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Designing For The Web How to start one of today's fastest-growing businesses.

By Bob Weinstein

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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

But the best part is you don't need a lot of money to starta Web-site-design company. Brad Brewster, 30, started Bent MediaInc. in New Orleans in 1992 with only $5,000, which he used to buya 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 graphicssoftware. Both men kept their costs down by working from home. WhenBrewster's business started to take off, he rented an office.McLain still works from home, but hopes to rent an office earlynext year.

"It doesn't take much money to start a Web-site-designcompany," McLain says. "A must is a high-speed computer,a fast modem (36.6 Kbps) and software that allows you to executedesigns."

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