As I’ve mentioned a few times, at the beginning of 2015 I decided to drop development from the services I provide. Out of everything to do with the building of a website, development was what I disliked the most – or well, the only thing I disliked. It stressed me out, it made projects go on far longer than they should, and if I’m completely honest about it – I wasn’t the best at it.
I’ve seen other designers and developers struggling with the choice to make the change was well – either in the direction of dropping design, or dropping development. My opinion? It’s well worth it. There were a lot of things to take into consideration when making that leap and I understand completely the hesitance behind it:
- What if I couldn’t find a developer that has prices my clients could afford?
- What if the developer and I didn’t work out and I’d have to go back to coding the designs myself? Or get stuck on a project if the developer backed out and have to find the money to re-hire someone else?
- What if the clients were confused about the process of having two people work on their site, even though my site stated I worked alone?
- And of course the BIG one: Do I willingly want to hand over $$$ to someone else, to do something I was “capable” of?
After one particularly trying project I was at the end of my rope, so I reached out to Ashley to see if she wouldn’t mind testing out a partnership where I would do design, and she’d do the development for my projects. It was something that neither of us had really done before, but 13+ some projects later we’re still going strong, we’ve completed our biggest projects to date together, and we’re booking well into a month in advance.
Ashley had also been considering dropping design for awhile, so when I messaged her and things ended up working out – she was able to do just that, and started focusing on only development – what she was passionate about.
But what about all the fears that I had?
How did dropping development effect work?
- I made a new friend! On the business side, this also means I have someone to collaborate with + to bounce ideas off of who actually understands what I’m saying! We’ve had a ton of brainstorming sessions and I can honestly say some of the things I’ll be doing the remainder of this year and next wouldn’t have happened without her advice and encouragement.
- I’m less stressed about deadlines. I don’t have to try and fit design AND development into a tiny little space of time, I know once the design is done it gets passed off to someone who is SO good at what they do, and is energized about it!
- Projects get done faster. Because Ashley and I both work on only the parts that we love we generally get our projects done faster then when we were also focusing on the things that we don’t… love, as much.
- Not a single client has ended up confused about the process. They understand that there are different components to a website and that having two people who are passionate about the parts they work on, works out better for them too!
- Because we work so well and efficiently together we’ve been able to complete more projects in less time then either of us would have been able to do on our own, which equals more $$$. We’ve doubled the price of our service packages, and even with paying someone else 50% of what I make from each project, I’ve actually made double what I made all of last year already. If work continues at the pace it’s going, I will be on my way to making six figures in 2016.
I think that last point is the biggest issue for most people who might be on the verge of dropping a service, especially if you’re already just barely making ends meet. It was the biggest hangup for me – but I knew ultimately that if I wasn’t doing development, I’d have more time to do other things (like going to the gym and the movies on the weekend with my Mama, because she brainwashed me as a child.)
Not only that but we’re in such comfortable positions financially that we were both able to take of a good portion of the year to work on our personal projects, and to learn about new things (webinars, e-books, etc) so that we can branch out and create more awesome things for ya’ll.
In the end, when I started subcontracting out development, it actually put me in a much better place for my business. It’s by far, I’d say, the best thing that’s happened to my business.
How about you? Is there something you’d like to do but the fear is keeping you from making the leap? Or maybe you’ve done something recently that took your business to new heights? Tell us about it!