Starting Up Your Own Web Design Business

Starting your own web design business, like every other business, requires careful consideration. Which aspect of Web design would you like to concentrate on? Graphic design, interior design, web development or web hosting are just a few of the available niches. Feel free to investigate the other niches to find a good match for you.

Once you have decided on a niche, you have to research it thoroughly by putting together a business plan. You need to look at web design from different angles – the opportunity it presents and how your strengths and weaknesses fit into the big picture. A level of experience will serve you well in this area but lack of experience should not deter you. There are a lot of resources available that can help boost your level of experience. You can leverage your inexperience by partnering with someone who is more experienced in this area or you can even choose to employ staffs who are more qualified. However you decide to tackle this aspect, the options are almost endless, choose what suits you best – you may even choose to learn the skills required either by taking a course or teaching yourself (a good place to start is by reading ‘Teach Yourself web design in 21 days’ by Laura LeMay’s).

Your business plan also needs to address other issues such as your financial projections for the year ahead and preferably also for the next five years, a look into what your competitors are doing and how you will position yourself to operate successfully irrespective of your competition. A business plan should be a live document that guides you from point A, which is thinking of starting your web design business, to point B, actually starting the business and running it.

Once you have successfully written your business plan and raised sufficient funds, you then need to put together your equipment for running your business. Of course this will include a computer and a number of different software packages. Since this is a dynamic and ever changing field my advice is for you to research online for the current popular products that are in use. Check out reviews on the products you like so you make an informed decision before making any financial commitment. Start with the minimum that you can get away with and still be able to offer your clients a professional job. As your experience and business grows you may then be in a position to add more packages to your repertoire of tools to increase your service level.

After you have succeeded in setting up and running your business you will certainly need to promote it so your potential clients know where to find you. You can choose to promote your business either offline or online but the latter is the cheaper option and you tend to see results faster. Promoting your business is a skill in itself. If this is not done properly your business will suffer. You can either choose to outsource this very important task if you have enough funds or you learn to do it yourself. The latter option is more desirable to me because no one knows your business like you do and neither will they be as passionate. There are resources available to help you learn the skills needed to successfully market your business which you may want to check out below.

Interior Design – Light Sets the Mood

So you want to redecorate, you want to create a home with a personal touch, one that can always say “welcome”, ease your worries, render you happy, chill you or calm you down.

You can do it: with the right light.

Stop skimming through fancy magazines. If you don’t have the money and the skills to replicate those wonders, you’ll end up with an interior that lacks your personal touch. Instead, use your imagination. Design the interior of your home according to your special wishes.

Let’s say you like blue, but you already have some new white furniture and it makes no sense to replace it. Or maybe you just want to avoid the hassle of selling it (and get way below its value) and buying new. Whatever your reasons, you can still get the “blue” mood your desire through light: controllable light.

We are not talking dimmers. We are talking full color control options. We are talking LED lights and mood lights.

LEDs are no longer the kitschy, flashy annoying lights that were used a few years ago to catch our attention towards a new product. LEDs are no longer used solely for traffic lighting and automotive lighting. LEDs are now used in light therapy, mood lighting, accent lighting, landscape lighting, building illumination and so on. Because LEDs are economic, environmentally friendly (they do not pollute: there are no UV emissions, no IR emissions – unless built so – no noise emissions) energy saving and provide for flexibility of design, but, above all, LEDs are controllable! RGB (red, green, blue) LEDs, based on what engineers call “the three chip technology” are able to display over 16 million colors – more than human eyes can see. LEDs are wonderful and their light. beyond description!

The best part is that you can choose from thousands of LED products the one you can afford and still have exclusive, somehow unique illumination to astonish your guests and to create the right mood in your home.

For example, look for controllable LED cubes – not those you can use as ice cubes for your cocktails (yeah, that’s possible too!), but those you can use to replace your coffee table. For example, NeoNeon offers LED mood light cubes you can use as chandeliers, while My-tronic offers LED cubes in different sizes, for several uses. While Traxon is the “real deal” when it comes to mood lights, they are still a little too expensive. Many other companies offer similar products for affordable prices. You just need to browse the web and order what best fits your design expectations: LED tubes, LED stripes, LED spots, LED wall panels or, why not. LED ropes (Think Christmas! – Think safe lighting!). Just remember to search for “controllable” LED light sources.

Why? Because you want to CONTROL light, to set the light color you want: blue to relax, red to create a romantic, appealing atmosphere, green to bathe a room in the color of hope, purple, violet or pink. You want to be able to dim the light or make it brighter. You can even create the rainbow with a controllable LED light source, or any other light effect! You want a light source for the years to come, one that can look different every day.

West Virginia Design Schools

West Virginia is home to a number of design firsts. Did you know that one of the first suspension bridges in the world was erected in 1849 in Wheeling, WV? The first electric railroad in the world was built in here and the first brick street on the world was laid in Charleston, WV. And talk about art and design — West Virginia is home to the world’s only residence made entirely of coal. Occupied on June 1, 1961, Coal House is located in White Sulphur Springs, WV. With an abundance of unique and innovate design within the borders, it’s no wonder the state is also home to some of the nation’s top design schools.

The Department of Design at West Virginia University and Concord University- Department of Design are the state’s pride and joy when it comes to design programs. Established in 1867 (WVU) and 1872 (Concord), these popular institutions enroll roughly 200 hand-picked design students each year. Overall, the state has a total undergraduate student population of nearly more than 100,000. These students attend the 23 public and 21 private institutions. Across the nation, undergraduate art and design school enrollment is 110,273.

WVU, Concord and other West Virginia design schools offer degree programs ranging from architecture to sculpture. Design students may earn a degree in graphic design, interior design, web design, drawing, illustration, multimedia and film, ceramics, jewelry making, photography, printmaking, metalsmithing, and painting. The costs for these programs vary by school, but on average, design students can expect to shell out around $4,377 per academic year at a public school $15,296 per academic year at a private school.

Fortunately, tuition rates are lower than the national average. The average tuition for public four-year schools across the nation is $5,950. For private schools, students pay $21,588 on average. West Virginia students may pay even less by completing all or part of the degree program online. Online students save a significant amount of money each year by eliminating room and board costs as well as transportation. Room and board costs average around $7,049 per academic year.

To get started on a design career, you should select a school. If you would like to explore options outside of the top schools listed above, you can browse through listings by visiting college directories or college ranking websites such as U.S. News & World Report or Design-schools.us. After you have selected several options, be sure to visit the school’s official website to begin the application process. Most directories and ranking websites feature links to each school’s official website.