The cycles of beginning and ending aren’t just for nature. They are encountered in the life of every web design project, and even in your own web design business. As the year winds down and a new one looms on the horizon another cycle ends, and soon another will begin. Ending cycles can be amazing tools of growth and change for your web design business that help you set yourself up for success.
End Cycles in Web Design Projects
Every project has a beginning, middle, and end. The beginning is filled with the administrative tasks to get your project set up, the anticipating of creating something new, and yes even fears and self-doubt. The middle sees the project flourish and take form. The end brings the final transaction and bidding goodbye to your client and the project you gave form. That’s not all! The end of the project is the perfect time to seek out knowledge that you can use to do better next time, or discover what matters most to your clients.
You can do this through self-reflection: What did you find worked really well for you? What didn’t? How could you improve these areas? Are there tools that could help? These are some of the questions you can ask yourself to help think through your project and find out areas of weakness and strength. It’s also the time to turn to your clients. Ask them for feedback! Get testimonials! You can send them a brief survey asking them what they thought about the project. Find out what worked for them, if they have anything that they liked or disliked. Ask them for their feelings on how the space and frame of mind they were in before the project and after it. It’s important to get both positive and negative feedback so you can improve your systems and focus on improving what you can, as well as acknowledging your strengths.
End Cycles in Your Web Design Business
Like web design projects your business goes through phases. It’s certain your business looks far different than it did when you started. I know mine sure does! I started out with other names, and no niche other than “make websites for people, oh and logos too”. I had no idea what branding was, my systems were rough and non-existent. From there I moved to focus on blog design & branding, while still trying to be a web design generalist. I found myself spread too thin and went back to rethink things.
At the end of each of these times, I found myself looking back at where I had come from, and looking to where I wanted to be and discovering this was not the way to get there. Trying to do it all left me unable to do enough of what mattered. Through each of the ending periods, I learned more about myself, what I truly valued and what I truly wanted to do. I discovered while I enjoyed design, I don’t feel it’s my strong point or what I like doing the best. I’d rather be stuck in my text editor writing and testing code!
That self-reflection lead me to where I am today. I focused on what I like to do best: work with WordPress and turn other people’s designs into websites. This gives me the ability to focus on my favorite part: coding, and help designers who like me, want to focus on what they do best: design. It’s natural for your business to change, and it can be tempting to ignore that little voice in your head that says to try something new and go in a new direction. In the end, though, endings happen whether you want them to or not, so when they do make them something that serves you and your business goals.
Business Year End Reflections
As the end of the year approaches now is the perfect time to look back at your business over the past year. Embrace this natural ending cycle and take some time to review this past year. What should you review? Here are some ideas:
- What did you accomplish?
- What were your goals? How did you reach them?
- What do you wish went better?
- How can you improve it?
- What support or resources do you need?
- What are your new goals?
- What did you do that are you most proud of?
- What are you struggling with right now?
- What needs to change next year?
- What’s holding you back?
- What’s encouraging you?
Whether this year went as you wanted it to or not, whether you met your goals or not you can still use this year to learn and grow. A new year is right around the corner and with it a new beginning for your business. Make it a good one.
Are you ready to focus on design and leave the coding to a pro? Learn how I can help you spend more time designing and less time coding.