A Web Design Business Rule Of Thumb

I was recently asked by an aspiring web designer how many customers he would need in order to make it in the business. An interesting variation on the question of how much money one should make in order to be successful.

Of course the how much money question is very hard to pinpoint. It depends on where your business is, what type(s) of services you will sell, what expenses you have, and numerous other variables.

But this question had an interesting twist. The reason that I was intrigued by the question is because I’ve recently started using my customer count as a rough indicator of how I’m doing. Naturally it isn’t a substitute for a good set of books to track the business. But my number of customers is an easy rule of thumb for me to track my success rate.

I will use a reasonable number to show how it works. If I assume my average customer will spend $1000 per year and I need $100,000 per year to pay all my expenses including my own salary and taxes, I know I need around 100 steady customers.

Once I get to that level, I know I’m doing alright. If I start losing customers, I know I need to tighten my belt while chasing up some more customers.

Of course I’ve been in this business for a long time so it is easier for me to roughly come up with an average. But as you build a steady customer base, you should be able to start putting together your own rule of thumb.

Have you worked out a similar formula to share? Or questions or ideas? Use the below comments section and tell me.

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