Info

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!
RSS Feed
Resourceful Designer - Resources to help streamline your graphic design and web design business.
2017
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2016
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2015
December
November
October
September


All Episodes
Archives
Now displaying: October, 2016
Oct 26, 2016
Print Brokering To Supplement Your Graphic Design Business - RD049

Print Brokering, it's easy money.

Is print brokering part of your graphic design business strategy? If not, it should be. We spend hours upon hours putting our creative skills to use for our clients. But if at the end of a design project we simply hand the printer files over to our client then we're leaving money on the table. With the addition of print brokering to your services you not only increase your value to your clients, but you can also drastically increase your income.

It's not as scary as it sounds

Getting into print brokering isn't that daunting a task. You don't even need to know anything about the print industry. You only need to know how to set up a proper print file, which you should be doing already. Then, instead of handing those files over to your client, you send them to the printer on your client's behalf.

So what's the point?

Let me illustrate it for you with an example.

Let's say you design a 4-colour tri-fold brochure for your client. You spend several hours creating it until it's exactly what your client wanted. You send your client the final file along with your invoice, and you get paid a few hundred dollars. Good job!

Now let's say you've added print brokering to your services. Instead of sending the final file to your client, you contact two or three printers for quotes on printing the brochure. You then show those quotes to your client, decide together which is the best one, and send the file to the selected printer. Once the job is printed and delivered to your client, you send them an invoice for both the design and the printing. In return, you receive an invoice from the printer MINUS your commission for bringing them the job. Did you catch the keyword in that last sentence? Commission. That's right; you receive a commission for sending the job to the printer. Depending on the cost of the printing job that commission could be several hundred, or perhaps even thousands of dollars.

That's the point!

So, how do you start print brokering?

Contact local commercial printers.

The easiest thing to do is contact your local commercial printers and ask them if they have special deals for graphic designs which bring them work? Chances are they already do. If that's the case, you simply have to let them know who you are and start earning income from print jobs you send them.

If they don't have some plan already in place here's one you could suggest to them. Ask if they are willing to give you a flat discount on all print jobs you bring to them. 15% is a good place to start. Whenever you have a print job to broker, the printer would supply you a quote for the full printing price. This quote is what you share with your client. Then, once the print job is finished, the printer invoices you, including your 15% discount. Your client pays you the full price of the quote, and you, in turn, pay the printer the discounted invoice, keeping 15% of the printing price as your commission.

This way, your client is not being taken advantage of since they are paying the same price they would have if they went directly to the printer themselves. The benefit to them is you now handle that part of the job for them. The benefit to the printer is unlike their regular customers who doesn't understand printing files or printing, once they train you how to supply files to them the way they want them, they never have to worry about your jobs again. This means faster turnaround through their pre-press department which translates to more profit for them. Of course, the benefit to you is the added income you get from the print brokering.

Copy shops

Copy shops are a bit different. They don't have the same profit margins as print shops and can't offer the same discounts. However, most copy shops offer tiered pricing. Meaning the price per copy drops with the more copies ordered. A deal you could offer them is to pay a certain amount in advance. Like a retainer of $500 or $1000 for example, in exchange, they would charge you their lowest rate for copies you order regardless of the quantity. They simply deduct your copies from the "retainer" you've provided them.

Trade Printers

Trade printers are similar to commercial printers except they only deal with clients "in the trade" which includes graphic designers. Trade printers offer wholesale like pricing, so unlike the commercial printers mentioned above, you simply mark up their quotes by whatever margin you want to make before giving the price to your client.

Online Printers

Online printers such as ePrintFast offer low prices because they bulk print their jobs. Your business card order is printed on the same sheet as many other business card orders, lowering the cost for each of you. Even with shipping costs, the prices are great. That's how they offer prices that your local commercial printers can't compete with. You can make a good income by adding a hefty markup to their prices. Search online for similar printers near you.

Print brokering isn't just for paper

You can take your print brokering service beyond the printed page. Screen printed t-shirts, ball caps, coffee mugs, pens, pins, etc. You name it. If it can be printed on, you can make a profit from it.

Do you use print brokering to supplement your business?

I would love to know if you offer print brokering as part of your business. Let me know what they are by leaving a comment for this episode.

Resourceful Designer is one of the 12 best graphic design podcasts!

Resourceful Designer is #2 on a list of the 12 best graphic design podcasts put out by Creative Bloq. Here's what the article had to say.

Want to nail the business side of design? Hit up Mark Des Cotes for top advice

If you're interested in the business side of graphic design, Mark Des Cotes' Resourceful Designer is a must. With 48 episodes recorded so far, it's aimed at helping home based graphic designers and web designers streamline their business, with plenty of advice, tips and resources to help you get things right.

Each episode covers a specific theme, such as how to save money, dealing with deadlines and what to do when you mess up a a project and much more. And as well as the podcast, Resourceful Designer also has an in-depth blog plus a useful list of design resources.

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 Stacie

Why do we need a Pantone color book and which one should we buy? What's the difference between printing in 4 color and spot colors? And is it affordable for a client to print in more than 4 colors?

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

Resources of the week

iloveimg.com offers an array of tools for compressing, resizing, cropping, and converting image files from other formats to JPG, or from JPG to png or gif. Modify all your images en masse in one place. It takes just a few clicks with their easy-to-use tools.
Everything your clients need for their image work is there, and it’s all free!

iloveimg not great for compressing images since they don’t give you much control over the quality of their compression. Instead, I suggest optimizilla.com. This online image optimizer uses a smart combination of the best optimization and lossy compression algorithms to shrink JPEG and PNG images to the minimum possible size while keeping the required level of quality. Again, completely free.

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

Oct 18, 2016
Things To Do Before Starting A Home Based Graphic Design Business - RD048

Before starting your home based graphic design business.

It sounds easy, doesn't it? You have your skills and a computer, so why not start a graphic design business from your home? Go for it I say. However, there are certain things you need to do before starting on your new journey.

In this episode of the Resourceful Designer podcast, I go into detail on what you should do before starting your own home based graphic design business. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast so you never miss an episode.

Required research before starting your business.

The first thing you need to do before starting your home based graphic design business is research. Being prepared for what's to come is the key to success. Here are a few things you should look into.

Choose your type of business

You have the options of operating as a sole proprietor, a partnership with someone, or one of the many forms of corporations. Choosing your business structure lays the groundwork for what you will do next.

Study up on tax laws

It's a good idea to learn what you can about the tax laws where you live. What can or can't you claim as business expenses? What tax loopholes can you take advantage of? Do you need to collect taxes from your clients when you invoice them?

Be aware of zoning laws

Zoning laws differ depending on where you live. Check with your city or county to see what affects you. Depending on where you live you may be limited to how you can run your graphic design business.

Size up your competitions

It's always a good idea to know who you're up against. Find out who is offering similar services in your area and figure out how you plan on carving out your own corner of the market.

What you need to get before starting your business.

Write a business plan

A business plan will help you stay focused and keep you on track to succeeding as a business owner. Not to mention they are a requirement if you plan on incorporating your business.

Register your business name

Find out the requirements in your area and register your business name. This will protect you in the future should someone else try to operate under the same name as you.

Obtain a business permit

Even home-based businesses require a business permit to operate legally. Contact your municipal government for instructions on obtaining your business permit.

Get business insurance

Just because you're working from home doesn't mean you're covered. Homeowner's insurance doesn't cover your business. Contact your insurance company to find out what options are available to you.

Get help before starting your business.

Where to look

Search your local or nearby communities and contact the Chamber of Commerce, the Economic Development Board and the Business Education Centre. These organisations often offer free advice to help you start your business.

Look for business incubators in your area. They may offer classes and/or resources to help start your business.

Visit your local library. Most libraries offer resources to help small business owners.

Find professional help

Hire a business lawyer to help with things like contracts and incorporating your business.

Hire an accountant for financial advice and to help with your bookkeeping and tax returns.

Visit your bank manager to discuss your best options for a business account and other ways the bank can help you.

Additional help

Take business courses or workshops at a local college to improve your business knowledge.

Contact your local college or university for interns to assist you with writing your business plan.

Visit the US Small Business Administration website for podcasts, webinars, and basic information about starting and growing a business.

 

Are you ready to start your graphic design business?

What research and prep work are you doing before starting your business? Let me know by leaving 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 Daniele

I have a recurring issue that I need to solve as I do not want to face it anymore.

The issue is how to properly store bookmarks of helpful websites, web aps, articles and so on. We spend most of our time online and we use some great resources. We need to keep a track of them and store safely for a later use. I have hundreds of bookmarks on Google chrome divided in folders, whilst Chrome does a good job on offering a search bar for a quick lookup, I have found myself looking for an extended length of time as I would not remember how I called that folder or link.

So, I wonder if there is a better way than just saving bookmarks on Chrome?

To find out what I told Daniele you’ll have to listen to the podcast. But I'll give you a hint. I recommended she get the book Evernote Essentials.

Resource of the week is Have i been pwned?

Have i been pwned? is a free resource for anyone to quickly assess if they may have been put at risk due to an online account of theirs having been compromised or "pwned" in a data breach. A "breach" is an incident where a hacker illegally obtains data from a vulnerable system, usually by exploiting weaknesses in the software. All the data in the site comes from website breaches which have been made publicly available.

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

 

Oct 11, 2016
Bartering Your Graphic Design Services - RD047

Have you ever considered bartering your design skills?

Like it or not, money rules our world. Without it, businesses fail, economies collapse and people suffer. However, money isn't the only commodity when it comes to doing business. Thousands of years ago, long before currencies were introduced, people relied on bartering in order to survive. If you had a field of wheat but no meat and your neighbour had a herd of cattle but no grain, the two of you would barter the goods you had in exchange for those you required. Everybody was happy in the end.

Bartering still remains a viable way of conducting business and there's no reason why it wouldn't work for your graphic design business.

In this week's Resourceful Designer podcast I share examples of how bartering can help your business. Be sure to have a listen, or better yet, subscribe to the podcast so you never miss an episode.

What is bartering?

According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Barter means to trade or exchange commodities (such as products or services) for other things instead of for money.

Have you ever seen a classified ad where someone has a boat and is looking to trade it for a car? That's bartering. It's a trade in which both involved parties feel like they are getting a good deal. Maybe even the better deal.

The idea behind bartering is for you to trade something, such as your graphic design services for something you find more valuable in return.

The power of bartering

Have you ever heard of Kyle MacDonald? He's a Canadian blogger who in 2005 started with one red paperclip and over the course of one year, bartered 14 different trades with the final trade making him the owner of a two-story farmhouse in Saskatchewan Canada. All without any money ever exchanging hands. This story alone should prove to you the value of bartering.

Bartering and your graphic design business

So how does bartering relate to your business? Simple, trade your time and skills for goods and services in return.

When I first started my home based graphic design business I had an old used desk I purchased off my old employer. It was wobbly and didn't look very nice, but it did the job it was required to do. Then one day I was asked to quote on a new website for a master woodworker. The price I quoted was too expensive for him but he asked if I would be willing to build it for him in exchange for a custom made wood desk. We agreed that I would purchase the required wood, and he would build the desk at no charge to me. In exchange, I would build a custom website for him. All he would have to pay was the hosting fee.

In both our minds we were getting the better deal. He was getting a new website, something he couldn't afford and was incapable of doing himself. I was getting a solid wood desk, built to my specifications, that I would never have spent the money on otherwise.

Perceived value.

The appeal of bartering all comes down to perceived value. Both parties involved perceive the value of the goods or service they are receiving as more valuable than those they are providing.

You design for a living so spending a few hours in front of your computer creating comes naturally to you. But to someone else, the idea of doing that seems daunting and beyond their capabilities. The same goes for you. Your client may have a skill or product that you can't produce on your own. So to you, it's perceived as more valuable than your few hours in front of your computer.

Bartering is truly a win-win scenario.

Bartering ideas

  • Are you a parent with active kids? You could barter your services in exchange for your child's membership in a club, group or organisation.
  • Do you have a hobby? Barter your skills with other enthusiasts in exchange for whatever you need to grow in your hobby.
  • Do you need anything for your home or office? Barter with clients for the things you need.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to what you can get through bartering. Why don't you give it a try?

Have you bartered your services before?

I would love to know how you bartered your design services. Please leave 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 Tyler

I live in an area that has a deeply rooted DIY mentality. As a result, I am struggling to sell local businesses on the value of my marketing and design abilities. Do you have any recommendations to break businesses out of this mentality, and show them the value of professional services?

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

Resource of the week ScreenFlow

This week’s resource is something I've shared before, ScreenFlow screen recording software. It has helped me streamline my graphic design business so much that I have to share it again. Using ScreenFlow has saved me so much time and headaches. Instead of teaching clients how to use their new websites and then helping them again a month or so later when they’ve forgotten, now I just record a short instructions video showing them what to do. If they need a refresher or need to train someone new, they have access to the video and they don’t have to interrupt me for help. For that reason alone I highly recommend ScreenFlow.

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

1