Starting a business is no easy task. It takes time, effort, and (a lot of times) a whole heap of money. But there are lots of designers who have built a rockstar design business without spending their life savings away.
And you can too.
This article will offer a few money-saving techniques that will help you build your design business without going broke. If you have more to add to this short list, take a second and leave a comment.
I’m a passionate (and, I like to think, successful) designer. And guess what, I work on an Apple laptop that’s over 3 years old and don’t use the latest version of the Adobe Creative Suite.
But it doesn’t bother me. I’m still successful.
Would I like to have a brand new Apple desktop? Sure. Would I like to take an iPad to my client meetings to show them proofs? Absolutely! But, right now, my design business won’t support such an upgrade.
One day it will. And I look forward to that day, but that day is not today. I know you want to upgrade, but if you want to build a successful design business without going broke, don’t upgrade…yet.
Be a Scrooge
You don’t have to go around yelling “Bah Humbug” or ruining people’s Christmas, but there are some admirable traits that ol’ Ebenezer brought along with him.
Take for example, his grasp on finances. He knew where each schilling was, how many he had at any given time, and only spent one when absolutely necessary.
You can still give to the poor if you feel so inclined, but I have a feeling that’s not where most of your finances are getting lost. Perhaps you spend business money to buy lunch, go to the movies. Only use business money for business expenses and only spend when absolutely necessary.
You might be wondering how you ever make money running your own business if you’re only allowed to spend business money on building your business. The answer is simple:
Pay yourself for the work you do.
If you worked for Acme Design Company, they would pay you a certain rate per hour or per project. So it’s time to manage two personalities: the business owner and the designer.
The business owner inside of you needs to pay the designer inside of you on a regular basis. Be strict and stingy about how much to pay yourself and keep in mind:
You can always give yourself a raise later.
Find a good pricing strategy
One of the biggest pitfalls (and admittedly most difficult parts of running a design business) is adopting the perfect pricing strategy. If you charge too much, you lose clients; if you charge to little, you go broke.
It will take some serious thought, but make it a goal to establish a solid pricing strategy as soon as possible.
It will be worth the time and effort in the end.
Ok, rockstars, go…
All of you out there who are reading this post and thinking, “He’s leaving out the most important part about building a rockstar design business”, take a moment and share your awesomeness with the rest of us by leaving a comment.