A powerful PC with a high speed internet connection is part of the essential equipment you need. Its also good to have web design software that someone can get for $300-500. You could try to start without a good computer, but this will slow you down. Honestly to run the software you that will be the best you will need at least 512k of RAM to not bring your computer to a creeping halt.. Buying a computer and the right software means you can offer clients better options when designing their website so you can concentrate on the service you provide, not frustrations with the equipment you use.
Anybody can be a customer but the best thing is to find your niche. If you have an area of special interest this is where you want to concentrate your efforts. For example, if you are a music person then you may want to concentrate on building website for local bands or musicians. There are always plenty of people who share similar interests, but do not have the time, knowledge, or desire to build their own website. It is important that you focus on your niche market but also leave wiggle room to work on websites outside your niche.
The Bottom Line
Website designers make very good money although their rates depend upon their reputation and ability to make professional presentations to clients. It is entirely possible to net $40,000 or more in your first full year of operation but you must be sure that your bids reflect the true amount of time it will take you to design a site or else you can really lose profits. You may have to underbid on the first few projects, but then you can inch your rates up to better reflect both your skills and professionalism. It is quite feasible to command $25/hr. right out of the gates but again, you may have to go under this figure for the first few clients. Just be sure that you stipulate in your bid that you can use the client’s site as a sample in your portfolio in exchange for discounting their rate. As your target audience is made up entirely of anyone who wants websites, then you will naturally want to create an awesome, eye catching, website of your own as a way of showcasing your talents. Also, you will want to generate plenty of great content to boost search engine rankings so you may need to hire a web content writer to help you here if this is not your cup of tea.
Summary and Recommendation
Whatever you do, please make sure your site that is clean, eye catching, one you would like if you were a customer. Now this does not mean going overboard, but it should look very professional, easy to use and navigate. Build your own personal website first and make sure to build a portfolio of your work and you will have plenty of customers. For web designers, the sky is the limit so don’t hesitate to start today if you have the skills!