Katie, a female entrepreneur, web design expert, specializes in creating aesthetically engaging websites for teachers and consultants. She started her business in 2011 as a life coaching business, but quit to become a full-time entrepreneur and mother. In 2015, she needed a life coach to balance her business and parenting responsibilities. After taking an extended maternity leave, Katie started a virtual assistant service in 2016 to help business owners with WordPress and other ad hoc tasks. She realized she didn’t appreciate working hourly and needed to be more responsive. In May 2016, Katie decided to transition from a virtual assistant business to a web design firm, focusing on design assignments.
For female entrepreneurs, Katie specializes in creating aesthetically engaging websites. Katie has inspired us with her story of transitioning from full-time entrepreneur to life coach and virtual assistant.
Good day, Katie! Tell us about your company and yourself!
Hi! For teachers and consultants, I make (frustration-free) Simple + Chic WordPress websites. Simplicity is always my primary focus in both the website’s architecture and my designs. I have a strong enthusiasm for building stunning websites that are also easy for clients to manage themselves, if they desire.
How did you start your web design business? Exists a compelling narrative here?
Oh guy! Well, it was an effort to get away. I started a prosperous life coaching business in 2011. In 2013, I quit my 9-to-5 job to work as a full-time entrepreneur and take care of my newborn daughter. Being a mother gave the term “entrepreneur” a completely new meaning, but in 2015, it acquired even more allure. I chose to move and brought my son home within a few weeks of each other. As a result, I had to balance running a business and looking after a baby and a toddler while living in a new house. Obviously, I was the one at the moment that needed a life coach!
I decided to take an extended maternity leave from my coaching practice with the idea of coming back in a few years. A few weeks later, I began to feel the itch to start my own business. I needed something for me. …apart than buying groceries and changing diapers.
I started a virtual assistant service at the beginning of 2016 and helped business owners with WordPress and a few other ad hoc chores. I rapidly came to the realization that I didn’t appreciate working hourly and needing to be so responsive. After developing a fondness for web design, I decided I wanted to go from a virtual assistant business to a web design firm.
I let go of all of my hourly customers in May 2016 and made the decision to solely take on design assignments moving forward. What follows is history
What does a normal day in your life entail? What do you do to stay productive?
I made a conscious decision to keep my business small. Although it is a top focus in my life, my family comes first. My spouse works as a law enforcement officer and a stay-at-home parent, and his or her schedule changes every minute. My days thus center around work or business. I view things more comprehensively.
Before the kids get up in the morning, I try to pray and gather myself. I might work out with HIIT before making brunch for the kids. After that, we relax while I try to sneak in some email monitoring. I dress them, and really, each day is different. Sometimes they stay home with me, sometimes they go to the gym with my husband when he’s home, sometimes we have playdates, and sometimes my daughter goes to school for a few hours.
But afternoons are customary! They join the kids for lunch, and by 12:30 they are both sound asleep. I’ll have four hours on a good day. Furthermore, they are set business hours. There are no dishes, chores, or sloth. 100% client administration and client work.
I try to be finished by the time the kids get up by finishing my most important and time-sensitive duties first. The afternoons are then given up to them, or they may be spent working covertly while having fun in the backyard.
Evenings are set apart for my family and I as well. I steer clear of evening work since it is more harmful than good.
To cut a long tale short, while my spouse is at home, I run my business during naptimes and other odd free periods of time.
You develop a lot of websites for female trainers, presenters, and company owners. What made you choose this?
I do! I decided to focus on their sites since I am so familiar with and enamored with their world. Recently, I’ve honed in on working just with coaches and consultants. I wish to dedicate my business to getting to know their sector and helping them in the world of websites. I especially enjoy working with non-tech savvy instructors who are intimidated by anything tech-related and assisting them in simplifying everything that has ever been suggested that they “had” to have or “had to do” with their website in order to give them one stunning looking site that is incredibly easy to manage.
I think there is so much untapped potential for business that every web designer should choose their specialization and excel in it. I usually suggest alternative designers to customers who do not fit my target demographic. I wouldn’t want to take on a job that doesn’t excite me since it wouldn’t be fair to the customer. I also wish to spread the good fortune!
What business experience sticks out in your mind the most? How do you keep your consumers happy?
I’m not sure if I have a particular favorite experience, but I have worked with numerous A-list clients that have just made my job the best.
I take pride in the positive feedback my customers provide me. After working together, they are practically clients for life, therefore they don’t truly go.
Usually, I overpromise and underdeliver. I am punctual. I simplify procedures. I am really open with you. I have no problem rejecting an idea that won’t help them in the long run. I want to help. I maintain my value (i.e., I don’t undervalue my costs or my value). Simply said, I treat people how I want to be treated. It has succeeded thus far.
What tools and resources do you use and suggest for businesses?
I LOOOOVE Asana. We interact there in Asana, which I set up for each of my clients, for the life of the job. Acuity is a great call scheduling tool, too.
You choose Beaver Builder for what reasons? What effect did it have on your company?
I even can’t remember how I found Beaver Builder, but I’m so glad I did. I use their theme and module package to build all of my clients’ websites. Although there are many alternative frameworks and themes out there, I’ve stuck with Beaver Builder since my clients love it. They are intuitively aware of how to make changes and edit text and graphics without compromising the website’s style. They and I both enjoy it. It has greatly expedited the entire process of designing and building a site.
Now, a quick discussion on PowerPack. What are your favorite features, and how do they improve the websites of your clients?
PowerPack is what I use the most for creative icons and subscription forms. I’ve found that using your modules makes it much easier to customize and change these features to match my clients’ needs. I also value the fact that your plugin allows Gravity Forms to be customized. The others are essentially perks, and I choose which ones to employ depending on the customer I’m working with at the time.
What goals do you have for the upcoming year?
Growth that is gradual, ongoing, and systematic. In order to dedicate enough time and attention to each customer’s project, I have mapped out my whole client schedule. I will only be working with a small number of clients at once. I reserve spots on the calendar for clients in advance, but I also offer some of them extra time to gather the required materials. I have a thing for simplicity. Doing what works and getting rid of what looked difficult in the previous years.
And last, what one piece of advise would you give to someone who is just starting their career?
Do not overcommit. In 2016, there were times when I felt immobilized by the amount of work I had taken on. I was so excited about growth that I overcommitted. However, this was also accompanied with early mornings, late nights, and demanding days. I was forced to reevaluate the kind of business and lifestyle I wanted due to the high learning curve. I ought to have turned them away or timed their exits. The fact that 2017 is currently being planned so carefully is due to this learning curve.
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