21 Web business systems I can’t live without

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I’ve spent years building my web design business, Web123, from an idea back in 2009 to a super successful 7-figure business that can handle 30-40 website projects per month. (Our record is 42.)

In case you’re wondering, I’m not talking cookie-cutter, sausage factory type websites either. I’m talking top notch, uber effective, lead generating $5-10k CMS websites that bring in the dollars and generate a return-on-investment for my clients.

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But I’m not going to sugarcoat my journey and say it was easy.

It wasn’t.

And sadly, there is no magic manual to follow.

As designers, it’s easy to push the ‘business’ stuff to the side in pursuit of creative happiness, but I learned years ago that process done right = PROFIT!

I intuitively started creating systems before you could Google them.

I had to begin the minute I employed my first staff member and learned about delegation… the hard way.

When I threw myself into systems, scaling, marketing, strategy, and just plain old business smarts, Web123 literally doubled year on year. And now I’m spearheading Foxley because of it.

Because I want to spread the digital love, help you suffer less, and show you how to build your business on your own terms, I’m sharing all of my very best systems and templates so you can take some huge shortcuts.

Sidenote: Once you finish, read how 4 freelancers built recurring revenue models that changed their business. You'll love it.

So without further ado…

Here are my top 21 web design business systems (and how to use them) to help you scale your business.

Call me crazy but I really want you to succeed, so if you keep reading until the end you’ll find a link to download every single file in editable format for you to use in your own web design business.

If I can help you navigate the rocky road to success a bit less bloodied, bruised and battered along the way, you’ll be helping me live my life’s mission.

Okay, let’s go!

1. Website Enquiry Response Quote Email Template

When you get an enquiry or quote request from your website, the trick is to jump on it straight away. We call people within a minute if we can and our conversion rate from lead to sale is through the roof because of it. They say that if you call a website enquiry within a hour, you have three times greater chance of closing the deal!

And another power tip: get your website proposal to prospects within an hour of speaking or meeting with them. You’ll have closed the deal and banking a deposit before your competitors will have even responded to the website enquiry. Trust me on this!

File Name: FOXLEY-Website-Enquiry-Response-Quote-Email-Template [Editable].docx

2. Discovery Phone Call Cheat Sheet

Years ago I used to get calls to go to meetings all the time. I used to drop everything and be at the beck and call of my prospects, but I grew tired of giving my all only to find that they’d go with someone cheaper, yet still implement all my suggestions.

So I put my foot down and said “No” to meetings — UNLESS — a client had signed off on my proposal and paid a deposit. Then I started the project with a Strategy Meeting. But I needed a way to gather enough info over the phone so I could do a detailed proposal, so this is what I came up with. The Discovery Phone Call Cheat Sheet. It takes a bit of guts to adjust to saying “No,” but trust me, you’ll love the extra time and rewards it brings when you implement it and make clients work to YOUR rules.

File Name: FOXLEY Discovery-Phone-Call-Cheat Sheet [Editable].docx

3. Thanks For Choosing To Work With Us Email Template

Got the green light for a new project? Sweet! Use this email template to get your project off to a flying start. It’s all about how you set the expectations early. So be the rockstar you are at every touch point and your clients will love you for it!

File Name: FOXLEY Thanks-for-Choosing-to-Work-With-Us-Email-Template [Editable].docx

4. Client Acceptance Contract

Here you’ll find a copy of our website Terms of Service and Client Acceptance Contract which we include at the end of our proposals.  It might not work to include in yours, but you’re more than welcome to use it if you’d like.

File Name: FOXLEY Client-Acceptance-Contract

5. Thanks for Payment Email Template

Like I said previously, every touch point counts and furthermore, anything that you do or write more than twice should have a template. Use this one when you see the cashola hit the bank and you’re ready to kick off the project. You do get a deposit before you start work, don’t you? Oh, phew. Just checking.

File Name: FOXLEY Thanks-for-Payment-Email-Template [Editable].docx

6. Client Commitment Document

I created this resource due to the growing number of clients who were slow at getting back to me and holding up their projects. It was actually a suggestion from my business coach at the time. His thinking behind it was that the sheer act of sitting down with my clients and signing it in our first strategy meeting would be enough to keep them stay true to their word.

Did it work? Hell yeah! Not 100%, but it did improve the communication between my team and my clients and jobs got finished sooner overall. Feel free to utilize it and put it in your own words if it makes you feel more comfortable.

File Name: FOXLEY Client-Commitment-Document [Editable].docx

7. Budget, Timeline & Process Template

Creating the perfect website takes time, so we’ve put together this document so you and your client can clearly see the various stages of the design and build process. It helps keep them in check and accountable too, not just yourself.

Managing client expectations is one of the biggest tricks to success in this game. This is one of my favorites for doing just that.

File Name: FOXLEY Budget-Timeline-and-Process-Template.pdf

8. Project Plan Templates

The key to managing sites effectively is organization and communication! Use these handy project plan templates and share them with your client so you’re all on the same page. Reiterate to them numerous times what you need from them and by when, and always refer to this project plan if you need to crack the whip to stay on track!

Oh, and always follow up EVERY phone convo with an email, just to cover your you know what.

There are three types included, one for a basic info site, one for a basic eCommerce site, and one for a more complicated info site which might have extra add ons included like logo design, copywriting and content upload. I used to use SmartSheet, but you can just as easily use Excel (which are included too!). Enjoy!

File Names:

FOXLEY Project-Plan-Basic-Web-Project.pdf + .xls

FOXLEY Project-Plan-Complex-Info-Site.pdf + .xls

FOXLEY Project-Plan-eCommerce-Site.pdf + .xls

9. Request for Content Before Build Email Template

Ahhh, that joyous moment when it’s time for your client to compile all their web content for you. Hang on a minute… you mean you can’t just pluck it out of thin air with some of your magic web fairy dust? But why not?! 😉

Use this template to help your clients get their head around what they need to supply in order to get this baby live. Remember, not everyone has created a website before, so the more guidance you can provide, the more your client will love and respect you.

File Name: FOXLEY Request-for-Content-Before-Build-Email-Template [Editable].docx

10. Website Planner

Building a stock standard info website is actually a breeze…but it can be easy to overlook crucial details that really make a site EFFECTIVE! That is the real key to success with any project you undertake.

Our Website Planner asks all the right questions. For example, what are the goals of the website? What makes their company truly unique? Who is their ‘perfect’ customer?

All you need to do now is download the planner below, slap your logo on it, and away you go.

File Name: FOXLEY Website-Planner [Editable].docx

11. Copywriting Planner

If you have a client who wants you to write the content for their site, you need to make sure you get all the right details before you start.

Download this handy Copywriting Planner, implement your branding, and send it to your clients so that your writer can write beautiful poetry (or sales copy…whatever floats ya boat) for their website.

File Name: FOXLEY Copywriting-Planner [Editable].docx

12. Content Planner

What good is a website without any words? I mean, I guess you could just fill it with massive amounts of white space, but it’s not going to be a very highly converting website, is it?

Send our Content Planner to your clients so that they can send you all the content and images required for the pages of their new website in a highly organized manner.

File Name: FOXLEY Content-Planner [Editable].docx

13. Logo Planner

A business’ logo is EVERYTHING! It’s their identity, the initial impression they give their customers, and often the basis for all future designs to their digital presence. (I don’t need to tell you that though!)

There’s more to logos than doodling in Microsoft Paint for five minutes (as you know!), so this Logo Planner will help you learn all about what your clients are looking for from their new identity.

File Name: FOXLEY Logo-Planner [Editable].docx

14. Website Design Feedback Planner

So you’ve sent your client a draft design for their brand spanking new website, now you’ve got ask them if they like it or not.

Some clients will be awesome and give you constructive and detailed feedback. Others might just make a snuffling noise and say “I don’t like it.”

Remember, the more detail you get from your clients, the better, and the ‘Website Design Feedback Planner’ is YOUR document to modify and use how you see fit to ensure you get beautifully detailed feedback from your clients.

File Name: FOXLEY Website-Design-Feedback-Planner [Editable].docx

15. Ultimate Website Conversion Checklist

Our Ultimate Conversion Checklist gives you 72 easy ways to turn web visitors into web customers.

It took us over 10 years of testing and tweaking to understand what makes a customer sign-up and what doesn’t. And all that wisdom has been distilled into this comprehensive, easy to understand checklist. Yep, it’s everything you’ll ever need to know to turn your website into a sales converting machine. Download it now!!

File Name: FOXLEY Ultimate Website Conversion Checklist.pdf

16. Facebook Planner

Facebook is the luxurious holiday home for your client. Sure it doesn’t come with a swimming pool (or a hot tub for that matter), but your client’s customers will use the Facebook page as another way to interact with their services. So it’s worth getting the feng shui right. Right?

Our Facebook Timeline Planner will make sure you get every detail right as you build their new online hotspot.

File Name: FOXLEY Facebook-Planner [Editable].docx

17. YouTube Planner

YouTube has revolutionized the way we watch video. Now…on demand…we can watch what we want, when we want.

And through YouTube we have access to great education material, up to the minute news, serious political debates, and clips of cats getting flung out of catapults into the neighbor’s swimming pool.

Creating an awesome YouTube presence is a must for some businesses, and it’s why we have this handy YouTube Planner to send to your clients.

File Name: FOXLEY YouTube-Planner [Editable].docx

18. Congratulations, Your Website Is Live Email Template

This is kinda a big deal for your client. Okay it’s a HUGE deal for your client, and you for that matter, and it’s worth jumping up and down a little… in a good way of course.

Take this opportunity to congratulate and thank them, let them know that it’s not over yet and that you’re always on hand to help should they need help with anything else. It’s crazy how many designers I talk to forget about their clients after they go live. Don’t be one of them! That’s when the real work begins and if you look after your clients afterwards, you are sitting on a gold mine.

File Name: FOXLEY Congratulations-Your-Website-Is-Live-Email-Template [Editable].docx

19. PPC Planner

When one of your clients accepts a PPC campaign, what’s the next step?

Well first of all…congratulations! PPC (or Pay Per Click) is a great way for your client to drive immediate traffic to their site, and is proven to be one of the quickest ways for a new business to get those all important first sales.

You’re helping this company live it’s dream of being a truly independent and successful in a competitive online market.

File Name: FOXLEY PPC-Planner [Editable].docx

20. SEO Planner

Now that the website is done, the real work begins! It’s time to help your clients get some targeted traffic to it and one of the best ways to do that is through Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for short.

Find yourself a reputable SEO partner and use this handy planner to gather all the details you need to craft a killer campaign.

File Name: FOXLEY SEO-Planner [Editable].docx

21. Local SEO Planner

Are your clients ripping their hair out because they are surrounded by loads of potential customers in the local area, but they don’t know who they are?

This is a problem that small business owners face everyday. They have the perfect product or service that people in the local community will love, but no way of showing them.

That’s where a Local SEO campaign comes in. It’s a one stop service that can be used to help push local business clients up local search result rankings, and finally get them in front of their perfect customers. 🙂

File: FOXLEY Local-SEO-Planner [Editable].docx

 

Download ‘The Ultimate Web Business Bundle’ FREE!

Swipe these 21 actionable files to take away years of trial and error in your web design business. Get instant access now.

Let me know what you think in the comments. Sound off in 3, 2, 1 go…

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About Bianca Board

Co-founder of Web123, Australia’s small business web specialists, creator of ‘The Ultimate Web Business Bundle’, and CEO founder of Foxley, a new designer-only SaaS platform that puts all her web, UX, strategy, design, marketing and business experience in the one place, Bianca is passionate about reinventing web design for small business. If you’re wondering how to start a damn good website business, or you’re ready to give the middle finger to mediocre web design — register for Foxley’s Mountains of Clients here.
Foxley-Website-Software-Logo More about Bianca’s Business: Bianca is co-founder of Foxley, the world’s first universal system for building an awesomely profitable web business. Deliver high value sites for clients that capture the leads, make the sales and bring in the dollars – a lot of dollars. Get the 411 on Foxley here.

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Comments

  1. Timing couldn’t be better! Just got three new web design customers and will implement these right away! Thanks!

  2. Super pumped on getting access to these goodies! However – am I the only one having trouble with the sign up procedure? There seems to be a glitch..?

  3. Thank you so much for sharing what you have used to make your business a success. I’m looking forward to implementing this docs into my workflow to make my life a bit easier.

  4. Thank you!

  5. This is great, Bianca. Thanks!

  6. Thank you! This was incredibly generous; these tools are indispensable.

  7. Thank you Bianca! I am just getting started in business and have been thinking about how I need to organize my work into systems. But, it’s been a bit overwhelming. This gives me (and everyone) a great place to start.

    I particularly like the thank yous – that’s one thing I already do, and people really appreciate it. One more odd think I do is send out holiday cards. Like real paper ones. Surprises the heck out of people, and they love it.

  8. Shaquanda says:

    It’s funny because some serious issues I am having with clients you just answered with your forms and systems! Did I tell you this is the ONLY design blog I actually read? Thanks for beyond great content!

  9. These look golden BIanca. Thank you! I just left my job so these will come in handy.

  10. Refreshing. It’s great to read an article with genuine action points and resources and not just high level theory. This is the kind of resource that your audience will happy give up their email address for. Great work Bianca.

    Thanks,
    Matt.

  11. That’s very generous of you. Thank you so much.

  12. Thank you so much. I just launched my own web design business.

  13. ndabayezwe mbambo says:

    thank you for the free web resource. havent gone through it as such but thank still for mentoring us.