Is “business” not your favorite part of your business?
If you’d rather be creating, brainstorming or working with clients—there are still 3 business elements you mustn’t ignore in order to be successful. Here’s an excerpt from my recent article for Function Fox, 3 Things You Must Control In Your Creative Businesses:
Whether you’re running your own firm or freelancing on your own, if you’re like most designers, you have little or no training in the business aspects of design. Hopefully you’ve had luck on your side, gotten work through word of mouth and learned a few things along the way. But even if “business” is not your favorite aspect of your business, don’t ignore the 3 essential elements you can (and must) control to be successful in business.
1. Your pipeline of prospects. Without control of your pipeline, you get the Feast or Famine Syndrome. You take whatever projects come along because you don’t know when the next one will appear. You may not like the work (or the client) but you do it anyway. You may not even have the right skills — in place or in house — but you do your best because you need the work. Needless to say, this is not ideal.
When you are in control of your pipeline, you choose the prospects you want to work with by putting a simple — but consistent — marketing campaign in place to pursue them. They funnel themselves into your pipeline and you stay connected to them so that you know exactly where each prospect is in terms of their “readiness” to work with you. That way, if necessary, you can make a round of phone calls to your primed prospects and convert them to client status to intercept any cash flow problems. Without your pipeline of prospects, you wouldn’t know who to call or what to say.
Next up: Pricing & Cash Flow. Read the rest of the article here.