9 March 2014

The Art of Good Business | Studio 404

Designing has been my life for the past nine years. I have been fortunate enough to have experienced a lot of good and bad client interactions. During the past nine years, I've also worked closely with business owners who have built multi-million dollar empires from hard work and good business. Being a freelancer, you often think of developing your craft to its greatest potential and not necessarily developing good business practices. I want to share some thoughts on the art of good business practices for freelancers.


After deciding to become a business owner, you must be aware that you are no longer just a creator. Being content with the amount of roles you’ll be playing in your business is key. You will be an operations manager, marketer, accountant, and administrative professional all in one day. No matter who you hire to perform these tasks, it’s imperative you know how to do them yourself. You must know how you want your business to operate prior to interacting with clients, vendors, and employees.

Develop Your Process Flow

The earlier you develop your project’s process flow, the easier it is to on board and manage projects. What happens after clients get in touch with you for an inquiry? How will you implement changes to the project’s scope? What is your process for processing payments? As you grow, you’ll notice your process flow will begin to change but it’s easier to start off with a plan. Make a checklist of everything that needs to be done and incorporate it into every project. It sounds silly, but it really helps avoid mistakes and keep yourself accountable.

Communication is Key

Designers are usually terrible communicators. As the director of operations in my creative strategy and branding firm, it was imperative that we implement great communication practices with our clients. We try to be consistent in our updates to clients on multi-phase projects. We make ourselves available during business owners to answer any questions that are relevant to the project because in the beginning of our projects, we make it key to inform our clients on the importance of progress. Having a great communication system between you and your clients helps clients feel informed and gives your business credibility.

Dealing With Disputes

Unfortunately, not everything goes according to plan. You will take a bad client. You will get into a dispute over something you've done, and it’s best to just deal with it. If you’re communicating properly and documenting your project, you are usually able to provide any backup needed to support your cause. If you see that a client isn't the right fit, it’s best to end the project early on. You can’t fault yourself for the bad things that happen. If you catch them early and resolve them quickly, it’s much easier to look towards the future. Also, keep your disputes internal as often as possible. It’s never great to be the person talking poorly about their clients via social media. Your future clients can see this as well.

Love Your Craft

Most importantly, you must absolutely love what you are doing. If you don’t love what you do, it’ll be very difficult to get through the day-to-day operations. You own a business because you believe in your services or products. You want to share them with people who you want to connect with. If your dream is your business, you have nothing to worry about. Love what you do—all of what you do, and do it well.

About Angelica Yarde from Studio 404

Angelica Yarde is a designer/partner at Sevenality and owner of the Studio404 Paper Shop. She has been blogging for almost nine years at Studio 404, where she shares inspirational thoughts on design, business, and blogging. Now located in Central Florida, she can be found attempting to be a runner, practicing her asanas, tweeting, or lettering.

Portfolio | Blog | Shop | Facebook | Google+ | Instagram | PinterestTwitter

I just wanted to thank Angel for doing this post for me and hope you will go and visit her blog, because I find that all her posts are pretty brilliant and really helpful, as she has lots to do with blogging and business. I have been following her blog for quite a while and am really happy to have had the chance for her to do a post for me. You can check out my other business posts or my pinterest board about business for even more information.