Here is what most web designers think their first priorities are.

1. Having a kick-butt computer
2. Having every possible graphic and web development program
3. Creating THE best portfolio ever
4. Getting lots of traffic to their website
5. Setting up a good office space
6. Learning every possible cutting edge Photoshop or jQuery trick
7. Being the first ever to do ___________ in HTML5 and CSS3

And so on and so forth…

So, which do you think is the right answer?  What is most important? The correct answer is… none of the above.  They are all dead wrong.  You can have a mediocre 5 year old computer, you can code everything using Notepad, and design graphics with Paintshop and still be a wild success if you have put the first priority first.

On the other hand, you can create the most amazing portfolio ever, traffic can flow into your website like tourists at Disney Land, you could have prime office space downtown, know every photoshop and jQeury trick, and you can even write a book on HTML5 and CSS3… but if you don’t have the number one priority first, then you will fail.  In fact, at this point, it will be an Epic Fail.

all of your knowledge,
all of your state of the art hardware,
all of your HTML/CSS/Javascript tricks,
all of your cutting edge software,
all of your photoshop tweeking,
all of your hard work, time spent, and plans made will come to nothing.  They are pointless…. useless… distractions…

Have I made my point enough?

Just because you build it, doesn’t mean they will come!

So what IS your number one priority as a web designer or developer?

Your first priority as a web designer or developer just happens to be the same as any business… to make sales, in your case, to sell websites!  Without making sales, you are just spinning your wheels.

This is especially important in your first year or two, or until your business machine is somewhat self-sustaining.  The 80/20 rule is a good guideline.  You should be putting 80% of your time into selling and 20% into everything else.  Sounds crazy, huh?  When will you ever get anything done?

Most new web development businesses spend most of their time on brushing up their skills and learning new technology or techniques.  This is good and important, but most never break out of learning into doing; but if you want to make a living out of it, there is no point in doing it if you aren’t getting paid.  This is where sales comes in, remember?  Getting paid?  Making money?

Your website isn’t like a baseball diamand that you build in a corn field.  Just because you build it doesn’t mean that they will come.

In order for your business to become self sustaining it is vital that you reach a Critical Mass of Qualified Customers as quickly as possible.  Until then, your business will be a daily struggle just to survive.  Once you reach that Critical Mass of Qualified Customers (CMQC), you will finally have the momentum to relax a bit.  At that point, you will have built up enough steam to be able to focus more on doing the actual work of creating sites.

So, before you start running ads in your local newspaper or put a bunch of money in your Google Adwords account, consider the last half of CMQC, “Qualified Customers”.  Not just any customer, paying customers.  Customers who are willing to pay more in the future.  I may write more about CMQC later.

So, what do you do next?  First, download my free lead generating guide that will get you 1,000+ targeted web design leads in no time flat!  Then take a look at my ever growing collection of articles on how to find more web design business.

Think I am crazy?  Let me know in the comments below.