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Advice from a 10-year design firm owner

Posted by Ilise Benun on

Communication Arts Insights recently interviewed my client, Amy Graver, from Elements. She has owned her own firm for more than 10 years, and was asked to share her experience and advice. Here’s an excerpt: 

Do you have any advice for people just entering the profession? 

  • Take as many business classes as possible; you’ll need to know how to run one.
  • Learn to speak in public; you'll need to present your work and will be judged as much on the creative execution as on how its presented.
  • Practice taking criticism well and listening; it’s not necessary to accept every remark, but you shouldn’t reject any until you’ve honestly assessed all of them.
  • Know how to write well and always proofread before hitting send.
  • Buy a box of thank-you notes; keep them on your desk and handwrite a card right after meeting or speaking with anyone (from the printer who did an exceptional job to the a client for whom you just finished a project). 

What’s one thing you wish you knew when you started your career?

If someone had told me that by starting and running my own studio I would be mostly responsible for sales, I may have chosen a different path. That said, I have no regrets. Starting a studio is not for the faint of heart, but well worth it in the end. I enjoy coming to the studio each day where we work really hard, laugh and enjoy each other's company while collaborating and producing great work. Life is good.

Read more here

Amy is a member of the Advanced Marketing Group. New groups are starting in early September. More info here, or fill out this quick questionnaire

Do you have any advice to share with newbies? What’s one thing you wish you knew?


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