How I Made $3.63 Per Hour Doing Web Design

This is a guest post from Kevin at DigitalMediaDIY.com where you can learn to DIY professional web design and digital media for your business.

There is no money in small business web design. I mean none. I learned that lesson the hard way. I tried started a small business web design company on the side back in 2014. I wanted to use my web design skills to help small businesses and make extra money. My plan was to charge a minimum of $2,000 for a simple website and up to $5,000 for a complex site. This comes to about $50 per hour for my labor according to my estimates. My first client was a local barbershop who just opened his store and needed a website. I sat with the owner (let’s call him Fred) and proposed to build his site for $2,050. We talked for over an hour and we agreed on exactly what I would build for him. I got a 25% non-refundable deposit of $512.50 and left the meeting ready to work. I got started right away and built exactly what we had discussed within about 2 weeks. It took about 40 hours to do the work and I spent about $150 in software and images to make it look great. I don’t want to brag, but this site was awesome! I met with the Fred to turn over the site and get paid. Honestly I was expecting gratuitous amounts of praise. Maybe even a little bonus for doing so well.

Swing and a Miss

Ooooooo boy was I wrong. He didn’t say “Thanks!” and pay me. He was upset his website didn’t do the following things:

  • He wanted the site to more tightly integrate with his POS system, and asked me to figure out how to do that OR find him a new POS system that would work better with his appointments.
  • He wanted more pictures of his barbershop on the site and expected me to be his photographer.
  • He wanted numerous changes to the design, none of which were agreed upon in our initial meeting and all of which made his site look worse.
  • He wanted a fully functioning mobile app.

Wow. Okay, um… I told Fred I’d work on the first 3 items but at least stood my ground on saying I can’t build him a mobile app. I went back and got to work on these changes. I would send him updates and he would change his mind again, each time making his site look worse. By the time I was done I had spent another 60 hours on this project and his site was so ugly I had pulled my branding off it because I was embarrassed by it. I thought we had finally agreed everything was done so I met with Fred to deliver the site and get paid. He says it looks good and I feel like I’m finally about to be done with this nightmare client.

Another Curveball

Then he says, “You know my other barbershop needs a website also.” I didn’t even know he had another barbershop. “Okay, that will be another $2,100.” “Oh. Well I talked to a guy who said he would do both of my stores for the same price you’re charging me. Can you just do it for free?” At this point I was completely fed up with this guy. I had already worked 100 hours, been paid only $512.50 – $150 in expenses, and now he’s asking me to do double the work? No sir. You know the saying, “Don’t throw good money after bad,”? Well don’t throw good time after bad either. There was no way I was doing another minute of work for this guy without getting paid up front. “Good luck with your new web designer. If you want to make the site I built live, you can pay your remaining balance.” I haven’t heard from him since and last I checked neither of his stores has a website. I made $3.63 per hour working with that client.

Small Businesses Need to DIY Their Websites

The major error I made in trying to create this business was over-estimating how much small business owners could pay for a website, and underestimating how much they wanted their web designer to do. After working with Fred and many other small business owners, I am convinced the only way for a small business to have a great website is to DIY. Margins on small businesses are so small they just can’t afford professional web design services. That’s why I created Digital Media DIY. I just launched a free online course for small business web design. This course teaches business owners how to create their own professional website, step-by-step. My training allows small business owners to get a professional website without paying professional web design prices, and it ensures I never have to deal with another terrible client again. Kevin is the owner of DigitalMediaDIY.com and is passionate about helping small business owners DIY their website and digital media.

Banking It: How to Set a Savings Goal and Stick to It

It always feels good to have a bit of money behind you so that you can cope with some unexpected financial demands when they come along and also to make solid plans for the future.

Putting cash aside regularly is a good habit to get into but not always one that is easy to get started with.

Here is a look at some ways to set savings goals and how to reach them. It starts with identifying reasons for saving and why it matters to set a realistic timeline. There are also some insights on how to find the money you want to save from your existing budget.

Deciding on your goals

The main point to keep in mind is that when you set some specific savings goals that really mean something to you personally it will help to give you the incentive to begin saving and should improve your discipline to keep on track.

There are always going to be moments of weakness where you are tempted to use some of the money you have saved already for something or it could be that you are suddenly faced with a financial emergency.

There are other options to consider in those situations such as paying a visit to someone like www.KingofKash.com if you are looking for a quick fix, but when it comes to getting on track with your savings overall, the fundamental point is that you are more likely to succeed in accumulating money when you set some specific goals.

Timing is everything

Another motivational factor that can help you to be more disciplined about saving regularly is to create a realistic but specific timeline for your saving goals.

Your goals will be a mixture of short and long-term targets, such as saving for educational costs for your children, wedding plans, a dream holiday or funding your retirement plans.

These goals will all have a different timeline attached to them, with a dream holiday maybe taking a few years to get where you want to be, but more long-term targets like saving for retirement giving you a much longer end date to aim for.

That is not to say that you don’t want to set some mini targets along the way for your longer term targets, such as deciding that you would like to add at least $30,000 to your retirement pot every decade.

Working out the numbers

Once you have worked out exactly what you would like to save for and set some realistic goals that you feel you can definitely work towards, the next task is to calculate what sort of money you will need to put away each month in order to get where you want to be with your savings.

There is no doubt that the earlier in life you start planning for more long-term events like retirement the easier it can be to save the amount of money needed each month to reach your target.

If you are trying to get enough money together for a dream holiday that you would like to do on a special birthday date, that will create a timeline to work to and you can then calculate how much money you need to save each month in order to reach that goal.

Saving is often easier when you have an end date to work to and seeing your plans coming together should provide the motivation to keep putting that cash away every month, however difficult that might seem at certain times.

Finding the cash

If you are on a tight budget and feel that it might be a struggle to save a reasonable sum of money regularly, another way to look at the problem is to take a close look at your monthly budget and find some extra money by making some adjustments to your spending.

You can find that if you have been making regular payments to your internet provider and for your utilities amongst other things, if you haven’t reviewed the deal you are on for a while there is likely to be a cheaper deal on offer now.

Shop around regularly for better deals and find ways to cut your monthly bills. You can then divert the savings you make towards your goals.

Some minor adjustments to your spending habits, like having a home movie night rather than going out, can soon help find the extra cash you are looking for so that you can set some realistic savings goals and find a way of reaching them.

Harry Bryan works as a personal finance consultant and shares his tips and knowledge around the web, hoping to help as many people as possible master their money!

How to Avoid Getting Screwed With Your Credit Cards

Jeremy Richard writes about credit and debt and the importance of following a budget and saving for retirement.

Credit cards present a highly convenient way to make purchases and earn rewards, but if you’re not careful when you use them, you can end up getting screwed. The effort to protect consumers from abuses seems like a never-ending struggle, which implies just how bad things can potentially get for any given user. The fine print is usually too long to read and too abstruse to understand – and believe me, that’s exactly what many credit card companies are counting on. To avoid getting screwed with your credit cards, take a look at these six tips.

  1. Pay Off Your Balances
    The best way to avoid getting screwed with your credit cards is to live a balance-free life. If you currently have balances, formulate a game plan for getting them in the rearview mirror for good. Create a personal budget, reduce your spending until it’s lower than your income, and send in the difference each month until your debts are paid. Once they’re gone you’re going to start seeing a lot more leftover in your checking account each month.
  2. Be Careful With Balance Transfers
    Credit card balance transfers can be a great way to alleviate the effects of high interest as you pay your debts down. Simply sign-up for a card that offers a no-interest introductory period, transfer your balances to that card, and start racking up the savings. Just make sure you don’t transfer more than you can afford to pay off by the time the promotional rate ends and don’t use the card for purchases while you’re paying it down.
  3. Don’t Pay Your Bills Late
    Because of recent credit card legislation, the fee for making a late credit card payment is capped at $25 for the first offense. However, that’s not all you have to worry about. Fail to make a timely payment and you may be assessed a penalty APR which can be as high as 30%. Try signing-up for a website like Manilla and you can receive text message or email reminders when your bills are due.
  4. Use Automatic Payment With Caution
    Using automatic payment plans to pay your credit card bills is a viable option, but be sure you still monitor your credit card statements every month. If you don’t, and if your bill is paid automatically, you might miss an unauthorized purchase or overcharge.
  5. Don’t Open Up Too Many at Once
    Even if you find a wealth of new credit card offers with attractive cash-back deals, don’t jump on them all at once. Although you may earn solid money in the short-term, each card you open generates a hard pull on your credit report and yourcredit score is negatively affected as a result. Limit yourself to opening one or two new credit cards per year at most.
  6. But Never Close Any
    On the other hand, when it comes to older cards you don’t use anymore, don’t make the mistake of closing the credit cards. Keep those lines of credit open, use them every few months for minor purchases, and make sure you pay the bills in full and on time. You want your total available credit to be as high as possible, as that benefits your credit score.

Using credit cards effectively requires a degree of personal responsibility. If you find yourself missing payments or overspending, you can always reduce your risk by using cash or a debit card. Not getting screwed with your credit cards is important, and if you simply can’t get your head around ways to avoid some of these errors, stick yours in a drawer and use cold hard cash.

What ways can you think of to avoid getting screwed with your credit cards?

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