Make time for your business

If Not Now, When? How to Make Time to Work on Your Web Design Business

Published on December 27, 2021. Updated on December 12, 2022.

So you're thinking about starting your web design business but are concerned about the time commitment. Maybe you're already running your own agency but are struggling to find the time to focus your efforts on growing your business. The good news with owning your own business is that you can set your own schedule and work at your own pace.

The SiteSwan Reseller Program includes everything you need to start building and selling websites to local businesses all under your own brand. With our business-in-a-box model, we minimize the grunt work of starting your own business, saving you time, as the business owner, to focus on things that make you money.

Whether you are running your business full-time or as a side hustle, consider implementing these 8 strategies to help you maximize your time so you can work smarter not harder.

1. Set a Schedule

Start fresh each week and identify the best times in your schedule to work on your business. For some, working on the weekends or evenings is the most conducive for their schedule. Others might prefer early mornings. As a web designer, you can work on your business just about anywhere and any time that is best for you.

There are planners and other tools (physical and digital) to help you schedule your time. One of the best free tools is Google Calendar. You can view by day, week, month, or year and receive reminder email notifications. This way you can set tasks for each hour and each day. Setting and following a consistent schedule can also help you achieve a healthy work-life balance.

2. Make a Checklist

Write down what you want to work on and check it off your list. The visual reminder will help you stay on task and you will feel accomplished when you make that check mark next to the to-do’s on your list. Keep in mind that you don't want to make your checklist too big, otherwise you might feel overwhelmed. Prioritize your list and focus on completing each task one-by-one.

If you ask five different experts how you should structure your to-do checklist, you’ll most likely get five different responses. There is no one single right way – what ultimately matters is that you’re productive each day. For example, the founder and president of The Muse, Alex Cavoulacos, has a 1-3-5 rule for knocking out her to-do list (source). This involves writing down one big thing, three medium things, and five little things you want to accomplish each day. By structuring your checklist like this, you are more likely to get more done each day.

3. Block Out Time

Designate time to focus on specific tasks and how much time you want to spend on each item. For most web design agency owners, finding new clients can be the biggest challenge. The SiteSwan Local Prospecting Tool removes the stress of where to find leads. With this tool, you can find local businesses in your area that do not have a website, have a website that is not secure, and even check which businesses have a mobile-optimized site.

It’s also a good idea to categorize your blocks of time. For example, you might spend time with:

  • Sales & marketing (prospecting, meetings with prospective/current clients, etc.)
  • Client work (working on client projects)
  • Internal work (goal setting, updating your own website, blog, sending out invoices, etc.)
  • Personal development (consuming content to keep up with the latest updates in digital marketing, web design, etc.)

However you decide on your categories, remember to block time off for yourself. If you fail to get adequate rest, then you’ll set yourself up for burnout.

4. Prioritize Tasks

Identify what you want to accomplish and aim to set realistic goals. For some web designers, the most time consuming task is building a website. With over 150 industry-specific themes to choose from on the SiteSwan platform, you can create professional websites for just about any small business with minimal time and no prior experience needed.

Author and speaker Brian Tracy has an excellent method for prioritizing your tasks called the ABCDE method (source). In a nutshell:

  • “A” tasks are your most important tasks at the top of your to-do list (such as an upcoming Zoom meeting with a prospective client or finishing up a current client project)
  • “B” tasks are less important tasks but still necessary (such as checking email or returning a friend’s message)
  • “C” tasks are things nice to do yet unnecessary (such as meeting a friend for lunch or happy hour)
  • “D” tasks are activities you can delegate to someone else (for instance, if the client wants a logo and you have no experience designing logos, you could find a designer from Fiverr or 99Designs to delegate this task to)
  • “E” tasks are activities you can eliminate altogether (such as mindlessly browsing social media or watching random YouTube videos during regular business hours)

It’s important to be very honest when labeling your tasks. Before you start on a “B” task, make sure you’ve completed your “A” tasks. You also shouldn’t start any “C” tasks if you have any outstanding “A” or “B” tasks. You ultimately want to make sure you are spending your time and energy on the right activities each day.

5. Avoid Procrastinating

There is always that one thing on your checklist that you are dreading. Why wait? Label it as a priority, get it done, and then move on to the next important task. As the saying goes, “don’t put off for tomorrow what can be done today.”

It may also help if you give yourself a reward for completing the task you want to put off. For example, if a current client wants to schedule a Zoom call with you but you’re dreading it for some reason (maybe you “dropped the ball” somehow), your reward could be trying out a new restaurant you’ve had your eye on. Go ahead and schedule that Zoom call so you can listen to what your client has to say. Assure the client that you have their best interest in mind, and then afterwards you can celebrate this difficult task by visiting that new restaurant.

6. Be Aware of Distractions

We all have them, those distractions that get in the way of you crossing off those tasks on your checklist. Be conscious of them. This might mean finding a new spot to work in your house away from the hustle and bustle, signing out of your social media accounts so you can’t automatically open them, or even heading over to your favorite coffee shop. The less distractions you face, the more productivity you can experience.

If you have too many distractions at home or the coffee shop, you can always invest in a co-working space membership. This is much more cost efficient compared to leasing traditional office space. The important thing is to find a place that works best for you.

7. Review and Plan

End the day by looking over your checklist to see what you achieved for that day and make your list for the next day. Did you have a number of interruptions or last-minute urgent tasks earlier in the day? As you plan out the next day, you might want to factor in some contingency time for “the unexpected."

You also want to be honest with yourself about how long each of your tasks will take (e.g., if your client wants you to create a Facebook ads campaign which includes coming up with copy and relevant images, it might take you longer than an hour). If you find yourself continually falling short of completing your daily checklist, then you might need to work on setting boundaries and saying “no” more often.

8. Repeat the Process

Once you get into a groove that works for you, keep going! Some people might work better with a planner or other physical tool. Others might work better with Google Calendar or another mobile app for productivity. What matters is that you develop your own system and do what works best for you.

Building and maintaining a website for your clients with the SiteSwan platform is simple. In most scenarios, you can repeat what has worked for past clients, allowing you to spend more time on other aspects of growing your business.

In conclusion...

Jim Rohn once made a very good point: "Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time." After your time is gone, it is gone for good. Thus, it makes very good sense to invest your time in not just getting work done, but getting the right work done. There is no better time than the present to start working toward your goals and focusing time on building your business. The above strategies can help you make the most of your precious time.

Interested in learning more about how SiteSwan can help you run an efficient and successful web design business? Speak to our team or request a free demo today.


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