There are some great perks to running a graphic design business.
There are many benefits to running your own home-based graphic design business. In episode 24 I covered some of them, including getting to choose who you work with. Making your own hours. Deciding how much you want to charge and other things like the tax breaks you get and being able to work in your bathrobe if you want to.
All of these are great reasons to want to run a graphic design business, especially from home. But in this episode of the Resourceful Designer podcast, I'm talking about perks. The little things that go a bit beyond the benefits.
When you register your business you are put on a list that becomes available to anyone who wants to purchase it. I know that sounds scary, but in fact, it's a good thing. Because many of the people who purchase that list want to send you FREE STUFF! Mostly promotional items like pens, mugs, keychains etc. usually with your company name on them. They hope that you like their stuff enough to either buy them in bulk to hand out yourself or to become a reseller for them.
Another perk is free magazine subscriptions. There are many graphic design related magazines that offer free subscriptions to businesses in the industry. Visit your favourite magazine's website to see if they offer this.
When you run a business you need to buy things. You might as well get some extra perks in the process. Use a credit card that offers some sort of reward. It could be travel, goods and services, or simply cash back. Make all your purchases using this card and watch how quickly your points accumulate. Just make sure to pay off your card each month. The extra perk isn't worth it if you pay interest on your balance.
Owning a business allows for easier access to credit. Many banks and financial institutions are much more willing to lend money to businesses than they are to individuals. If you're in a bind and you need some extra cash, this is one perk you'll be glad your business provides you.
Face it, it's much more impressing to say you own your own business than it is to say you work for someone else. Not only will it open more doors for you, but the quality of the interactions will be better as well. Not only that but the knowledge you gain from these interactions can greatly benefit your business.
Another perk of running your own graphic design business is the chance to learn new things when you want to learn new things. If you want to take a course or watch a tutorial you have the option to do so. There's nobody to stop or hold you back. The same goes for things you're not interested in. If it's not something you want to learn you don't have to. You have the option of hiring someone to do it for you instead.
Creating your own work hours is a perk in itself. But the big bonus when you run your own business, is the ability to step away from your business whenever you want to. There's no need to schedule personal appointments around work hours. Instead, you can schedule your work hours around your personal appointments. If your doctor only has an opening at 10am it's not a problem for you. If your child has some special event you want to attend, there's no one you need to ask permission of for you to go.
One of the biggest perks of running your own graphic design business is your ability to personalise it however you want. If you want it to have a formal corporate look, do it. If you prefer a fun joyful look, then do that.
Your business has a personality that reflects who is behind it, you. The freedom to mould that personality into anything you want is probably one of the most powerful perks you have. Express yourself, there's nobody holding you back.
I would love to know what perks your business allows you. Let me know what they are by leaving a comment for this episode.
Submit your question to be featured in a future episode of the podcast by visiting the feedback page.
This week’s question comes from Sean
I have a few questions about budget and pricing. Your pricing podcast was amazing. Here are some questions you can include in a future podcast.
1) How to ask a client for a budget? 2) Should it be in the project questionnaire 3) Should it be in the contact form 4) How about a pull down menu of price ranges 5) Would it be better to allow prospect to enter their own amount rather than selecting a price range? 6) How about showing prospects minimum project price for any given job. This is the starting price and the quote would reflect the price quote from thereon. 7) How about showing three price ranges after questions are all asked. 8) Majority of designers do not negotiate or wish to discuss pricing if it does not agree to the prospects budget. Should we be open to that considering this is a business first then design?
To find out what I told Sean you’ll have to listen to the podcast.
This resource was shared by Dan in the Resourceful Designer FaceBook Group. Here's what he had to say about TopTracker.
I know Mark uses Billings Pro, but I don't use a Mac currently so I searched around for an alternate. I checked out a few and decided that there's a better one for me. I've been using TopTracker to track my time. It's excellent, easy, flexible and can spit out a tonne of different reports for you to prove your time if you need it. And best of all, it's free forever for freelancers.
According to the website TopTracker offers;
There are no superficial limits on the number of projects or users you can configure.
Available on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.
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Running a graphic design or web design business all by yourself isn't easy. If there are any struggles you face running your design business please reach out to me. I'll do my best to help you by addressing your issues in a future blog post or podcast episode here at Resourceful Designer. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org