One of the beautiful things about being a freelance designer is the freedom to live where you want, be it within walking distance of the ocean, near family, or three floors above the most awesome coffee shop downtown.
But does location matter? Are freelancers elsewhere enjoying more business success due to their location? Would your business benefit from moving?
Whether you’re enjoying a steady stream of work or hoping for that next client, answer the questions below to determine whether your location is helping or hurting your design business.
Cost of Living
- Can you afford to live and work in your area?
- Can you realistically charge accordingly?
- Is your business geared toward local clients (print procurement, etc.)?
- Are you interested in acquiring more local business?
- Does your area include your target audience or others who might be interested in your services?
- Does your area promote local business through organizations or a chamber of commerce?
- Is your business unique to your area?
- Can local businesses afford your services?
- Are there continuing education classes available?
- Are you within traveling distance to weekend workshops or day-long seminars?
- Does your locale host trade shows?
- Does your library have access to reference or educational books that may interest you?
- Do you have access to the local vendors you need (office supplies, printing, reliable internet, business consulting, etc.)?
- Are your local business services cost-effective?
- Do you find that your time zone makes communicating with others difficult?
- Does your line of business often require conference calls?
If your answers about your locale are disheartening, perhaps your location is affecting your work load. Seek out ways to improve your situation or consider relocating to an area more conducive to your business.
What about Remote Business?
In my observation, location has very little effect on acquiring remote business. I know successful designers who live in towns shy of 15,000 people as well as in the midst of millions of denizens and many sizes in-between.
Personally, I’ve found that most people neither know nor care where I’m located; they rather like to know that I can meet their needs, they can afford me, and that we share some working hours for communication.
Share your Locale!
Where do you live (feel free to be as specific or generalized as you prefer)? How do you think it affects your business success and why? Where are most of your clients located? Leave a comment below!
I’ll go first…
I live in Salem, Oregon, which has roughly 150,000 people and is most certainly not a hot-bed of graphic/web design activity. Most of my clients are remote on the East Coast or in California, but I do have a few local clients. Reason? I’ve done extensive networking online and comparatively little locally.
My boyfriend and I are considering moving (for personal reasons), and our top two locales are along the I-25 corridor of northern Colorado or home to the Billings, Montana, area. Using these considerations has helped me write out a list of business pros and cons for each location to help us narrow down our search.
Okay, now it’s your turn, GDB readers! Let’s put my questions and observations to the test in our very own social experiment! Leave a comment on this post to participate!