A common struggle with running your own small business is finding yourself spending way too much time on things you don’t want to do.
Krista here! For me, things like writing blog posts, scheduling social media, and answering emails just feels like it’s getting in the way of the work I really want to be doing.
I know as a designer, you have something extra added to the list of things that aren’t in your zone of genius and that’s development. The problem is, a lot of designers feel like if they want to offer website design services to their clients that they have to suck it up and deal with the techy and coding pieces. Luckily for you, that’s not quite the whole truth so in this week’s episode, we’re chatting all about the benefits of collaborating with a developer on your design projects.
Benefits of collaborating with a developer
More time spent on what you love to do
Whether you feel like you’re not getting enough time on your design projects, connecting with peers on social media, or hanging out with your family, working with a developer can free up hours of your time each week to focus more on those things.
Coding a custom site tends to take me between 40 and 60 hours – how many extra design projects could you take if you had that amount of time back?
Developers can probably get things done a bit faster than you
Something Kory brought up during this episode was the fact that she had spent hours struggling with a piece of code for one of her design projects. She finally decided to ask me for help and 5 minutes later the issue was solved. I’ve seen this kind of thing repeated over and over with designers I’ve worked with in the past. They spend hours on Google trying to fix an issue, but when you pass that same issue over to a developer, the solution is like second nature (just like design is for you!).
Less last-minute night and weekend work
When you’re trying to do something that you’re not so comfortable doing, you tend to underestimate how long a task will take. It’s easy to think that tweaking a theme a little bit will take you an hour or two, only to find yourself five hours later fighting with something that you thought would be simple. This tends to lead to unexpected night and weekend work, in an attempt to keep the overall project on track.
When you have a developer on hand that you can pass off either entire projects or small pieces to, you don’t have to worry about those types of things happening.
More confidence in your final product
When you’re forcing your way through coding a website, you’ll probably find that you’re not aware of many of the best practices. Google has great solutions, but do they really know what will be best for your client?
Knowing that you have these types of knowledge limitations when you’re passing your completed website over to your client will cause you to feel like it’s not quite perfect. Instead, when you’re working with a developer who knows exactly what they’re doing when it comes to responsiveness, SEO, or a unique solution to a problem, you can feel completely confident when your client is seeing their website for the first time.
You can offer extra design features
For me, any design work I do is super limited. I can code just about anything, but trust me, you don’t want to see me try to make something look nice.
The same thing is true for most designers when it comes to development. Maybe you have a homepage with a feature you’d really like to add, but if you can’t code it yourself you’re kind of out of luck. This definitely limits what you can design and what you have to offer your clients, but when you add a developer into the mix all of these limitations go away.
And if up to this point you’ve only been offering template installations or semi-custom websites, working with a developer gives you the freedom to offer your clients something completely custom.
You have someone else to take care of ongoing tasks
No matter what type of design services you offer, it’s never fun to have to stop working on a fun new project that you’re excited about to jump back to an old project to help them with maintenance. Especially if it’s related to a coding or plugin problem that requires troubleshooting.
When you have a developer in your back pocket, you don’t have to worry about these things. Your developer can take care of all the maintenance issues that pop up and you can focus on the fun new brand you’ve been waiting to start on for weeks.
Collaborations are fun!
Running an online business can feel a little isolating at times, even if you do have a business bestie or a mastermind. When you work with a developer, you have a teammate on each of your projects. Someone that is by your side, working with you to reach your end-goal.
I’ll be honest, making close friendships wasn’t something I expected when I started teaming up with designers, but now it’s one of my favorite things to come out of each project!
- Consider if working with a developer is right for you, based on the benefits we went over in this episode
- If you think it is, contact a developer and try out a smaller type of package with them and see how it goes!