There are billions of webpages on the Internet. Yet millions of people and small businesses don't have their own pages, either
because they feel that they're not capable of producing a webpage, or because professional webpage designers wanted thousands of
dollars for a couple of days of work.
Most brick and mortar small businesses aren't planning to operate an e-business sideline. They just want to have a "billboard" style webpage -- their name, address, specialties, hours of business, phone number and email address. No need for secure pages, merchant credit card accounts, shopping carts, fancy pull down menus or whatever. Just a simple site where people can find out where they are and if they're open.
You don't need to know Flash, or Dreamweaver, or FrontPage, or Fusion, or SQL or any other complicated software. If you can use Notepad, you can build a webpage. And if you're not sure how to make things appear the way you want, and you don't want to experiment and learn, there are free webpage templates that you can download and use. Pick a template that seems appealing to a customer, type in the information he wants people to see, and upload it. You're done! What can be easier than that?
If you want, you can also offer webhosting services to your webpage clients. There are webhost companies that will allow you to host multiple domains for a small monthly fee. Sell your client a combination web design and web host package. You design the page, you set up the web account (paying yourself a hefty markup), and offer to make small changes for an inconsequential fee.
What would this all cost? The templates are free. You can purchase thousands of different templates if you wish, but there are probably over a hundred webpage templates that are free for downloading. You can't get any cheaper than free. And webhost fees are falling all the time. Eight years ago, a simple, single-domain webhost account cost $500 a year. That same type of account is now available for 1/10th that. Do a search for webhost companies and compare costs. The service I currently use costs me $40 a month, and I'm allowed an unlimited number of domains, and 5 GB of hard drive space. If you're reasonably successful, the cost per client will literally be nothing more than spare change each month.
What can you charge? That will depend on what niche market you'll be trying to get into. Small mom-and-pop companies won't want to spend more than they make in a day. Set your price at $199 for 3 webpages and a year's webhosting. Offer a "special" of only $99 for the same package until you've managed to bring in a sufficient number of clients. Get your client to be specific in what they want their webpage to look like, and the information that they want presented. Armed with this information, and the $99, you can put together a 3 page website in about an hour. That would include the time it would take to setup the webpage account, and uploading the finished product. Just remember not to let your client know that the work is done until the next day. You don't want him to know that creating a simple website is that easy.
The only thing that is difficult in running a simple webpage design business is getting the customers. The easiest way would probably be having several hundred business cards printed, and going from business to business, offering your services, and leaving your card for the owners to call back. That means some legwork, but you should be able to drum up some business in just a few hours.
A $90 profit for just a few hours of effort is a great deal. And it's something that just about anyone with a computer, an Internet connection and under $100 can do.
Good luck and much success!
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