KillerSites Blog

Month: July 2007

Failure: why it’s a good thing … in the Business of Web Design.

July 23, 2007

Stefan Mischook

I don’t want to go on too long on how you should not be so concerned about failure … for fear of sounding like one of those self-help ‘gurus’. Ack!

But it needs to be quickly address anyhow …

Why are people so fearful of failure?

… Wait a second, that’s a really stupid question!

People hate to fail because we’ve been conditioned to think it’s terrible:

  • You can’t fail a test – your parents will punish you.
  • You can never fail a class at school – your whole academic career will be damaged.
  • You can’t ever get rejected – because you’ll never meet someone new!

The problem with this FALSE belief is that it does not reflect reality and the patterns of the most accomplished people.

… To get anywhere, you have to try and fail. And then try again … and fail. And then try again.


When you fail at something, you can be sure that you are moving towards developing a new skill. If you’ve never failed, it is probably because you never challenged yourself – that’s a bad thing.


As you travel on the road to developing your web design business, you will undoubtedly face a few failures along the way.

… Don’t get too down on yourself when you do hit the expected road-blocks! Just recognize where you messed up and try not to do it again, and move on.

Stefan Mischook

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The rules of risk and the business of web design.

July 23, 2007

Stefan Mischook

In the business of web design (any business really,) there are two fundamental rules of risk you can use to evaluate whether or not you should take a particular risk:

  1. If what you are attempting do does not work out … will it kill you?
  2. Does the potential gain justify the risk?


There is an old gamblers expression someone taught me years ago that sums this up nicely:

‘Don’t go to the track with money you can’t afford to lose.’

This rule tells you, that you should not take any risk that would kill your business, if the risk should prove unsuccessful. Keep in mind that most business projects fail; yep, most business ventures, new products whatever … fail!

All-or-nothing type gambles may work once or twice, but eventually something will screw up. If you are one of those guys/girls who puts it ‘all on the line’ everytime, you are doomed to struggle the rest of your life.

As a web designer building a business, you need to learn to take calculated risk that if they should fail, you will be able to continue along as you did before.

For example; lets take a look at a classic situation: the big contract.

Many times when people start a new business, they want to go after the big contract with the big clients right away.

… This is a fatal mistake because of a few things:

  • Big business will almost always only deal with big companies … not small start-ups.
  • Big clients and big contracts will cost you a lot of time just to make proposals and bids – this cost a lot of precious time where you could be earning actual money doing work for small clients.
  • Big business can be tricky to deal with: they know they’re big and so they have a tendency to push their weight around.

Trying to take on a big contract is a high risk decision because chances are you will not get the contract. Also, the process of trying to get it will cost a lot … possibly your business. It is not worth the risk.

You are better to go after byte-sized contracts and slowly build up a stable of clients that will help you develop your web design work-flow and your financial base. In time you will be able to tackle the larger projects knowing that if you don’t land them, it won’t sink you.

Stefan Mischook

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Choosing a good web hosting company.

July 4, 2007

In the following two videos (part 1 and part 2) I go over the points to look for in a good web hosting company.

Though these videos are part of my Business of Web Design video course, the information should be useful for anyone looking to find a good hosting company.

In a nutshell:

When looking for a good web hosting company, I would strongly suggest that you make price one of the last things you consider.

… Because these days, the vast majority of hosting companies, charge about the same.

Instead, you should be looking at:

  • Features: do they support PHP, ASP or ASP.NET etc?
  • Support: how good is their tech support?

You need to find a web hosting company that have a good range of server technologies to choose from and have fast tech support.


To test their tech support, try giving their tech support phone number (or email address,) a test to see how fast they respond.

The videos:

Removed the videos for updates.

PS: I also quickly discuss how web designers should dress when meeting clients.



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