Studio and Entrepreneurship
This weeks lecture was to learn different design models from different practices that formed a panel discussion on how four business owners manage their practice. The practices consisted of four types of models which were, Agency, Collective, Studio and Freelance as everyone shares different opinion and experiences that shaped their career goals. Every practice went through their models in specific details on how a studio is run to what type of clients and projects they would be delivering and managing. I found Kate Moross, Studio Moross such a great example and inspiration in her presentation with the work and life balance in her studio. Showing that is the right director to look after everyone in her studio whilst determined to bring great success through passion and hard work. This consists of some small incentives to help her peers get by on a day-to-day business whilst enjoying the studio lifestyle. Really liked how share the process and influence me in how a studio or business can be achieved in this insightful presentation.
The fee structure and How we make money by Moross identifies the way they go about work and I really like how she outlines this because finding work can be worrying and this structure it gives a good indication of where to find the small and big jobs when necessary for a business. Overall the lectures really identify the issues in starting up your business and there was some really sound advice that I take from this to help move my career further if I would like to go freelance or creating my own studio. The benefits of these discussions are the way the models had similarly approached but what was different the scale of the business that they have to get the right business to keep their overheads in check and the well-being of their employees to achieve the best results in their work. This quite important as projects need to be stimulating as well as enjoyable for everyone to participate and this considers always keeping your thought on what niche you want to explore for your practice and how can you keep on point to find new ways to explore. This then needs to be put into practice so you can create a successful business in loving design as well as making a good living.
Starting a successful design studio is a lot like making a really shitty quilt
That, and other hard-earned business lessons from HAWRAF’s Carly Ayres
Studio HAWRAF called it quit back in 2019 after three years creating work different—playful, expressive, experimental, and tech-forward where four partners worked along with each other with their Hard at Work, Rude as Fuck stance on the design industry. This article Eye On Design talks about the insight of running their studio and sharing documents of their finance and business plan. Overall the idea of running their studio seemed very much an experiment in itself being ballsy in approaching clients to project outcomes.
I love this idea where the studio’s put together rules or idealisms that is a manifesto to their practice, which one other studio I’ve seen do before which is Dixon Baxi and sure many others have done the same. This looks like a task that can really separate you from the work you don’t want to do and different from your peers in the industry. This is an action I will do for myself to help understand what I do and what I want to do as this can help maybe to narrow down a niche I might really enjoy doing for now and future projects.
This weeks challenge was something that should be straight forward but there were some obstacles in decision making for a business proposal that can be justified to your experience and trade that is to offer. It became easier in finding the right resources to help with planning and calculating your proposal by keeping in mind the overheads you have to consider when running a business. You don’t want to fall short when you start especially finding that you have to pay for the equipment, software, tax and even National Insurance to cover your expenses.
I began by writing notes on a structure for my proposal and thought about a subject area that will be an interest to me. I wanted to make this proposal to do with branding, packaging and strategic thinking where all these are of great interest to me where print and digital can come together to create unique experiences for brands that can help communities. I liked the idea of working on a project for Hello Fresh as it’s their 10th Anniversary in bringing meals to peoples doorsteps with ambitious food recipes that can be cooked within minutes. It’s something we as a family have used and continue to use their recipes to make great meals for the family.
Once I found an area that interested me for my proposal I started looking into a cost sheet, timeframe and deliverables that will be applied to my proposal that can make this project happen.
As you can see I worked with three pricing models that I read in the Eye On Design about the Studio HAWRAF business model that I found really useful in not having one pricing structure. This allowed me to work with a realistic goal in mind and how I can use this model going forward. Maybe it’s not too hard after all as the value I can bring to the table will bring me interesting clients and projects that I can work on great design work.
This workshop gave me the freedom to explore a project that I can put into practice a proposal I feel would fit the cost for the project. The project scope is to create a marketing campaign for Hello Fresh 10 year anniversary to give something back to its customer by creating new packaging for new meal plans, advertising print for billboards and 6 sheet posters, video advert for social and TV broadcast and digital content to distribute across many platforms and websites to voice the work that Hello Fresh has done over the years for people across the country. Just thinking about the hourly and daily rates, I presumed to just think of a number that I felt should be paid, but really you need to consider the overheads, national insurance, pension schemes, software, equipment and also teas and biscuits that keep the office happy which is a very important ingredient to run a business. Overall we need to wear different hats throughout the business to maintain and manage a business strategy to keep it running. So when naturally we are designers who love to be creative and coming up with ideas, we also need not forget to be business-driven to be true to your values and how you apply that to your practice. Personally, you need to stand by your decision making within your mind you will make mistakes along the way which you can be wrong. Just learn and put this method into practice which you can at time’s negotiate with potential clients if they cant meet you with your prices. This is why it’s good to have goals of two or three price bands that you can be flexible with and negotiate down with that in mind if the project is worth doing for losing a little money on it. It could lead to bigger business in the future if there is some room to negotiate.