A roundup of industry expertise, exclusive resources, business support and tools for your design business.
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“This might seem surprising from someone who teaches client satisfaction and retention, but my New Year’s suggestion is to consider firing some. Do any of them demand free creative solutions in re-pitches? Do they provide the right work? Do they generate enough income? Do they pay their bills on time? Is the relationship (mostly) hassle-free? Do you actually like working with them? No? Then it’s time to let them go diplomatically.” Shan Preddy, Preddy&Co
“Many still think of the freelancer as an expensive necessity. But now that all the really good senior designers are freelancing we have to embrace them and re-think the financial model to include them as collaborative partners. So work out your project profit, deduct the freelancer’s share and accept that your share is what’s left. Remember a senior designer employee on £50k costs you £253 per day!” Gary Baxter, Lightbox
“During times of uncertainty it’s all about having true grit, determination and remaining confident in your product offer and positioning. Creating a mantra that captures in a heartbeat the very essence and spirit of your agency’s core belief is of value because it cuts through to the behaviour and standards required. All great teams have a mantra in times of need. They don’t panic, because they are; “Steady Under Fire.” What’s yours for 2017?” Rod Petrie, Rod Petrie Coaching
“I frequently meet talented sensitive creatives who’ve been slowly stripped of their joy by critical leadership, unconscious communication or lack of praise and recognition.
In this turbulent world, why not put JOY top of your list for 2017? Have the courage to ask for feedback, compassion to truly listen and commitment to increase joy in your studio. Your people and the world will be more joy filled because of you.” Emma Collins, Collins&Co
“Christmas is the ideal time to take a step back and consider what you want from life. What will success look like to you? After all, the ultimate purpose of any business is to help its owners achieve their personal goals. So, identify those goals, and make it your resolution to ask your team, accountant, and other advisors to help your business deliver what’s important to you.” Ifan Lloyd, IDH Accountancy
“Every time you are distracted – it takes approximately 23 minutes to get back to the task you were taken from. A group were asked to review their daily emails – over 35% of what they received was useless; 12% was considered immediate; balance could wait. Notifications and emails are spamming our lives and staying in control is the key to your maximum productivity. Don’t let them distract you.” Mark Lawrence Saunders, Agile Non-Exec Ltd
“There’s a reason why most agency business comes from referrals or existing clients. You have a far better chance of converting opportunities where you already have a relationship (your existing client) or a tacit relationship (a referral). So for your next new business meetings, instead of selling, take the pressure off and just listen. Think of this as just hello and the start of a relationship and the work will follow in time.” Lucy Mann, Gunpowder Consulting
“2017 is set to be a year of change. Change can often bring out negative behaviour if it is not managed correctly. But if you implement an open and honest forum, employees will feel safe to discuss their concerns. By nurturing this atmosphere and developing a positive culture you’ll maintain motivation and results through this uncertain period.” Aliya Vigor-Robertson, Journey HR
“Find out what your client wants, then give it to them, on time. Deceptively simple, but it is the very foundation of a good business that gets repeat work and referrals.” Jack O’Hern, Wright Vigar
With thanks to the DBA Experts for their contribution.
Image credits: © Yuliya Pauliukevich Dreamstime.com
“It’s fizzy, it’s ginger, its (rebrand) is phenomenal! I’m talking, of course, of the mighty Irn Bru. Scotland’s second national drink has re-enforced its bold maverick spirit with a witty homage to the brand’s differentiating claim, ‘made from girders.
Quite simply their 2016 rebrand reaffirms its status as a Scottish Icon. Iconic in its simplification of core equities and Scottish through its nod to the country’s industrial past. All hail the Bru!”
Brian Mansfield, Managing Partner, Taxi Studio
“I am truly impressed with the new Microsoft Surface Studio. It is the first Microsoft product I have seen in recent years, which will challenge Apple. The perfect balance of technology and “human centric” design.”
Paul Flowers, Chief Design Officer, LIXIL Water Technology
Take a look at Microsoft Surface Studio
“The Royal British Legion released a limited edition, hand-made brass poppy pin for Somme 100. Formed from British shell fuses collected from the front line, the brooches’ red-enamelled centres are partially made of battlefield mud. Each is dedicated to a life lost, coming with a certificate with a soldier’s details. It’s also a smart, modern looking piece of jewellery. I think this is exceptionally thoughtful design with real emotional punch for which the Legion should be commended.”
Erika Clegg, Co-founder, Spring
“Perhaps it’s a nostalgia thing and the fact that I’m old enough to remember Green Shield stamps, but I’ve liked watching the Co-op rebrand this year. It’s repositioned the business certainly in my mind, taking it back to fundamental values with a contemporary take on the heritage. It’s not just the identity design, but the careful consideration to the service offer and business model too. I like the authenticity.”
Lesley Gulliver, Managing Director, The Engine Room
Image credit: © Aprescindere Dreamstime.com