While designing and launching your own Web site is certainly exciting, it's only the first step in getting a Web-site-design business off the ground.
The next step is marketing your Web site. If you don't get the word out, no one will find you. McLain put his Web address on his letterhead and business cards, and, when pitching accounts, he makes a point of telling people to check out the site.
After establishing links to other sites on the Web, McLain spent $300 mailing a promotional piece to 500 local businesses. The one-page mailer told prospective clients about his Web-site-design company and made compelling arguments about why a Web site is important and how it enhances a company's image. He invited the curious to check out his home page, and offered businesses a 20-percent discount on a site-design contract if they responded by a certain date. "It brought in 20 accounts, which led to other referrals," McLain says. "The mailing helped kick off my business, and once you've been personally recommended, you don't have to do handstands to convince someone to test your services. They've already been sold."