How long ago did you start your design business or side gig? Three months? Three years? And how long has it been since you evaluated your business since then?
As a web designer, your job is to think critically and creatively for your clients, which is why you ask them probing questions like:
- How old is your business?
- What’s its mission?
- Who’s your target audience?
- What’s the personality of your brand?
- Where do you see your business in five years?
The better you understand the business, the more easily you can design a website and shape a brand identity around it for them. But I’m willing to bet you haven’t spent much time doing the same for your own business.
I know the last thing you want to do is to take time away from revenue-generating work to evaluate your business and potentially rebrand it. However, what if a rebrand could bring you better work, better quality of clients, and better pay?
There’s a reason why you put so much care into designing a website that perfectly aligns with a company’s mission and personality. You should do the same for your own.
4 Questions to Ask Yourself About Your Business
Lots of companies undergo rebrands. In some cases, it’s because they want to clean up a tarnished image as was the case in Uber’s rebrand. In other cases, they decide to strengthen their branding with visuals that are more uniquely their own, like MailChimp did.
For you? Well, it might be more practical and simple than that.
Consider the following scenarios. Some may sound familiar while others don’t. However, if you do find any connection to the questions and situations I’m about to pose, then it may be time for your business to undergo a rebrand:
1. Did You Start Without a Niche?
Web designers work in a very congested and competitive space, especially as a younger generation of designers raised on computers and apps enter the workforce. That’s why you may find that working without a specialty doesn’t work so well for you.
For starters, a jack-of-all-trades doesn’t look all that different from other web designers that also claim to do it all. Secondly, it’s very hard for you to work efficiently if you’re taking on a coaching website today, a SaaS website next week, and a monstrous ecommerce site a month from now.
There’s something to be said for the kind of efficiency and quality output that comes from having a more narrow focus.
If your business name or website convey this “I’ll work with anyone!” mentality, it might be time for a change.
2. Did You Pick the Wrong Niche?
Let’s say that you did start your business targeting a specific niche or geographic area. If you’re finding success in this space hard to come by, it may be because you picked the wrong niche.
I have a client whose design agency was originally supposed to target companies in a specific segment of the medical industry. However, a month ago, he told me he wanted to shift the focus to a specific segment of the tech space instead.
He was right to make the switch. While he may have been passionate about the medical niche, the quality of client would’ve been bad for business. So, he carved out a new niche that he knew he’d be comfortable designing websites for and with clients he’d be able to build great relationships with.
If you’re kicking yourself for picking a niche that doesn’t feel right or isn’t profitable, it’s never too late to change.
3. Does Your Business Need to Look Bigger?
When many of us start out, we’re a one-man (or woman) show. It’s great in many respects since we get total control over the business and all decisions related to it. However, there may come a time when the kind of clients you want to work with expect you to have a team of professionals behind you.
Now, whether or not you actually hire anyone to help you build websites, write copy, or manage projects is up to you. However, if you’re selling a premium web design service to clients, your branding and messaging should convey that.
The rebrand could be a simple name change, to be honest. So, rather than market your business using your own name, you’d give it a formal agency name. Or you could switch from branding yourself as a local design company to a global one.
If you feel that giving your business the appearance of size would help you get more clients and, more importantly, ones willing to pay premium prices, a rebrand will help.
4. Have You Changed Your Services?
It’s not just a switch from basic to premium services that may necessitate a change in your branding and marketing. Switching the types of services offered could do it, too.
I have another client who came to me with a similar problem. Her story goes like this:
She launched her company back in the 1970s as a software solution provider for printers. As you can imagine, that type of business has needed to evolve greatly over the years. However, what hasn’t changed much is the name of the company or the design of their branding and messaging. Because of this, it’s been difficult to sell web design and maintenance services to clients.
To reduce confusion, they’re moving to a shortened version of the company name, changing the logo to match, and are now about to undergo a full redesign and rewrite of their website. It’s the only logical solution if they want to reach a modern audience with modern needs.
If you’ve made a major switch in the kinds of services you provide and you feel as though your branding no longer represents what you do very well, then it’s time to change that.
Does Your Web Design Business Need a Rebrand?
What’s nice about this exercise is that it gives you an excuse to stop and think about what your business currently is, who it serves, and where you want to go with it. That’s not always something you think to prioritize as a web designer since you’re so busy doing it for everyone else.
However, this is a great exercise to do once a year to make sure your business is on track to do what you want it to do. And, if not, to adjust your branding and design so that you can get on the right track before it’s too late.
Featured image via Unsplash.