I'm in the process of launching a web design agency and I'm having trouble nailing down a workable business model. My strengths are in landing pages, sales funnels and Wordpress websites – All geared to boost growth using a balance of high-end design, user experience and conversion strategy. My clients are techy savvy (not small 'offline' businesses) and don't need a lot of hand holding. So think experts, bloggers, other digital service businesses/agencies, consultants, etc. Models I've thought of so far: #1 – 'Hire a design team for $X,XXX per month' retainer style model. #2 – Break up our services into packages with clear pricing (eg. Wordpress Site - $X,XXX, Landing Page - $X,XXX) #3 – Charge per project a-la-carte and do not publish pricing. #4 – Specialise and only offer one thing (eg. High converting landing pages) My question is: If you were launching a new agency or digital service business, what model would you use?
I'm glad you described your market a bit.
I have not seen a retainer model work in this space, but that's not saying you can't succeed with it.
YOU are the expert, so I would not leave it to clients to choose what they want. If you do, you'll get clients who say, "Yeah, I hired them to make me a page; it looked nice but didn't work"--and who is responsible for that?
I have seen both arguments when it comes to the question of displaying pricing. I think you should show it. That's a qualifier for visitors, and you do not want to waste your time and energy on people who cannot afford your help.
So my recommendation is to list your services with pricing, but make sure you have a lead capture system to pre-qualify. Then talk live to fully qualify and give your expert recommendations.
I kind of like #4, but there is so little opportunity cost in you being able to offer all the other kinds of content...I would only take this approach if you are committed, really want to specialize, and get known for these kinds of pages.