I am honored to be writing a new column called “Down to Business” for Applied Arts, the premier Canadian design magazine, which debuted last week. In the column, my goal will be to help creative professionals get “down to business” on the issues that will make or break their businesses. I’ll focus on clearing away the financial fog, overcoming procrastination, and refining the practical techniques that will bring the right kind of work.
The first article, Who’s In Control Of Your Business?, focuses on the three essential elements which you must control—and what having this control means for your business. Here’s the first one:
1. Your pipeline of prospects. When you don’t control your pipeline, it’s 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 but you do it anyway. You may not even have the right skills – in place or in-house – but you do the best you can because you need the work. Needless to say, this is not an ideal way to do things.
Controlling your pipeline means you choose the prospects you want to work with and you have a simple marketing campaign in place to pursue them. You also know exactly which of the prospects in your pipeline are almost ready to get started, so that, if necessary, you can make a round of phone calls to your primed prospects and convert them to client status to avoid any internal problems. Without a pipeline, you wouldn’t know who to call or what to say.
Read more to discover the other two essential elements you must control…