Business

Learn how to run your design business, work with clients, manage expectations, and handle your finances.

QuoteRobot: Freelance Job Quoting Made Easy
Business / 6 Jul 2010

QuoteRobot: Freelance Job Quoting Made Easy

Quoting jobs can be a real pain.

As designers we often procrastinate and/or avoid this necessary step simply because it’s tedious and no where near as fun as actually designing something. QuoteRobot is a new tool that helps address this problem by enabling you to quickly get back to what you love instead of being bogged down for hours on end creating custom bids for every client.

We had a chat with Shawn Adrian, one of the founding developers of QuoteRobot, and asked him to explain a little bit about the service and why you as a freelancer should be interested in this product. Below is our full interview. Along the way we’ll toss in some screenshots so you can get a feel for the service.

Why Your Great Ideas Will Fail
Business / 25 Jun 2010

Why Your Great Ideas Will Fail

Everyone has a big idea.

The next Facebook or Twitter is being presented to potential funders by a hundred different startups every year. However, many or even most of these ideas never really get off the ground. So what’s standing between these companies and success?

Today we’re going to look at why many brilliant ideas fail to make an impact and one essential question that could’ve helped them succeed.

5 Reasons You Should Be Writing for Design Blogs
Business / 18 Jun 2010

5 Reasons You Should Be Writing for Design Blogs

You may have notice that this week’s theme at Design Shack has been talents to add to your skill set as a designer. First we looked at copywriting, then marketing, and today we’ll examine blog writing.

Blogging has come a long way in recent years. The practice has transformed from a questionably productive hobby into a popular and lucrative profession. The design blog industry is one of the fastest growing niches in the blogging world and here we bring you five convincing reasons to join the fun and begin writing your own design-related articles and tutorials.

Why You Can’t Ignore Marketing
Business / 17 Jun 2010

Why You Can’t Ignore Marketing

In our last article, we looked at why designers can’t ignore copywriting, today we examine why marketing is the same way.

We’ll discuss why you should continue to better yourself by increasing your talents and how you as a designer should respond to the increasing need of online marketing for small business owners.

The Importance of Personal Projects
Business / 1 Jun 2010

The Importance of Personal Projects

Working for other people can be a horrible way to spend your life.

Even if you’re doing something that you love, doing it 40+ hours per week for other people has a tendency to ruin the appeal.

One way to ease this problem is to create and maintain personal side projects. Below we’ll discuss why this proves true.

10 Tips to Becoming a Healthier Designer
Business / 15 Apr 2010

10 Tips to Becoming a Healthier Designer

I’m sure the title of this article made more than a few readers scoff at the legitimacy of exploring such a topic, but the reality is being confined to a desk all day can take a serious toll on your health. When being a dedicated designer begins to directly affect your likely lifespan, it’s time to pay attention and make some changes.

This article will explore a few steps you can take to becoming healthier despite sitting on your can all day.

20+ Designers and Freelancers You Should Read, Watch and Follow
Business / 8 Apr 2010

20+ Designers and Freelancers You Should Read, Watch and Follow

Today we’ll take a brief but personal look at over 20 designers and freelancers that have made an impact in the online design community through books, blogs, tweets and various other means. Some are huge names, ubiquitous in the design community, while others are just getting their start.

Most of the profiles below feature a quick bio and some links to find out more about the designer. I’ve also included a few expanded profiles for some of the better known individuals.

5 Questions to Ask for Deciding When to Fire a Client
Business / 6 Apr 2010

5 Questions to Ask for Deciding When to Fire a Client

One of the amazing things about being a freelance designer is the freedom to choose who you are willing to work with. Unlike the nine to five crowd, we freelancers don’t always have bosses or coworkers that we are simply stuck with. If we don’t like working with someone, we fire them and move on.

Though this process sounds dandy in theory, the reality is much more complicated. Like anyone else, we have mortgages, utility bills and an annoyingly expensive need to eat just about every day. If you’ve got a client you can’t stand, run through the questions below to you help decide whether or not you can ditch them successfully (and whether you should).

7 Reasons to Attend Design Conferences
Business / 28 Mar 2010

7 Reasons to Attend Design Conferences

If you’ve never been to a big design conference, you’re missing out. Aside from being a blast, they’re a great way to boost you out of professional stagnation or a design rut. Below we’ll take a look at seven reasons you should attend the occasional design conference. Along the way I’ll post a few images and links for upcoming conferences that you might find interesting.