loader from loading.io

Graphic Design Business Challenges You're Sure to Encounter - RD313

Resourceful Designer: Strategies for running a graphic design business

Release Date: 02/27/2023

Generational Clients, And how to Lose Them - RD343 show art Generational Clients, And how to Lose Them - RD343

Resourceful Designer: Strategies for running a graphic design business

In this episode of Resourceful Designer, I share a cautionary tale about losing generational clients and the critical lesson I've learned from my mistakes. Whether you're dealing with family-run businesses or companies with long-standing leadership, you'll discover the importance of building relationships with the next generation to ensure client loyalty. Listen as I recount personal stories and offer valuable insights to help you avoid falling into the same trap. Don't miss this crucial episode that could save your client base in the years to come!

info_outline
Redefining Your Introductory Hook To Capture Clients - RD342 show art Redefining Your Introductory Hook To Capture Clients - RD342

Resourceful Designer: Strategies for running a graphic design business

In this episode of Resourceful Designer, I delve into the crucial aspect of redefining your introductory hook to capture clients effectively. I discuss the significance of crafting a compelling introduction on your website and other marketing materials that resonates with your target audience's "What's in it for me?" mindset.  By analyzing examples of website hooks, I emphasize the importance of conveying the value you offer to potential clients right from the start. Join me as I explore the power of a well-crafted hook in attracting and retaining clients, helping you grow and succeed in...

info_outline
Engage More, Talk Less - The Key to A Thriving Design Business - RD341 show art Engage More, Talk Less - The Key to A Thriving Design Business - RD341

Resourceful Designer: Strategies for running a graphic design business

Welcome back to another insightful episode of Resourceful Designer, where today's message is all about the art of engagement over trivial chatter. I'm your host, Mark Des Cotes, and in episode 341 we dive deep into the importance of engaging more and talking less. We explore how the wisdom of an elementary school teacher, who emphasizes understanding her students to truly elevate their learning, can be a powerful lesson for us as graphic designers in our own client interactions. I'll share with you how critical it is to connect with clients on a level that goes beyond flaunting our design...

info_outline
Are Your Design Clients Time Or Money Minded - RD340 show art Are Your Design Clients Time Or Money Minded - RD340

Resourceful Designer: Strategies for running a graphic design business

Welcome to episode 340 of Resourceful Designer. Today we're diving into an intriguing question: Are your design clients time or money minded? We'll unpack the significance of understanding whether your clients value their time over their money or vice versa. I'll share some personal anecdotes, like the time I decided to replace my wife's car backup camera myself to save money, and on another occasion, when purchasing a course on Facebook ads, valued my time more. We'll explore how this distinction applies to your design business, how it affects the way you position your services, and...

info_outline
Accepting Credit Card Payments - RD339 show art Accepting Credit Card Payments - RD339

Resourceful Designer: Strategies for running a graphic design business

In this episode of Resourceful Designer, I delve into the topic of accepting credit card payments from clients. I received an email from Phil, thanking me for the podcast's impact on his transition from working for an employer to running his own business. Phil's client asked to pay by credit card, and he was unsure how to proceed. I share the simplicity and speed of credit card payments and elaborate on the various options available, from PayPal to Stripe and other accounting software. I discuss the fees involved and the ways to incorporate them into pricing strategies, emphasizing the...

info_outline
Handing Over Your Working Files: Yes or No - RD338 show art Handing Over Your Working Files: Yes or No - RD338

Resourceful Designer: Strategies for running a graphic design business

Have you ever been in a sticky situation where a client has asked for your working files? In this episode of Resourceful Designer, I delve deep into the topic of whether or not to hand over working files. Join me as I share personal experiences and insights to help you navigate this common dilemma in the design industry. From legal considerations to negotiating with clients, I offer practical advice to help you make informed decisions and protect your creative assets. Tune in to discover the nuances of sharing final files and gain valuable tips on handling such requests in your design...

info_outline
Backing Up: It's Better To Be Safe Than Sorry - RD337 show art Backing Up: It's Better To Be Safe Than Sorry - RD337

Resourceful Designer: Strategies for running a graphic design business

On this episode of Resourceful Designer, I delve into the critical topic of backups. Through two poignant real-life stories, I stress the importance of not solely relying on web hosts for backups. I share a scenario where a client's website was lost due to an overlooked credit card update and the absence of off-site backups. I emphasize the significance of using plugins like  for WordPress or services like for complete cloud-based backups. I underscore the need to protect valuable data, whether for personal memories or business assets. Join me to understand the pivotal role of backups in...

info_outline
Persistence Will Pay Off - RD336 show art Persistence Will Pay Off - RD336

Resourceful Designer: Strategies for running a graphic design business

Hey there, it's Mark, and in this episode, "Persistence Will Pay Off," I want to talk to you about the challenges of running a design business. Whether you're just starting out or have been in the industry for years, finding clients can be tough. I've been there myself, going through long stretches without new projects coming in and questioning if my business was sustainable. But I made it through, and so can you. I'm here to share some words of encouragement and actionable tips to help you stay motivated and push through the tough times. From staying persistent and believing in your talent to...

info_outline
Presenting Your Designs To Clients: You're Doing It Wrong - RD335 show art Presenting Your Designs To Clients: You're Doing It Wrong - RD335

Resourceful Designer: Strategies for running a graphic design business

In this episode of Resourceful Designer, I discuss a common mistake designers make when presenting their work to clients. Drawing from my own experience, I delve into the significance of presentation and its impact on a design business. Sharing insights from my college days to my current approach, I highlight the practice of presenting designs to clients with crucial information included. I explain how this method not only enhances professionalism but also leverages client sharing to attract potential leads. Join me as I reveal how this simple adjustment in presentation can make a substantial...

info_outline
Sure, You Can Do It, But Should You? - RD334 show art Sure, You Can Do It, But Should You? - RD334

Resourceful Designer: Strategies for running a graphic design business

In this episode of Resourceful Designer, I share my journey as an entrepreneur and the pivotal role delegation has played in shaping the success of my business. From initially shouldering every responsibility solo to embracing the power of collaboration, I delve into the transformative impact of outsourcing tasks beyond my expertise. By strategically investing in external help, whether through hiring specialists or utilizing online platforms, I've been able to optimize productivity and focus on growth-oriented activities. Through examples from my own experience, I highlight the...

info_outline
 
More Episodes

Are you running or considering starting a graphic or web design business? If so, let me tell you, you’re in for a wild ride! The graphic and web design industries are filled with opportunities and challenges, and understanding what to expect can be the difference between success and failure. In this Resourceful Designer episode, I’ll look at some common challenges you will surely encounter.

Here are four of the most common challenges you may face.

Finding Clients.

Finding clients is one of the most challenging aspects of running a graphic or web design business. You may be a very talented designer with the most fantastic portfolio in the world, but that doesn’t do you any good if you can’t get work from clients.

To find clients, you’ll need to focus on networking and marketing to increase your chances of success. Attend as many networking events as possible, especially when your business is young. Ask friends and family to refer you to people who can benefit from your services. Reach out to potential clients via email, social media, and other platforms. Whatever it takes.

Clients can’t hire you if they don’t know who you are. This industry is all about connections and relationships. It’s not who you know that will help you succeed. It’s who knows you.

Another great way to find clients is to build relationships with other designers or people in the industry. Working with other designers allows you to exchange ideas and resources and can lead to referrals and more business opportunities.

Designer groups like the Resourceful Designer Community can help with this.

A good client of mine reached out when his church was looking for a logo. I was in the middle of several large projects and couldn’t take this on. But I knew that Ciera, a member of the Resourceful Designer Community, had shared several church branding projects she had designed. Thinking it was a perfect fit, I introduced her to my client, and now his church has a new logo they can be proud of.

This is just one example from the Resourceful Designer Community of how connecting with other designers can benefit you. Finding clients is challenging, but you can make the task more manageable if you put in the effort.

Staying Up-to-Date on Trends.

The graphic and web design industries are constantly changing and evolving. What worked yesterday may not work today, or there may be a new and better way of doing it. You’ll need to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and techniques to stay ahead.

Devote time to reading graphic and web design blogs, articles and publications. Listen to podcasts and watch courses and videos. Try to attend conferences and workshops if you can afford them. Follow design influencers on social media to keep up with what’s new in our field.

You’ll also want to stay abreast of the latest software and hardware developments. Tools and technologies are constantly changing. Take time to learn what’s out there and how to use them effectively in your business.

Staying up-to-date on trends will help you stay ahead of the competition and make you a more efficient designer. And allows you to provide your clients with the best possible work.

Managing Time and Money.

Time and money management are essential in the graphic and web design industry. You’ll need to learn to manage your time to ensure you complete projects on time and within budget. This means setting realistic expectations and deadlines and charging enough for the work you produce. Don’t undervalue yourself to land a client. You’ll only regret it. Communicating realistic deadlines, schedules, and fair pricing with your clients will help things move smoothly.

You’ll also need to budget for overhead costs like software, hardware, and marketing. And don’t forget the fees for design resources and subscriptions you may require. Everything from stock imagery to website hosting costs money and will eat your profit. Your monthly credit card bill shows you how much you need to make to cover the various expenses associated with running your business. You must learn how to price jobs accordingly to cover these expenses.

You’ll also need to manage your finances, both personally and professionally. Create a budget for yourself and your business, and track your income and expenses. You need to know how things stand if your design business income supports your business and personal expenses.

Being organized and staying on top of your finances will help you remain profitable and ensure the success of your business.

Finding Balance.

Running a business can be incredibly rewarding, but it can also be stressful and time-consuming. To maintain a healthy work-life balance, you must be conscious of the time and energy you devote to each.

It’s so easy when working for yourself to lose track of time and put in 12 or more hours of work in a day. Yes, hustling is part of running a business, but doing it consistently will impede your health. Schedule regular breaks during the day and week. Take vacations. Making time for yourself will help you stay motivated and productive and can even help you think up new ideas and solutions. I can’t tell you how many times a winning idea came to me after stepping back from a project for a while.

You’ll also need to make sure you don’t neglect your personal relationships. Make time for family and friends, and continue to pursue your hobbies and interests. Your business will still be there when you get back.

Doing things besides design work will help you stay inspired and energized and can help you avoid burnout.

The Rewards Outweigh the Challenges.

Starting a graphic design business can be an exciting and rewarding experience but also challenging. Starting my design business is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Many designers have told me the same thing.

To increase your chances of success, you must be prepared for the hurdles you will encounter. Finding clients, staying up-to-date on trends, managing your time and money, and finding balance are all critical aspects of running a successful graphic or web design business. Being aware of these will help make your journey easier. If you’re prepared for the challenges of running your own business, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a successful entrepreneur.