’s not easy to make a lot of money in web design. It’s decent sustenance, but a poor investment.

"You can’t really differentiate yourself for starters – I mean, you’ll think you can – but in reality you’ll always be one of a gazillion companies in a global marketplace. It’s not like software, where one company can literally own a market; no one web design company owns 0.01% of their market."

All business startup advice starts with "Explain how you are better/different from anyone else in your business."  I've been struggling with that for many months, now.  I've realized that I'm marketing a product and skill set that has become a commodity item - with a commodity item price tag.

At the recent WordPress WordCamp weekend in Tampa, one of the presenters said "build a team" because you cannot do it alone.  (Amen!)  I'm chewing on that concept while I write/market my Homeowners Association books.

Oliver also wrote:
The limits of size and location

"Companies in all industries have natural sizes that have evolved to be stable and successful. For example, there aren’t that many car companies worldwide, and they typically have to make billions of dollars just to exist. Yet most plumbers and electricians are one-man bands.

"Web design companies tend to range from 1 to 10 people, with the vast majority having a couple of staff and a handful exceeding 100 or more. Like plumbers, they tend to focus on one geographic area: as far out as they can comfortably meet people face to face."

I had been using automobile mechanics for my analogy for this same concept, and plumbers are another great example.

I found the comments to be an equally compelling read. Most agreed, none really disagreed, and some told their own story.

I've reached no conclusions, yet, nor have I figured how to bring this into my own life.  But I didn't want to lose the article.

Why we gave up web design after 10 successful years 
(Written January, 2011) ~~ Read the article, but plan to spend time reading the comments, too!

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