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Welcome to part 5, the final installment of our series Organizing and Taking Control of your Divi Web Design Business. In this series, we’re exploring several tactics, tools and strategies that will help you overcome the daily struggles that we all face as Divi Web Designers. From optimizing your daily routines, to creating systems and processes, to providing the best web design experience for your clients; we’re providing actionable items and steps that you can implement immediately with the purpose of helping you take control of your Divi Web Design business whether you’re a solo freelancer, a small agency or a remote team.
When you have multiple Divi Web Design projects going on, it’s hard to manage all of them and stay creative while juggling deadlines, client communication and all the things that go along with designing and developing a site. In this post, we’ll explore some ways you can effectively manage your Divi Web Design projects all while staying creative, fresh and balanced! Let’s get into it.
How to Effectively Manage Multiple Divi Web Design Projects
All of the previous posts in this series have really led up to this point. Setting daily and weekly routines, organizing the tools you use, creating an onboarding process and refining your design/development process are all ways that’ll help you manage multiple projects. But there are a few practical steps we haven’t gone over that will be the icing on the cake when it comes to managing all your projects. Let’s dive in!
1) Use a Project Management Software
When I started my web design business, my projects were managed in perhaps the most confusing, scattered and stressful way possible – to do’s, tasks and reminders written on numerous pieces of paper and a lot of post-its on my desk 🙂 It’s when I decided to use Basecamp (my preferred project management software) that managing projects became much easier for me. As a designer, the art of actually being able to see projects, their status and when I last reached out to a client was very appealing. There are numerous platforms to use these days and in a recent DiviChat Episode I was a part of, there were several project management tools that I highly recommend trying out to see what works for you.
If you’re new to web design there are a few differences that I’d like to point. Platforms like these are typically geared towards being project managers, task managers or communication managers. Basecamp for example is a bit of all 3 which is why I like using it but I understand it’s not for everyone and quite frankly, it’s not cheap. So here are some other tools you can look into for managing your Divi Web Design projects:
- Slack – One of the most popular and versatile platforms you’ll find. It’s easy to set up, intuitive and though geared towards communication between teams, can also serve as a project and task manager as well.
- Asana – I haven’t tried this one personally but hear about it often in the Divi community. If Basecamp isn’t for you, give Asana a try. Though a combination of all three, this one is largely geared towards being a team and project manager.
- Trello – An efficient tool for task management is putting it lightly. Trello gives you an ideal framework for building and creating tasks and checklists for teams. Highly recommended for standardized processes and big teams.
Here’s a great resource to reference which dives into some of these programs in more detail. Whatever you choose to manage your projects, it’s important to make sure it’s something that’s suitable for you, your clients, your other tools and integrations such as whether you use Apple or Android apps, calendars, etc.
2) Set Realistic Deadlines and Client Expectations
One of the most important aspects of managing multiple projects and keeping all your clients happy is to set realistic deadlines and client expectations. I tell my clients that my project design and development window is generally between 30-90 days. It all depends on the size and complexity of the project and more importantly, how soon I get the content I need. Website redesigns are generally the fastest projects for me since usually there’s a decent amount of relevant content to pull from. New websites or an online presence that’s built from the ground up can be a very extensive and time consuming process. And so can redesigns for that matter, so it’s important to give yourself the time you need to do a good job.
Now here’s the catch, a new client is often fired up when they want to move forward and like most clients, they want it done yesterday. So you as the web designer will need to try and get the design process started while the iron is hot without pushing your other projects to the side and delaying them. Not many clients are going to want to submit a down payment and say “Sure, you can start on my site in 3 months.” 🙂
So here’s a method that I employ that has helped me tremendously. Since every project is different and has it’s own levels of complexities, integrations and scale, that helps me determine the launch date in my typical 30-90 day turnaround. But I don’t want the client to wait a month and a half before seeing something. So what I try to do is while the client is excited and while the project is fresh and hot on my mind, I generally get the first part of my design process underway (designing the header, footer, home page and sub page design) within a 2-3 week period. It doesn’t have to be perfect and I let the client know that there will be more integrations and additions added later on but what this has done is allow me a slight buffer between the initial preview and development for the rest of the site.
If I prepare a new site design within a couple of weeks and show the client, they’re usually thrilled and then that generally buys me another month or longer to build the rest of the pages, integrate all functionalities and go through the rest of my process which was outlined in post 4 of this series.
3) Delegate Work
Finally, one of the greatest benefits of using Divi is having the opportunity to engage with and join the most empowered online community there is, DiviNation. As your business grows and you have multiple projects to manage, getting work off of your shoulder will be key to your success and balance as a web designer.
I’ve found that to be a successful web designer, it’s good to have a mix of the following:
- Development and Coding
- Support and Basic IT knowledge
But let’s be honest, we all have our strengths and our weaknesses. Being aware of where you’ll need assistance is key and partnering with people who have strengths in your areas of weakness will drastically help you take control of your Divi Web Design business.
So find your strengths, work on your weaknesses and engage with DiviNation to help out with the rest! If you’re not sure how to get started in engaging with the community, feel free to look at this post.
Well I hope the ideas in this series have helped and inspired you to better organize and take control of your Divi Web Design business! Here’s a quick recap the series:
- Creating Efficient Routines for your Divi Web Design Business
- Organization Tactics and Practices for your Divi Web Design Business
- Effective Client Onboarding Processes for Your Divi Web Design Business
- Refining and Standardizing your Divi Design and Development Process
- How to Effectively Manage Multiple Divi Web Design Projects
If you missed any previous posts, I’d encourage you to check back and review some of the topics we went over. And again, the morale of this series is to make sure that YOU are running your business and that your business isn’t running you. Looking forward to interacting with you and hearing your thoughts in the comments below!