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12 Things You Can Never Have Enough Of - RD212

Resourceful Designer

Release Date: 04/20/2020

Standing Out From Your Competition - RD234 show art Standing Out From Your Competition - RD234

Resourceful Designer

How are you standing out from your competition What do you think of when you hear the word “pencil”? I bet that one of the images that flashed through your head is of a yellow-painted piece of wood with a graphite center. The quintessential yellow pencil found the world over. A Medium article by Melissa Gouty titled “Why Pencils Are Painted Yellow" got me thinking about the parallels between a yellow pencil and your design business. I'm going to paraphrase Melissa's article for the sake of my comparison. The common yellow pencil that we take for granted helped spark the renaissance....

3 Things To Do Today For A More Productive Tomorrow - RD233 show art 3 Things To Do Today For A More Productive Tomorrow - RD233

Resourceful Designer

Being diligent today will make you more productive tomorrow. I talked about dividing your to-do list into three sections, non-negotiables, procratinatables and optionables, and how doing so will help you organize your day. I also discussed listening to your body's clock to determine the best time of day to tackle certain projects and tasks. Today's post is all about setting up for a more productive tomorrow. And to do that, you need to start today. For as long as I can remember, my nightly routine before bed has included looking and preparing for the next morning. Call it my shutdown...

Writing The Perfect To-Do List - RD232 show art Writing The Perfect To-Do List - RD232

Resourceful Designer

The Perfect To-Do List + Time Management = Success. If you search through the Apple or Google app directories, you will find dozens, if not hundreds, of options for creating so-called perfect to-do lists. I like for grocery lists and shopping lists or keep track of the unending chores and tasks I need to do around the house. For work-related lists, my go-to is  (get a free month with this link). I have Evernote fine-tuned with different notebooks for every part of my work life. But it doesn’t matter if you use a digital tool or pencil and paper if you don’t understand the...

Producing In-House - RD231 show art Producing In-House - RD231

Resourceful Designer

Are you producing any of your design projects in-house? I got the idea for this episode of the podcast when a member of the shared her new toy with us in our Slack group. Laura bought a . It’s an eco-solvent printer she plans on using to produce stickers, vehicle graphics and apparel graphics, among other things. This new piece of equipment will allow her to produce materials for her clients in-house. She also plans on using it to make pieces to sell through her Etsy shop. This got me thinking about different ways designers can produce things in-house. Now for the record, I...

Farming Out Design Work - RD230 show art Farming Out Design Work - RD230

Resourceful Designer

Do you farm out design projects? Finding yourself overwhelmed with too many design projects is a sure sign that you are not charging enough for your design services. Don’t turn clients away. Instead, raise your prices and start farming out design work. The following is a post from the . Hi guys So I'm turning away a lot of work at the moment, as I have my day job, and seem to have very little energy in the evenings and weekends to take on many freelance jobs. Seriously, I'm feeling so burned out, have been for a while now. I do the odd freelance jobs here and there for previous clients that...

Invest In Yourself - RD229 show art Invest In Yourself - RD229

Resourceful Designer

If you want to succeed as a designer, you must invest in yourself. Have you heard the quote, “it takes money to make money?” The same concept applies to growing your design business as well as improving yourself as a designer. If you don’t invest in yourself, you’ll become stagnant, outdated, and eventually overlooked. Clients hire graphic and web designers because they want fresh ideas and skillsets to implement them. These clients will quickly tire of someone if all they ever produce are the same old things. No business or person, for that matter, can do the same thing over and over...

Print Is Not Dead - RD228 show art Print Is Not Dead - RD228

Resourceful Designer

Contrary to popular belief, print is not dead. There was a time, not long ago, when graphic designers designed almost entirely for print. Sure there were trade show booths and vehicle graphics, but in their way, those are print as well. As the internet became more and more popular, started to encroach on a turf that was mostly populated by computer programmers. And before you knew it, a whole new industry was born–Web design. design allowed graphic designers to help clients on two fronts—both digital design and print design. But as time moved along and the world moved closer to being a...

First Contact: Interviewing New Design Clients - RD227 show art First Contact: Interviewing New Design Clients - RD227

Resourceful Designer

Do you vet potential new design clients? How do you know that you’re the right designer for a project? Or maybe the question should be, how do you know a potential new design client is right for you? In the past, I’ve covered what to ask during a , and to ask your design clients about their projects. Almost all of the questions covered in those episodes are for building relationships with your clients after you’ve decided to work with them. But I don’t think I’ve ever talked about that first contact with a potential new client before. First contact. The first contact refers to those...

What Got You Here Won't Get You There - RD226 show art What Got You Here Won't Get You There - RD226

Resourceful Designer

How are you going to take your design business to the next level? “What got you here won’t get you there.” I’ve heard this phrase a few times over the past couple of weeks, and it got me thinking about my life, my design career and my business. This is not about Marshall Goldsmith’s book of the same title. Although I hear it’s a great book. It’s about the phrase itself and how it applies to you and your design business. At its core, “What got you here won’t get you there” is such a simple statement, and yet it holds so much truth. You can only get so far in life...

Creating Systems - RD225 show art Creating Systems - RD225

Resourceful Designer

Are you creating systems to help your design business? Mike, a member of the , posted in the Community Slack group his frustrations with one of his clients. Mike built, manages and updates an eCommerce website for a client of his. His frustration is that every time his client wants a new product added to the site, he fails to provide Mike with all the necessary information, requiring Mike to contact the client, sometimes more than once, for the rest of the info. Mike’s situation reminded me of a similar one I had with a client several years ago. And how my frustrations forced me into...

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Do you have enough of these?

When it comes to running a home-based design business, there are some things you can never have enough of. Here's a list of twelve you should consider.

1) Printer supplies

You should always make sure you have spare ink cartridges and extra paper on hand. It's never fun when you need to print something, and you can't because one of your ink cartridges is empty of you ran out of paper.

2) Input devices

It's always a good idea to have a spare input device for your computer. Perhaps an extra mouse, trackpad, trackball or pen and tablet to operate your computer. Should something happen to your primary instrument, you'll be glad you had a spare.

3) Digital storage space

When it comes to graphic/web design, you can never have enough storage space for your digital files. The price of hard drives keeps dropping, so there's no reason not to have extras on hand.

As for cloud storage. You are always better off purchasing more storage space than you believe you need. Chances are, you'll end up glad you did.

4) RAM

Whenever you purchase a new computer, you should try to maximize the amount of RAM you get. The more RAM you have, the longer your machine will last as software and operating systems become more demanding on memory. The extra cost upfront will be worth it if you can get an additional year or two out of your computer.

5) Backups

It's better to be safe than sorry. And that means having backups of your backups. When disaster strikes, you'll be glad for the redundancy.

Services such as Backblaze make it extremely easy to backup your computer and physical hard drives. BackupBuddy by iThemes is my plugin of choice when it comes to backing up WordPress websites.

6) Business cards

I don't understand people who don't have business cards for their design business. They make a great marketing tool. And at such a small cost to produce, the return on investment is well worth it.

7) Cables

You can never have enough cables. Power cables, charging cables, connection cables are just some of the various wires you should have on hand. You never know when you'll be required to connect a new device and not having the proper cable can cause unnecessary delays.

8) Connection ports

Most computers come with a limited number of connection ports. I'm talking about USB, Thunderbold, Video, Audio, etc. Devices that add extra ports are convenient in avoiding having to juggle your connections.

9) Internet Bandwidth

When it comes to graphic and web design businesses, the faster your internet, the better. Don't skimp on your internet plan. You'll be glad for the faster speeds. Plus, you get to write it off on your taxes as a business expense.

10) physical storage space

Your home office should have sufficient storage space to keep all your "stuff." Drawers, shelves, cabinets and closets are a must to keep your work area organized.

11) Suppliers contractors

Try to keep a list of people who could help you with your endeavour. Web and graphic designers should keep lists of copywriters, photographers, developers, illustrators, translators, printers and anyone else you may need to call upon for future projects. Even if you have your go-to people. It's good to know others just in case.

12) Peer support

Working from home can get very lonely. To battle the isolation, you need to build a community of peers you can connect with regularly. Join clubs, organizations and networks that keep you connected to what is happening in your local area, your niche and your industry.

What can you never have enough of for your design business?

Let me know by leaving a comment for this episode.

Resource of the week Udemy

As graphic designers, we need to keep our skills and knowledge in peak form. Udemy is one of the best places to learn new skills or brush up on rusty ones. Udemy offers a wide variety of courses for all stages of your career. I've personally bought courses on SEO, Google Analytics, Facebook Ads and more. Have a look today and see what you're going to learn next.