Why most businesses fail, and solid tips for design business success

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Most businesses fail not because their owners aren’t good at what they do. A design studio doesn’t generally fail because they create poor designs. A dentist doesn’t generally fail because he cannot fix your teeth. Most businesses fail because their owners don’t understand how to run a business. As a design entrepreneur, this is the single most important fact you need to understand. If you as a designer can learn how to run a business well, your business has a

My 10 Freelance Design Business Goals + Tips for Setting Yours

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Your design business will DIE without solid goals. April’s new post today is a must-read for any designer who hopes to get anywhere in business. After April shared such a great personal experience about naming her design business (read here), I asked her to write more great content with personal stories and experience. If you enjoy posts like this one, be sure to tweet, like, +1 and comment to show April your support. Enjoy! -Preston I hope you’re not tired

How freelancers can compete with design marketplace sites

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The last few posts I’ve written here have all come from excellent reader suggestions on this post. Today’s is no different. Joe Malleck writes: One topic that I’m interested in is what a designer’s future role in the marketplace is. With the uprising of theme marketplaces and the awareness that you can essentially purchase design as a commodity, where do we as designers fit into this new landscape? How can we leverage our skills and insight to make fortunes, without

Help me name my design business! + tips on naming yours

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help me name my design business

GDB readers, it’s time to name my design business, and I really need your help. But first, a little back story: When I got laid off last February after 5 years with the company, I was devastated. I loved my core coworkers. I needed the paycheck. I hated that I had been chosen as the weakest link (which probably isn’t true – I also received the biggest paycheck). I cried. And then… literally the next day I started looking for

Is it okay to use templates and themes as a freelance designer?

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Have you ever used a theme or a template on one of your freelance web design projects? I have. And I’m (in my humble opinion) a good designer and coder. I’ve built tons of web sites both for myself and for my clients–and I built them from scratch.Designed; Coded; Tested; the works. I know HTML, CSS, Javascript and Jquery, PHP, and a little bit of other languages. But… But recently, GDB got a huge makeover. We were hacked pretty hard

A Secret Weapon of Successful Designers: Predictability

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Have you ever worried about a situation where a client of yours is not pleased with the site you’ve just finished designing for them because it’s too simple, and not flashy enough? I mean, it seems easy to bill someone for a site that looks like a digital painting and contains some interactive menus, sliders, and other eye-candy like stuff. It doesn’t seem easy, though, to bill for a minimalistic site that incorporates a well thought through layout with just

6 Business Books All Entrepreneurs Must Read in 2012

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Last year I set a goal to read more. More specifically, I set a goal to read at least 6 new books (one book every 2 months – which is good for me since I never read offline). Along with a few other non-business books, I devoured the following 6 business books and think every designer who aspires to run a successful design business MUST read these books. I’ve tried to list them in the order of most impact; meaning

Freelance designers: don’t set new year’s resolutions this year!

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Today, to kick off the new year, I want to extend a very unique challenge to you: don’t set any new year’s resolutions for your design business this year. Why would I extend such a ridiculous challenge? Watch the video embedded in this post to find out. After watching the video, leave a comment and let me know what you think. If you’re reading this post in an RSS feed or in our email newsletter, click here to see the