Just because you can build a website, doesn’t mean you should have a website business

I’ve met a lot of people that build Websites. Some people are good at building websites and some are not so good. Others have a long and complicated process and at the other extreme, some just do the minimum. There is so much inconsistency, you start to wonder, should some of these people even be in business?

With every company I worked for over the years, it typically started with talent. The founders were really good at something. Whether they were an expert illustrator, programmer or marketer, that skill led them to attracting work. At some point that person decided to go out on their own and run their own business. It all sounds good until you realize, the skill you are really good at, you actually only get to do 30% of the time. The other 70% is spent on running the business, like sales, accounting, project management, etc. At least that’s what you should be spending the 70% on. Problems occur when you start resenting spending all of that time running the business. After all, didn’t you start your own business so that you could just do the work you liked to do?

It’s not hard to notice the problems are there. You start to see where you are dropping the ball. Maybe it’s not calling back the client or taking shortcuts or worse, overcharging your client for a mediocre website. These methods inevitably lead to burnout and your business starts to suffer. It’s a weird spot to be in, so you have to ask yourself some hard questions as to whether you still want to have your own website business.

5 ways to see if owning a Website Business is for you

  1. Do you like working with clients? At some point, even if you aren’t client facing in your role, as the business owner, you will have to get involved. If you hate it and your business is suffering, I would examine your role or change your perspective.
  2. What are you good at? It’s really important to figure out what part of the Website Building Process you like the most. If you like programming, then get others involved doing the work you don’t like to do. The reality is that if you try to save money by doing work you don’t like to do, you won’t do it and that will cost you money.
  3. Are you a good manager? When you own your own Website Business, you will eventually have to manage people. Whether they are an employee or a contractor, figuring out a tactful way to work with and motivate is absolutely essential. If that’s not for you, you’ll need to be in a role where you have little contact with people to do a good job. Ask yourself, what would that be with your business?
  4. How are you under pressure? Owning your own business is extremely stressful. If you have employees and are paying them a salary, making payroll every month can be a challenge. Besides money, you will have to deal with deadlines, angry clients and emotional coworkers. Figure out a way to deal with stress that works for you. Don’t listen to what everyone else does. Remember, there is always a fix.
  5. Are you a better employee? I’ve met a lot of entrepreneurs who were great employee’s, but horrible owners. Some people just thrive better as an employee. It has limited risk, a steady paycheck and generally more focus. Don’t worry about going back to being an employee, from being an owner, it will change your perspective and make you a better owner someday down the road.

I’ve been both an owner and an employee many times. With the right environment, I enjoy both. I always learn a lot and make incredible friendships that last a lifetime. As an owner, the flexibility and control of my time can’t be matched. Being a parent of a young daughter, having flexibility is the most important thing I need right now.

Creating, running and growing a business is hard work. You need good honest advice from a person who's been there before and can help you organize your ideas into action.
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