What does 2009 hold for web design companies?

We hope 2009 has started well for you so far? As this is our first post this year I want to look ahead to what the market is doing and also promote some of our activities.

Firstly, it seems as if the coming year will be a challenging time for most of us. But running a small business is all about tackling and overcoming challenges, so in many respects, it’s business as usual. It’s just that the difficulties we now face are different to those we’ve battled in the past.

Wise words from a recent article by Jeffrey Zeldman in the .net magazine:

‘While it’s difficult to tell what will happen in the wider economy, web design has remained robust through numerous economic ups and downs”

He reasons for the increase on our reliance with online services – even if shops close down and staff laid off, products need selling and websites need creating and maintaining. This means freelancers, in-house staff and agencies should be busy, even when others are losing their jobs’

What should you be doing as a design company?

  • Our main aim for this current economic climate is to continue to have empathy for users, base our work on a strong design process based on site users and client business goals.
  • Continue to look ahead, embrace and adopt new technologies and assess their usefulness for your clients work.
  • Diversify your capabilities and services/products you offer to appeal to a wider client base.
  • Get organised, form teams of compatible skills through your networks to increase your chances of being able to respond to a wider set of briefs
  • Think beyond the desktop browser – get a head start and learn about the web on a smaller screen
  • If you have a quiet time you can still be proactive – here’s some ideas:
    • Teach yourself new skills
    • Get out meet new contacts for coffee
    • Get off-line and you may find it easier to focus on what is important for your business

What we have planned for 2009:

  • Client guides – In a series of free ebooks we will explain to our new and existing clients about current web services, trends and technologies in easy to follow guide
  • Training freelancers and mentoring local colleagues
  • Work with our peers
  • Develop International business opportunities
  • Attending conferences, meetups and networking events, and also attend more non-technical events (no not knitting classes)

How you are going to stay confident, fresh and stay relevant in this industry? We’d love to know, comments are on..

Jim Callender

Since 2003, Callender Creates have been responsible for delivering high profile sites for a variety of Award Winning Design & Marketing Agencies. Our Strengths are in Front-End Development and Cutting Edge Web Technologies. Services include Web Consultancy, Strategy, UX, HTML5, CSS3, WordPress, and Magento. >> Need to Discuss your Next Digital Project? Contact Us

  • I have been thinking about developing new income sources and whether these should be diversifying into new areas or specialising within existing skill base. No easy answer. The other thing I want to do more of this year is to develop/persuade web-inactive clients to do more with their websites. And I should do more networking but I say this every year…!