in Misc

How Proper Workflow Management Can Grow Your Freelance Web Design Business

A lot can go wrong with a freelance web design business if it doesn’t have an established workflow management process. Collaborating with your subcontractors and teammates is going to be a nightmare. You’ll spend loads of needless back and forth messages with your team and do heaps of firefighting, etc. — all because your workflow isn’t properly documented and disorganized. That is why workflow management is crucial. Not only can it help improve your productivity, but it makes your life as a freelance web designer less stressful.

What is workflow management?

In simple terms, workflow management is the coordination of tasks that an organization does to improve efficiency through optimization and automation. It is the process of identifying, describing, planning, arranging, and managing workflows. Web designers have a lot to gain from workflow management because of all the moving parts they need to go through to complete a project.

Consolidate your client management into one place

Because you can see the tasks and processes involved in your web design business through workflow management, you can start streamlining your workflows. Arrange your sequence of tasks logically and efficiently to get rid of needless steps. There are workflow management productivity tools, such as vcita that’s perfect for streamlining certain workflows of your freelance web design business. Its client relationship management (CRM) feature, for example, is perfect for helping you stay on top of managing your clients.

Vcita lists all of your lead or client details and activities in an orderly fashion, which helps improve your workflow since you have a nice and tidy layout of their records in front of you.

View their bookings, payments, documents, and conversations with them without having to visit multiple platforms, such as your email, Skype, or invoicing software — you can collaborate with them through vcita’s platform.

 

Because you have all you need to manage your web design clients in one place, it becomes easier to streamline your client management workflow.

Improved communication

Your team’s communication improves with workflow management because they know who to contact or ask if they have inquiries. It prevents them from asking people who are working on unrelated tasks or projects. What’s more, because your workflows are mapped out and documented, your employees will ask fewer questions because they know your business process. They won’t bother asking where to store their newly designed website header or who will check their work because everything is documented. They know which people to tag when they’re done with their designs. And they know where to find your design standards or templates so they can finish their designs faster. In short, your team can work like clockwork with minimal supervision.

Identify gaps

Because you can see all of the workflows involved that keeps your web design business running, you can surmise which among the workflows are faulty or needs to be improved. For example, if your client onboarding workflow isn’t optimized, it might look like this.

Step 1: Send an email to the client to schedule a call

Step 2: Client call

Step 3: Ask about their company background and their needs

Step 4: Send invoice

Step 5: Send a list of things you need from them (e.g., their logo files, profile pictures, URL of social media pages, etc.)

Step 6: You and your team starts working on the web design

The steps above are long-winded.

 

There is a lot of back and forth between you and your clients, which can hurt your productivity and ruin your client’s experience with your brand. If you have a workflow management process, however, you’d have all of these steps documented. And because your process is documented, you can examine your steps closely to get rid of gaps. In the steps we shared above, you could have sent an onboarding document before the call. The document should contain the list of things needed in steps 3 and 5.

That way, your onboarding process will have fewer steps, and your call will run a lot smoother. Use a mindmap to make the process of studying your workflows a lot easier. It’s easier to spot inefficiencies when you have a visual representation of your workflow.

Canva has several mind map templates to create your workflows or diagrams.

Canva even has app integrations so you can make better mindmaps that accurately represents your workflows.

By identifying the gaps in your workflows, you can trim your processes, helping you eliminate redundant and needless steps.

Finish your projects quickly

Because your process is optimized and your team knows how to execute their tasks and to whom they should hand their output, your collaboration runs smoother.

This removes a good bit of your workflow’s inefficiencies, allowing you to complete your projects quicker.

Instead of performing 4 – 6 steps to complete a milestone, you can complete it with fewer steps with a carefully designed workflow management system — all because your team members have clarity.

Also, when you have established workflow management, your employees’ workflow- or task-related questions are minimized.

This keeps them from experiencing needless waiting times, which happens when the person they ask isn’t available (or can’t answer immediately).

Your website handoff to your clients are also easier to pull off with workflow management.

Because you have a checklist of to-dos to ensure the website handoff is done successfully, instances where you forget to share files or logins (or other pertinent information), are almost fully eliminated.

This prevents pointless frustrations from occurring on both your side or your clients’ — which is always good for your freelance web design business.

What’s next?

Increase the efficiency of your freelance web design business by developing a workflow management process.

The more you stay on top of your workflows, the more streamlined, cost-effective, and less stressful your freelance web design business process becomes.

What’s more, you give your clients an outstanding experience while working with you, which makes it easier for them to employ your help in the future when they need a website redesign.

Bogdan

Bogdan is the founder of Top Design Magazine. You can find him in Bucharest-Romania so next time you want to drink a beer there and talk about web and stuff, give him a message.