Planning Design Business
Why do we need to plan our design business?
We need to plan our design business to make it run smoothly, identify potential and current problems find and implement solutions, identify and stay ahead of your competition, grow your business and most importantly make a profit. Profit is the underlying reason you are in business. If it is not, go and work for someone else as you will find it much easier.
Planning design business is a vast subject so this article is an introduction. There are many business plan templates available on the Internet. However I will publish one developed for the design industry. Following the template and filling in the blanks is easy enough but you first need to understand what it is you are trying to achieve. Secondly you must always realize that this is a working document and that it needs to be checked and adjusted each month. When you do this as a methodical task every month then your focus will be not only on design but on your design business as well.
Before attempting the template do the following:
The simplest way (and usually the easiest way) is to firstly write down what business you are in. Think about this and use the other articles in this website to identify what you do, what products and services you offer and how you go about this. Just make notes at this stage on the following subjects.
- What is it you do?
- What resources do you need to do it?
- What are your overheads?
- Where and why are you located where you are?
- What market/s are you working in?
- How much do you charge and WHY?
- Who is your competition?
- What is their point of difference?
- What is your point of difference?
- Is there something/s that are likely to threaten your business? ( this can even be cash flow)
- What opportunities are there to grow your business?
- How will you implement that strategy?
Don’t get too concerned about this as problems and answers will naturally present themselves but as you do write this down it will get you in the right frame of mind for developing the business plan.
Once you have made these notes (each has a link to a page that has a number of ideas and prompts) then collate them into a folder when you are comfortable with these notes and ideas then place them in the business plan template.
Design is a Business
Above all remember design is business. Of course it is what we as designers love to do but unless its treated as a business then the road to being a successful designer will be full of stop signs, pot holes and other traffic getting in your way or even hitting you. When you run your business efficiently and to a well thought out plan not only will you relieve yourself of financial stress but your design ability must improve with a clearer mind and working environment. To keep yourself fresh please don’t just concentrate on the business side of this website. Different articles about professional design will keep you refreshed and help with your perspective of the business of design. The website includes specialist design areas as well as the business of design. I hope you enjoy and if you have anything positive to contribute please feel free to contact me and add to the articles. If you have questions I will endeavour to answer them however there are only so many hours in the day and it may take some time.
Here is the template – Sample Business Plan for designers