Creative Industry Related Information for Graphic Designers & Web Designers!

Why You Need to Build a Business Blog

Posted: July 27th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Articles, Business | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Whether you are running a restaurant, an eBay shop or are a freelance creative, running a successful business blog could raise the profile of your organization or enterprise significantly. It might seem like a whole lot of work, writing posts then sharing them, and maybe you are not a natural writer, or you think that you don’t have anything to say. Whatever your hesitation, it’s time to move on. A blog alongside your website could be the difference between your business getting by and thriving. Read these top reasons to start blogging, and get yourself ready for the world of interacting with other people in the written form.

Raise your Personal Profile

Making yourself more visible and occupying a public position may seem intimidating, but establishing yourself as somebody who is engaged in their particular field is only going to help you further grow your business. In the age of social media, the individual has more of a status than ever before, and personality sells products and services. If you are able to write a blog each week, ensure your content is relevant and insightful: write about industry tips, demonstrate a good working knowledge of the business environment, and engage with your clients and customers. Make it readable, and you are guaranteed to inspire confidence in potential customers.

Promote the Right Kind of Sharing

Each blog post you produce will be read by some person or people, therefore, the chances of your post being shared are quite high. Although it may not go viral, a few shares of a single post means it’s working, and you should continue writing or blog post. Improving your number of shares, however, will take time. It’s a slow game, and not one you can rush. Of course, when your traffic starts to increase, you need to ensure your blog is able to withstand a large amount of people, all at ones. Consider using a service like Best Web Hosting that offers affordable packages.

Establish Your Business as a Part of a Community

Blogging is a means of creating and nurturing a group of people who are interested in what you have to say and write about. You can build a network of like-minded individuals, and watch your blog thrive as people start to conversate with one another. Not only does this increase your Google ranking and your success, but it also means you’re a reliable, reputable business who people turn to when they need support.

Develop Your Business Brand

One of the main benefits that blogging could have on your business is the discoverability of your brand. With catchy, field specific titles you could direct traffic to your website from different fields and even countries. This is where having a strong brand which is distinguishable becomes incredibly important; therefore, make sure whoever reads your blog also sees your branding.

Even if they don’t click on your business page right away, they might remember you or feel familiar with your aesthetic when it comes to choosing a service or product you offer down the line. Chances are, if they are reading a blog on your page, then they are interested in the industry you operate within.

 


Defining Project Scope – Scope Creep

Posted: July 21st, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Business, Design | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

You’ve met with your client and defined your project’s goals. You understand the scope and have worked with the client to define a clear goal. You breathe a sigh of relief, knowing everything is in place for you to get started. But then things start to change …

Suddenly, the client has a better idea of what you can do to make the project a success, which, yes, will involve some additional work you didn’t talk about earlier. You’ve worked hard, but the client now wants to change direction, making everything you’ve done a waste. What you thought was a straight shot to launch has turned into a meandering journey through the backroads of indecision.

Welcome to the wonderful world of scope creep.

What is scope creep?

You’ve probably heard the term somewhere. But what is it? Is it some sort of curse? If you say “scope creep” three times in front of your laptop, will the simple website design you’re working on turn into an an email campaign, social media contest, anda logo redesign?

Read More


3 Common Tax Mistakes Most Small Businesses Make

Posted: March 28th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Business | No Comments »

Launching a product that has insufficient demand and targeting the wrong audience are among the most common reasons for a business to fail. A less common reason they go under, but one certain to kill a business that makes them, are tax mistakes. Small errors can be corrected if discovered soon enough, but many common tax mistakes literally compound with interest and fees until the firm is shut down. Here are the three most common tax mistakes small businesses make.

Not Handling Withholding Correctly

Unless you are running a company with only contractors and partners, your company needs to withhold income taxes, Social Security taxes and FICA taxes for your employees. Failing to do so will result in penalties. Withholding the money without sending it on to the IRS leads to major problems, and if they think it was done deliberately, you risk criminal charges. Conversely, failing to segregate the tax withholding funds in a separate account could result in someone spending the tax withholding funds by accident. A tax expert with an accredited master in taxation can assist you with this.

Not Handling Sales Taxes Properly

Find out if you need to deal with sales tax before you start selling your product or service. If you are obligated to collect sales tax, you will probably have to register for a sales tax permit. Then you have to set up your online shopping cart and cash registers to charge the right amount of sales tax for every transaction. Complicating matters are the complex rules regarding what is taxed and at what rate.

For example, many states exempt food from the sales tax, but disagree on what is classified as food. Thus the salted peanuts sold by your store aren’t taxed, but chocolate coated and honey roasted peanuts probably are. If you’re selling a variety of taxed and untaxed products, you’ll need an inventory management system that can track the tax rate based on the product’s inventory number.

Online shopping carts typically don’t have a sales tax associated with the purchase unless the buyer is in your same state or you’re lucky enough to live in a state that doesn’t charge sales tax, but you still need to track the sale amount for income tax purposes later. Someone who has earned an online master in taxation degree can help you do this.

Failing to Send 1099s

Even if you set up your business so that it consists entirely of partners and contractors, you can’t avoid filling out at least a few tax forms each year. You are legally required to send 1099 forms every year to individuals and partnerships you pay each year. You are required to send a 1099 form to both the contractor and the IRS if the transactions totaled over $600 over the course of the year.

Keep your personal and professional finances separate from the start to protect yourself. Piercing the corporate veil to pay your bills out of the business account puts you at risk personally in case of business failure, while trying to pay today’s bills out of the tax withholding accounts risks criminal prosecution.


4 great reasons to raise your freelancing rate today

Posted: January 19th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Business, Quick Blurbs | No Comments »

Find out why raising your freelancing rate could mean not just more money, but also, better clients.

Read More


Free ebook: The Freelance Web Designer’s Guide

Posted: June 27th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Business | Tags: , , | 1 Comment »
The revolution has begun, and if you haven’t noticed, you’re missing out on an enormous opportunity.

Freelancing has always been a common “hobby” for creative professionals like designers and writers, but in the last decade or so, creative pros have started leaving the nine-to-five life in droves.

Now, this post isn’t meant to lure you to the “dark side” of freelancing, but to explain why it’s become the fastest growing professional group of our time (and will continue to be).

But if you’ve even thought about taking the leap, now may be the best time in history to do so.

Read More


Agile vs. Traditional – Which Project Management Model Fits Your Start-up’s Needs

Posted: August 1st, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Business | No Comments »

Managing projects in your startup is a major component in running your new company successfully. Yet, there are many project management styles. How do you know which one to choose? The answer is to understand the differences between the waterfall and agile methods to select the right one.

The Waterfall Method

Image via Flickr by menegue

The traditional method of project management, also known as the waterfall method, has its origins in software engineering. In this system a project is broken down into stages, and the project only moves to the next stage upon completion of the previous stage.

Typically the stages focus on planning, design, development, testing, production, and deployment. This method evolved out of production processes in which it would be too costly to re-do a stage once the project had moved on to the next stage.

Pros and Cons

The waterfall method forces you and your team to plan projects with great detail, which means you’ll discover a lot of issues before you ever start building and testing, and can modify the project’s design accordingly. You also end up with a lot of documentation in the waterfall method, which is especially valuable in the hectic beginnings of a startup company.

A major con of the waterfall method is the lack of testing through the process. Whether you’re designing software or working on a new marketing campaign for your startup, testing happens near the end of the waterfall of stages. If you’e missed any huge bugs, you basically have to start over. Similarly, if any stage wasn’t completed well you can’t go back and fix it in the waterfall method.

The Agile Method

The agile method was a response to the waterfall method’s inflexibility in certain areas of planning and development. Instead of creating a detailed plan and tackling each stage at once, the agile method starts with a simpler ideas and runs it through iterations called sprints. Each of these sprints is run from planning to testing, and then progress is evaluated at the end before moving to the next sprint.

Pros and Cons

The agile method is probably more comfortable for most startups because it allows transparency, constant testing and evaluating. Everyone knows exactly where the project is and how it’s faring, and it opens up considerable communication amongst your employees.

However, the agile method may not provide enough direction in a startup with limited resources. Since the ideas don’t start off with the severe planning that happens in the waterfall method, you may feel that the team is worrying too much about ideas and not about results, or that a project is stuck in sprints that aren’t working out all its issues.

Where Do You Fall?

When both methods have such clear pros and cons it can be hard to figure out which will work best for your startup. If you aren’t sure what will work, look into hiring a consulting firm like Routa Consulting; they’ll give you insight into the processes and into what your company needs to grow. Making these decisions early and developing workable techniques for managing projects at your startup is invaluable for its success.


Jason Santa Maria: Saying No

Posted: March 22nd, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Business | No Comments »


Mike Monteiro: F*ck You, Pay Me

Posted: March 22nd, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Business | No Comments »


If You Build It, They Will Come

Posted: February 27th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Business | No Comments »

Welcome back to our journey towards overcoming the plight of the creative entrepreneur. Up to this point we have been working hard to understand why, how and what we really do. We’ve also been working to understand our worth and figuring out how to charge for it. In this, our final installment, we are ready to jump into the abyss of finding the right clients with whom to partner to raise their value while charging our worth.

Out with the Old
One of the questions I get the most from other or aspiring creative entrepreneurs is “how do you find clients?”. My answer is always the same, “I don’t… they find me”. Sounds like a dream, right? Sounds like something you can only do after mastering your craft (which I haven’t), and working for tons of people on tons of really cool, high profile, projects.

Read More


7 Qualities of a Good Client

Posted: July 11th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Business | No Comments »

They say a business partnership is like a marriage. And a bad one can have repercussions that lasts for years. So, just like a marriage, you ought to make sure the qualities and characteristics of your business partner are compatible with your values.

Read More