Last year was pivotal for my solo design business.
I made 3 main changes.
Things that I have known for years that I needed to do but always postponed because it’s easier this way.
Things that if you make the effort to even merely do, will have a significant positive impact on your business.
So, let’s break it down.
#1 The stash:
This is the runway money that I have saved.
It’s around 6 months of living expenses. Even 3 months is fine. Sometimes it makes sense to suffer through a few shit projects just to get that cushion. So when you jump on a call with potential clients, you don’t have the feeling that you HAVE to get the project. It changes your mindset and you don’t even know it.
#2 New client rule:
New client, new price.
I used to say the same price for at least two years before I realized there is no reason for that. For the next new client, you just double the price, keep a straight face, and shut up until the client says something. Also, have a lower number in mind that is at least 50% higher than your previous that you cannot go below.
If they try to lower the ball, you say “this is the lowest I can go, lower than that doesn’t make sense for me to do the project”.
#3 Project size rule:
No more “quick fixes”, “just a few screens”, “it shouldn’t take that much time”.
Only big projects with the potential of a multi-month retainer contract. One time, I remember I counted 7 different projects that I worked on on the same day. Only one was portfolio-worthy. The rest that I was doing were scraps because I couldn’t say no. Not any more.
If you do these 3 things, I’m not going to be surprised if you managed to double your income as well. I’m not saying it’s easy. I’m saying it works, you should try it.