Businesses, for the most part, all have websites. However, if their small, they're likely to use website builders like Weebly, webs.com, etc. These companies offer WYSIWYG solutions that are easy to use, cheap, and simple.
However, most include "powered by weebly.com" or other attribution text on the site. These degrade the site's professionalism.
In addition to that, these solutions are generic and the design will never accurately reflect the site owner's business.
Because of that, owners of these sites are in a pain state: they have a site but they don't really like it and they don't know how to get a better one (if they did they would have never went with a website builder in the first place).
Contact these website owners, talk to them about their situation (it might not be on their mind when you talk to them), offer your solution, and sell them a website.
===Build a list of website builders===
Google "build a free website". That will give you a list of SaaSes (software as a service) that you can target.
Find example sites hosted by the SaaS and find a search footprint.
For example, weebly.com is #3 on the list for me. All weebly.com sites have "powered by weebly" in the footer by default (unless its removed in the config file). The footprint is "powered by weebly".
===Find business owners using the SaaS with advanced search operators===
Here's a guide on what advanced search operators are. https://support.google.com/websearch.../2466433?hl=en
Continuing the example, lets say I want to business in Las Vegas.
My first search query is "powered by weebly" "muffler" "las vegas" -site:weebly.com. Here's the logic:
"powered by weebly" - this is here because we only want weekly.com sites.
"Muffler" - I'm targeting muffler shops. I want to see how many muffler shops in LV are using weebly.com.
"Las vegas" - I only want results that have the word "las vegas" in them. Usually, businesses include their address in the site's footer.
-site:weebly.com - I only want to see results where the business owner is smart enough to pay for a $12/year domain name. If they're too cheap for that, their not serious about business IMO.
The result is one. One muffler shop in LV whose powered by weebly. saharamufflerlv.com - Sahara Mufflers & Catalytic Converters.
That query was too specific. Lets broaden it.
"powered by weebly" "las vegas" -site:weebly.com reports 107,000 results. Now I know there are 107,000 business in las vegas powered by weebly.com! That's enough to get a few sales!
You can either go down the list of 107,000 and find prospects but, note, Google only shows the first 1,000 results. Or, you can add another search parameter like "doctor" or "lawyer" or "flowers" to get only doctors, attorneys, florists.
When you've got a good query, take the sites and place them in a spreadsheet.
===Build a list of business to contact===
Go down the spreadsheet and find the business's contact info. Find personal details about the owner too if its available. Its always better to call them and say "Hey, is Jack here?" rather than "Hey, can I talk to the owner?"
===Contact the businesses===
Once you have the contact info, go down the list and begin calling. A list of 500 is good for a week of work.
Here's what you do when you're on the phone:
get in contact with the person who has the ability to buy a new website. No receptionists.
tell them about their current website and ask if they're happy with their website. If yes, go to next lead. If no, tell them what you can do for them.
Some will be interested and, sometimes, they'll want to talk to you in person about the website. That's fine. That's also why you should target business in your local area.
===Close the deal===
You can close on the phone or in person. When you close the deal, get 50% upfront and 50% upon delivery. Have the agreement in writing.
I price my websites starting at $495. Usually, these businesses just want a simple website that can be done in an afternoon.
===The web design process===
Here's how you do web design:
ask the client to pick 3 website he/she likes. Those will be used as guides for your design.
for local businesses, they'll mostly want to get people to call them. The key thing to design for is that the phone number is in the header, the site is easy to navigate, the pages clearly explain what the business does, and that the address and hours are easily visible.
create a wireframe for the business. Get them to approve it.
create a PSD mockup for the business. Get them to approve the drawing.
turn the PSD into a wordpress template. Super easy if you based your drawing off of a boilerplate.
get them to approve the site when you deliver.
collect the last 50% payment.
===Sample web design contracts===
Here's some samples for you to look at. AIGA | AIGA Standard Form of Agreement for Design Services
If you're closing over the phone or once you've got the hang of this, you can close clients who are outside of your physical area. This is *awesome*. Use Sign Documents Online, Digital Signature, Electronic Signature Software when you do this. It's a hell lot better than having an "email agreement." Its my go-to resource.
===How to outsource this===
If you don't know how to write PHP, HTML, and CSS (what Wordpress runs on) you can find a competent Wordpress designer and developer on eLance, Freelancer, or even craigslist for $10/hour.
If you go this route, send them the 3 sites the client wants and their description for the site. Ask for a wireframe. Get that approved. Than ask for a PSD. Get that approved. Than get the dude to turn it into a Wordpress theme. It shouldn't take more than 2 weeks and $250 if you chose to use a boiler plate.
===What's a boiler plate===
Web developers have made simple default themes that are properly coded. All you have to do is edit the file to get it to look like how you want it to look. This will save you a ton of time. The other route is to test the design over and over again to make sure it looks right on monitors, phones, and tablets as well as all the browsers past and present. Huge hassle.
Good ones are twitter bootstrap, responsive, boiler plate, and a few others.
===Why 50% upfront===
you want the client to commit to the deal. Its terrible when they back out after you've started work.
you want the client to pay you. It sucks if you've have their shit all done and they all the sudden have "problem" and can't pay you.
you can use the cash to pay your freelancer.
If they have their own hosting, that's fine.
Offer to host it for something like $20/month if they don't.
For hosting, I recommend KnownHost. Their support will get back to you within 5 minutes. They'll also go out of their way to help you with your site.
You've now learned how to find leads on Google, how to contact them, how to sell them a website, and how to do it yourself or outsource it. If you can't code, obviously, outsource it. If you can do it yourself, upset the hell out of your service and charge them more than $495.
Most people won't pick up the phone. This is totally normal. I say its 5%-10% that pick up. In a day of calling (8hrs), you can land 1 client if you're a total noob. No joke. The target is basically a sitting duck and the $495 price is *cheap*.
Keep your head up, continue at it, and, once you've figured out the ropes, its easy to net $4,000 in a week with this method.