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Resourceful Designer - Resources to help streamline your graphic design and web design business.

Offering resources to help streamline your home based graphic design and web design business so you can get back to what you do best… Designing!
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Now displaying: September, 2016
Sep 30, 2016
Take Care Of Yourself Not Just Your Business - RD046

What happens to your business if you don't take care of yourself?

Running a home based graphic design business offers you the freedom and flexibility to work when you want and the way you want. But what if you don't take care of yourself and you get sick? What becomes of your business?

In this episode of the Resourceful Designer podcasts, I discuss how you need to take care of yourself if you want your graphic design business to prosper.

As designers, our clients rely on us to give their projects our undivided attention. But how are we suppose to do that if we're dashing to the washroom every few minutes or if we have a headache so bad that we can't look at our computer screens? The answer is we can't.

Face it, when we're under the weather our business suffers.

So what can you do about it?

Have you ever heard the term "prevention is the best form of medication"? It holds true for us designers. If we take care of ourselves both physically and mentally we won't have to face this dilemma that often.

Although there is no guaranteed way to keep you from getting sick. There are things you can do to help minimise the occurrences. Try to eat healthier meals and snacks. Drink lots of water to stay hydrated. Exercise to keep your body fit. Make sure you get enough rest. Wash your hands!

It's not rocket science. We've heard all these tips many times before. But if we don't follow them, they won't help.

We graphic designers often feel that so much depends on us that we neglect our own needs. Don't' make yourself sick because you're trying to please everyone else.

Working too much can make you sick.

There's nothing wrong with working long hours or working all hours of the day. Setting your own hours is actually one of the benefits of running a home-based graphic design business. However, problems start when you do it every day and all the time without setting time aside to take care of yourself.

Set time aside during your busy workday for yourself. Get up and stretch. Look out the window. Go for a walk. If you can afford it, be a bit more creative and go for a massage or get a manicure. The point is to rejuvenate and refresh yourself. Because if you run yourself into the ground you won't be able to accomplish anything and your business will suffer.

If you find it too hard to make time throughout your day, try setting larger periods of time aside each week. Take Friday afternoons off or break up your week with a Wednesday morning sabbatical.

But I don't have time to take time off.

Trust me, it's more important to take care of yourself than it is to check things off your to-do list.

Your health forms the base of your business. If you're not healthy it suffers. And when you are suffering nothing gets done on your to-do list. Even if you don't have the time you can still take care of yourself by starting your day with a good breakfast.

Why not schedule a workout or meditate before starting work? Not a morning person? lunch time is a perfect time to exercise. Not only will it help you stay fit, but it will also give your brain time to process what you did that morning and prepare it for the afternoon tasks to come. When you're healthier and stronger, you'll be able to better serve your clients and family.

And don't forget what I talked about in episode 42. It's OK to say no to things that take up all your time. You don't need to do every little task that family and friends ask of you. Determine what really needs to be done and say no to the rest.

How do you take care of yourself?

What do you do to stay healthy and ensure that your business isn't interrupted by sickness? Leave a comment for this episode.

Questions of the Week

Submit your question to be featured in a future episode of the podcast by visiting the feedback page.

This week’s question comes from Sara

My pricing packages state that printing or other vendor expenses are charged separately. How do you best charge for those items after the hours have been used? Do you also give a list of hours to the client of how they were used? When you give estimates, just give them in hours?

To find out what I told Sara you’ll have to listen to the podcast.

Resource of the week the Resourceful Designer podcast

To celebrate the one year anniversary of the Resourceful Designer podcast on September 30th, which is also International Podcast Day, this week's resource is the podcast itself. If you know any designers that could benefit from the show please share it with them. Simply send them to resourcefuldesigner.com/subscribe where they can subscribe via their favourite platform.

If they ask you what a podcast is, take the opportunity to introduce them to this wonderful medium of podcasts by showing them how to subscribe and listen to the show. And make sure you tell them to leave a review for the show in iTunes once they've listened to it.

Subscribe to the podcast

Subscribe on iTunes
Subscribe on Stitcher
Subscribe on Android
Subscribe on Google Play Music

Contact me

Send me feedback

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

I want to help you.

Running a graphic design or web design business all by yourself isn't easy. If there are any struggles you face running your design business please reach out to me. I'll do my best to help you by addressing your issues in a future blog post or podcast episode here at Resourceful Designer. You can reach me at feedback@resourcefuldesigner.com

Sep 16, 2016
It's OK for Graphic Designers To Ask For Help - RD045

It's OK for Graphic Designers To Ask For Help

What's the one thing every business person struggles with, regardless of their occupation? The answer is time. No matter how hard you work there just never seems to be enough time in the day to get everything done. So what's the solution? Ask for help.

You see, the problem is time is finite. Once it's gone, it's gone. So you have to make the best use of the time you have.

This applies to life in general but in this week's Resourceful Designer podcast, I'm talking about how it applies to your graphic design business. About all the time you spend struggling or fiddling with client projects as well as other aspects of your business. You'll never get that time back. So why waste it in the first place when all you have to do is ask for help with it.?

I said I was going to talk about your business, however, there are things you could ask for help with that are not necessarily related to your business, but can still help benefit your business. Consider getting help with things like housekeeping, childcare and yard maintenance. Even having your groceries delivered to you. By hiring someone else to complete these tasks, you are freeing up your time for more productive things.

Why would you hire someone to do all these simple things you could easily do yourself? Efficiency, that's why. Think about it. A housekeeper or yard worker may charge you $10-$20/hr. You, on the other hand, make up to 5 times that amount when designing. So why not use your time to do the work you get paid higher for, and hire someone else to use their time to do the other work.

Ask For Help For Your Graphic Design Business

One of the easiest ways to ask for help is to outsource the things you are not capable of or the things you really shouldn't be doing. This will free up your time to do the things only you can and should be doing.

There are certain parts of your business you can't or shouldn't outsource. When it comes to promoting your business, designing for your clients or networking you need to be front and centre. But things like invoicing, bookkeeping and banking can all be handled by someone else. Ask for help in these areas.

Spend money to save money.

An old adage in business is that you need to spend money in order to make money. Don't be afraid to spend money to hire people to help you. It may cut into your profits on that job. But it will free up your time to work on other projects. Meaning you'll be increasing your overall profit because your business will be completing two projects at the same time.

Where To Ask For Help.

Build a community.

The best place to ask for help is in a community you've built for yourself. Collect a list of Writers, developers, illustrators, proofreaders, UI experts, social media experts etc. that you can call upon whenever you have need of them. You can find these people locally, at meetups, in Facebook Groups, on sites like UpWork, or ask fellow designers for recommendations.

Don't feel guilty if you ask for help

Nobody can do everything. We're not expected to. That's why agencies are made up of teams. If there's a task that one person can't do, then another team member is called in to handle it.

Just because you work by yourself doesn't mean you have to suffer. There's no reason to feel guilty if you ask for help. Any good business owner, even those running fortune 500 companies will tell you that to run a highly profitable business you need to surround yourself with competent people. People who support you in the areas you're not proficient in. You may not be running an agency, but there's no reason you can't have your own team.

Be confident in the skills and abilities you bring to the table and focus on them. Ask for help from others and let them focus on the skills and abilities they bring to the table. Together you have a much higher chance of succeeding.

Don't fall into the procrastination rut

If you find yourself procrastinating on certain jobs, it may be a sign that you should ask for help. Procrastination is often a sign of not having confidence in your own abilities. It can occur because you are seeking perfection that you don't know if you're capable of, or you simply have a fear of failure. Asking for help can overcome these hurdles.

Look at your past accomplishments to build your confidence in what you’re capable of and focus on that. Take stock of your unique abilities, whatever it is you bring to the table. And then seek unique abilities in others to help you accomplish your goals.

Remember, you are the only you there is. Nobody else can be you. So Be you and do the things you are good at. Then ask for help and let others do what they're good at in order to help you.

Do you ask for help when it's needed?

There are many tasks in a graphic design business where a designer can ask for help. What are some of the ones you've reached out for? Leave a comment for this episode.

Questions of the Week

Sorry, no question this week. Submit your own question to be featured in a future episode of the podcast by visiting feedback page.

Resource of the week 10% Off The Ultimate Divi Bundle

If you use the Divi theme by Elegant Themes, you're going to want to check out The Ultimate Divi Bundle. It consists of 5 of the best Divi plugins there are. These plugins were developed specifically to enhance the already amazing Divi theme.

The 5 plugins included are:
Divi Booster: With a really easy to use interface, Divi Booster accelerates your Divi development by allowing you to make powerful changes to your Divi website. edit footer info, change the look of a sidebar, alter some of the module features, and more. All the little things that you wish you could do with Divi are now possible.

Divi Switch: Adds over 50 toggle switches to your WordPress Dashboard to quickly and easily turn certain Divi features on or off without having to go searching through Options.

Aspen Footer Editor: The one part of Divi that lacks the finesse of the rest of the theme is the Footer. This plugin opens that up and allows you to easily change the look and style of any Divi footer.

Divi Dashboard Welcome: Allows you to customise the Welcome screen whenever you or your client logs into WordPress. Add a contact form, leave a special note for your client. Write custom instructions. It's all possible with this plugin.

Divi Ghoster: Allows you to white label your Divi site. Allowing you to hide the fact that you used Divi to build the site from your clients, theme detectors, and everyone.

This bundle normally sells for $60, but if you use my link you'll receive an additional 10% off your purchase.

Subscribe to the podcast

Subscribe on iTunes
Subscribe on Stitcher
Subscribe on Android
Subscribe on Google Play Music

Contact me

Send me feedback

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

I want to help you.

Running a graphic design or web design business all by yourself isn't easy. If there are any struggles you face running your design business please reach out to me. I'll do my best to help you by addressing your issues in a future blog post or podcast episode here at Resourceful Designer. You can reach me at feedback@resourcefuldesigner.com

Sep 9, 2016
Overcoming Hurdles In Your Graphic Design Business - RD044

From time to time, every business will have hurdles to overcome.

Have you ever had one of those weeks that you just want to sweep under the rug and forget ever happened? Me too. In fact, that's how last week went for me. But instead of letting it go, I've decided to share my hurdles with you in this episode of the Resourceful Designer podcast.

My week from hell

My week started off like any other until I received a phone call from a website client. There was a problem with their site. Members couldn't log out. I had recently migrated their website from a Windows server to a Linux server and thought perhaps something had happened in the move. I told them I'd look into it and got to work.

This should have been a warning sign but it took me roughly 5 hours to find and fix the problem. A problem that should have only taken me two minutes if I had just looked. I spent hours combing through code trying to find the issue when it turns out the Logout button had the wrong URL associated with it.

Other than some wasted time that issue wasn't so bad.

Then on Wednesday I received an email from a client asking me when their new website would be launched. This one took me by surprise because I thought I had already launched it two weeks prior. But then I remembered that I had encountered a database error while migrating their site from my staging server to its permanent home, and had decided to put off the launch until the next day.

Somehow it slipped my mind the following morning, and two weeks later I'm being asked by the client for an ETA.

I quickly launched their site, but in the process, I forgot that this particular client runs their own internal email server and I didn't update the proper MX records to account for it.

To make a long story short (I go into all the details in the podcast), I broke their email and it took several hours the next day to get it working again. Unfortunately, this client relies heavily on email for their business and having it down for several hours cost them thousands of dollars in revenue. All because of my mistake.

Needless to day, I felt terrible. Sick to my stomach in fact. But what could I do? The damage was done and I had to move on.

Overcoming Hurdles

Sometimes in business things will derail you. It's up to you to decide how you'll proceed. Will you stop? Or will you overcome those hurdles?

You have to realise that these hurdles are only a drop in the pond when you look at your business as a whole. They may seem scary when they happen but in the long run they won't affect your business as much as you initially think they will.

What Hurdles Have You Overcome?

What hurdles have you encountered in your business? Let me know by leaving a comment for this episode.

Resource of the week the Divi 3.0

The new Divi 3.0 theme by Elegant Themes is a real game changer when it comes to website design. The new Visual Builder allows you to create and make changes to your website… on your actual website! Meaning you actually get to manipulate the website as you see it! Want to change some text, simply highlight it and type in the new text. Highlight and adjust the font and style as well. Don’t like where an element of the site is? Simply drag it to a new location. There’s no need to preview or refresh the page because all your changes happen in real time right on your page.

You can try out the new Divi 3.0 theme but visiting resourcefuldesigner.com/trydivi and for a limited time get 20% off any membership at Elegant Themes.

Subscribe to the podcast

Subscribe on iTunes
Subscribe on Stitcher
Subscribe on Android
Subscribe on Google Play Music

Contact me

Send me feedback

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

I want to help you.

Running a graphic design or web design business all by yourself isn't easy. If there are any struggles you face running your design business please reach out to me. I'll do my best to help you by addressing your issues in a future blog post or podcast episode here at Resourceful Designer. You can reach me at feedback@resourcefuldesigner.com

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