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do you think that it is essential for a new business to include the prices of its services on its web site
I think pricing should be determined on the scope of each individual project. When things are set in stone people will try and take advantage of your plan no matter what that is. My suggestion would be to develop a rough pricing outline that you feel comfortable with - and gauge everything on a per project basis...but don't post it on the site. This will give you room to change your prices on a whim as you become more educated in the field.
Post your site around community boards, get magnets and slap 'em on mail boxes, tell everyone you meet, go door to door and do sites well so you can get work on word of mouth (simply the best way)...
Best of luck,
madcat gave some great suggestions. I've also found that getting high rankings for regional based keyword searches like "mycity web design" & "website designers mycity" can be very effective.
WebmasterWorld is the best resource on the web for learning how to pull this off. An added bonus in learning how to accomplish this is that you can offer a service (SEO) that few, if any, of your local competitors can match.
I only do websites as a hobby, but a colleague of mine has set up a web business in his spare time, and 12 months on is going well. Work was slow to come in, until the time that he setup a 'partnership' (wasnt terribly formal as it was with a mate) who was a trained graphics person, who was very handy at logo design. In an instant, this web dev mate of mine was now able to offer a much broader package of services, and tailored his own website accordingly.
A few months down the line and work really started to pile up, thanks to broadening the services he could offer, and also due to the SEO knowledge he picked up here.
The key to his business kicking off was offering not just web dev (and having a portfolio of work done, initially on a freebie basis), but also logo design services, plus stationery design (and outsourced printing), and so on. Many logo enquiries lead to further work for web development, as lots of people seemed to be looking for a number of services at the same time. The more of an end-to-end service you can offer, the better it seems, so long as you aren't jack-of-all-trades (no, not you JOAT), and master of none! A well stocked portfolio will help no end.
If I go down the same road as he, I'll do something similar. It might be worth thinking outside of the box on this one, do you know of anyone who does graphic design (and does it well), who is au fait with print requirements and so on? maybe someone out of college who has the knowledge but not yet the experience? I think offering a broader range of skills, other than purely web devt, can be key to getting things rolling, at least from what I've seen with this mate of mine.
Other than that, as already mentioned, try local business development agencies etc and see if they hold trade shows or similar that you can get into for networking etc..