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Designing For The Web

How to start one of today's fastest-growing businesses.

This story appears in the August 1997 issue of Business Start-Ups magazine.

Web-site design is fast becoming a hot multimillion-dollar niche industry. The numbers tell the story: Independent Web-site design companies will earn $10 billion in sales by the year 2000--up from $582 million last year--according to a 1997 survey by Forrester Research Inc., a market-research company in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The survey predicts that the total number of Web pages will nearly double this year and triple in 1998. These figures represent a vast, exciting area of opportunity for those interested in designing Web sites.

But the best part is you don't need a lot of money to start a Web-site-design company. Brad Brewster, 30, started Bent Media Inc. in New Orleans in 1992 with only $5,000, which he used to buy a Macintosh computer and some multimedia software. And John McLain, 52, started McLain Web Design in Keene, New Hampshire, in 1996, with a mere $2,500, which bought him a PC, a printer and graphics software. Both men kept their costs down by working from home. When Brewster's business started to take off, he rented an office. McLain still works from home, but hopes to rent an office early next year.

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