If you have an eye for design and are adept at creating appealing and functional websites, you are a perfect fit for web design. But starting your own web design firm goes beyond choosing the type of business you will run, if you need to hire help and how to market your services. You also have some risks specifically related to the type of business you intend to run. By being aware of the following risks, you can help to mitigate them and avoid potential financial struggles at a later date.
Security of Web Design
When designing websites for others, you always have to remember security. You become liable for security flaws if they have to do with your design. Since you may also design web programs and apps for mobile devices, this becomes an even larger risk. Data breaches are also a concern. Always make sure security of the design is top priority, installing code to protect against malicious cyber attacks.
Copyright and Trademark Laws
Another thing to be aware of are the strict copyright and trademark laws in terms of the intellectual property you use. Anything you use in your design must be owned or created by you, or be something you have rights for. This includes images, video, music and any other type of media. If there is copyright infringement or trademark infringement on something you designed, you become liable, not the owner of the site who hired you.
Damage to Your Property
You require use of your computer and other electronic equipment, making it impossible to continue working if there is some sort of damage to your property. This becomes a financial risk as well, because you have lost any work you started unless the backed-up copy is intact, need to replace your computer and anything else destroyed, and might not even have an office to work from.
As a web design firm, many clients will assume they are paying upon completion. But this is a major risk and you should avoid it at all costs. Make sure you are being paid at least for a significant down payment at the start of the project, and have a contract signed. The contract protects your business as the client is agreeing to pay as suggested, while they are protected because you are promising to deliver the work as suggested. It is the best way to protect everyone involved.
Aside from the risk of not receiving payment, you also have some other financial risk to be aware of. As the owner of a web design firm, you may face periods where you don’t have as much work and have to make up for the loss of income. You may even go weeks or months with no income at all. Additionally, by owning your business, you are facing business taxes and potential liabilities that put you at greater risk.
Some of your risks cannot be prevented, such as if there is damage to your property and the work you have started is now gone due to electronics being destroyed. But in these types of instances, small business insurance can help protect your web design firm. Get web designers insurance such as property insurance and general liability insurance cyber liability insurance, business owners policy, and professional liability insurance, to mitigate risks.