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Web Masters

Set your sites on a Web design business.

Looking for a way to combine creativity with technical skills? Web site design and its related services do just that. This kind of business calls for creative pizzazz--with just the right amount of programming knowledge thrown in.

Web site designers are hired by companies or organizations to develop a presence for them on the Web and ensure the client's target audience will continue to visit the site in the future. Though the environment for Web site design is constantly changing, one thing is certain: There will be continuing demand for it. Start-up businesses usually gross upwards of $25,000 in their first year and can eventually become multimillion-dollar enterprises.

Market research firm Forrester Research (http://www.forrester.com) estimates that approximately 40,000 companies and individuals worldwide currently design Web sites. That figure is expected to grow, as changes within the industry create more opportunities for newcomers.

The term "Web site design" can be misleading. Success in this field is no longer merely about designing a Web site: Companies are looking for people to develop e-commerce solutions, manage online databases and deal with Web security concerns. Web design firms are also involved in developing the internal sites and networks used within a corporation (intranets) and between a corporation and its vendors. "Internet professional services" is perhaps a more accurate name for what is now a $3 billion industry. International Data Corp. predicts that by 2002, it will grow to $20 billion.

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This article was originally published in the May 1999 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Web Masters.

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