Winning the Freelance Game

January 21, 2011

When pitching to a client, are you a relief player or a star performer? Which gets the big bucks?

MOST DESIGNERS I know have done freelance work at one time or another. Often, freelance work is done to supplement income from other sources or used as a fallback position through a transitional period between more traditional employment opportunities. However, there are designers who eschew these conventional models and build a business based solely on freelance work. This choice has its advantages, but also its challenges.

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The Taxman Cometh

September 29, 2010

HST is here to stay and it affects all designers, regardless of where you live. So take note

I SUPPOSE it’s human nature. We put off dealing with issues until tomorrow that we deem to be unpleasant when we know we should take care of them today. Unfortunately, the future has a funny way of creeping up on you. Well, at least it has for designers in British Columbia and Ontario, whose provincial governments opted to introduce Harmonized Sales Tax (HST), effective July 1, 2010.

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Mea Culpa — Print Buyers Have Problems Too

July 2, 2010

Just because you sign the invoice doesn’t mean you’re always right — or does it?

Every print buyer will – sooner or later – be the primary cause of a job that goes bad. Generally, sooner than later, as buyer-initiated mistakes often occur when the people who are in charge of purchasing haven’t completely figured out the in’s and out’s of the printing business. But, whether you’re dealing with a rookie or an experienced buyer, how you handle their mistakes can be the difference between upsetting the client and building a lasting relationship that stands the test of time.

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Two’s Company

May 27, 2010

Relationships can be tricky. Put the right steps in place before you hook up with a partner

PARTNERSHIPS are attractive models for operating a design firm. They can also be tricky business models to run successfully, because in addition to keeping your clients happy, you need to ensure your partners are happy too.

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Time’s? They are a Changin’

May 16, 2010

Don’t take this the wrong way. Nobody loves actually buying print. Sure, some people who buy print absolutely enjoy the challenge of working with printers to help make the ink and paper come together “just right”, but for many print buyers the actual task of purchasing print is only a part of the job. Print buyers, at their core, are experts at solving problems, managing relationships, and ensuring that client projects are delivered on time, with a high level of quality, within the determined budget. That means a good deal of their time is spent talking with their clients, presenting them with options, and consulting on ways that a projects may be accomplished better, faster – and yes – cheaper.

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Return on (Printing) Investment

March 19, 2010

Helping clients measure the return on their print dollars can result in more dollars for you

There’s no question that there is increasing competition for dollars in the print business. The industry seems to be experiencing a triple threat. Printers continue to compete with each other as always for the right to work with high-quality clients. Budgets, in general, appear to be shrinking in part because of the dramatic improvements in printing technology has made once expensive projects much more reasonable. Finally, clients are turning their attention to other media to implement their advertising and communication strategies.

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Find Out How to Cash Out

March 19, 2010

Before you hit the cruise ship or the golf course for good, put steps in place that will help you sell

BY THE end of their first year of operation, most design firm owners realize that running a business is dramatically different than working for someone else. Regardless of the size of the firm, there are myriad issues to contend with just to keep the lights on and the doors open. Between finding clients, looking after clients and managing staff, there isn’t a lot of time left to fret over the long list of other items that are critical to running a growing enterprise.

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