On Tuesday, Truly Creative turned 6 years old and I can’t believe where the time has gone. It’s been a really fun 6 years with lots of valuable lessons learnt through running a design business. 2020 has so far been the year with the biggest changes as we’ve moved cities from Leeds to Bristol and couldn’t be happier with our new base in the Origin Workspace. Everyone we’ve met so far have been so welcoming in Bristol and the South West and we can’t wait to see what the rest of the year holds as we come out of this weird time in lockdown. There are a number of great opportunities already presenting themselves and I believe it is on track to continue with lots of new businesses & products being developed off the back of the pandemic.
Six lessons learnt in six years running a design business:
- Ask questions – Before starting any design project it’s vitally important to ask as many relevant questions as possible with regards to the clients business and design project. This ensures that a detailed insight is gathered into what drives their business, their brand message and exactly what it is they’re looking to achieve allowing the resulting work to hit the mark first time.
- Be transparent – One thing potential clients hate the most are nasty surprises, especially financial ones. So ensuring that all prices involved are set out clearly at the start and they are fully aware of their investment before starting a project is the right way to go.
- Manage expectations – Always ensure clients are kept in the loop and updated regularly regarding timeframes, this will ensure they’re safe in the knowledge their project has your full attention and you’re on it.
- Opinions matter – If something doesn’t look right to you or you don’t necessarily think that a certain direction is the right one for your client, then tell them. They have come to you for your expertise so you owe it to them to give that advise and not avoid it at the risk of a difference of opinion.
- Wide client base – Keeping a wide client base is vital to running a stable and reliable design business. If you rely too heavily on a couple and they were to one day up and leave you’d be stuck for work in the short term. So keeping a broad range of clients on board is the best way to ensure a steady stream of reliable work coming in.
- Have a safety net – With recent times demonstrating this absolutely beautifully, having a safety net and buffer are vital to keep your design business running through uncertain times such as these. Something that should always be built into the structure of any business.