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Running a Design Business – Starting Small

By: Petrula Vrontikis

Duration: 1h 33m

Level: Beginner


Learn how to transition your freelance design career into a full-fledged business, one step at a time, in this installment of Running a Design Business. Petrula Vrontikis, founder of her own design firm, explains how to parse the legal options, business licenses, and tax ramifications that come with starting a small business; hire subcontractors and employees; get work; and maintain good business relationships. The course also points to important trends in the industry that your office might want to embrace, such as virtual partnerships that allow you to nimbly collaborate, and common small business challenges that you want to make sure to avoid.

Topics include:

* Naming and structuring your business
* Keeping records
* Cultivating business relationships
* Hiring employees and subcontractors
* Creating schedules and managing deadlines
* Understanding industry trends
* Avoiding the pitfalls of spec work
* Promoting your business through social media


Introduction 2m 52s
Welcome 56s
Disclaimer 40s
About this course 41s
Exercise files 35s

1. A Solid Foundation 11m 13s
Starting for all the right reasons 2m 11s
Balancing accountability and creativity 2m 29s
Defining realities and roles 3m 8s
Nine steps to developing a business plan 3m 25s

2. Structure and Form 18m 15s
Understanding your options for legal structure 2m 48s
Creating partnerships 2m 42s
Naming your design office 3m 15s
Project management and workflow 3m 56s
Record keeping 3m 15s
An overview of business licenses 2m 19s

3. Getting Work 11m 59s
Business development methods 2m 57s
Self-promotion: Overview 3m 7s
Website considerations 2m 55s
Using social media 3m 0s

4. Developing Contracts 12m 24s
Estimating basics 1m 51s
An outline of contract structure 1m 48s
Terms and conditions basics 4m 4s
Tracking and billing revisions 2m 30s
The pitfalls of spec work 2m 11s

5. Keeping It Running 17m 33s
Getting a great start 2m 39s
Effective correspondence methods 2m 32s
Learning to say no 2m 20s
Getting paid 3m 19s
Strategies for nonpayment situations 2m 3s
Hiring employees 4m 40s

6. The Trends 12m 55s
New business models 3m 47s
The new designer-entrepreneur 3m 30s
Cross-disciplinary work 2m 30s
A commitment to social and environmental causes 3m 8s

7. Looking Ahead 5m 21s
Career sustainability 2m 57s
Setting creative goals 2m 24s

Conclusion 39s
Next steps 39s


Petrula Vrontikis teaches designers how to make things and how to make things happen.

Petrula is a professor at ArtCenter College of Design, teaching graphic design, presentation skills, career development, and professional practice courses. She encourages students to explore their potential as designers and as a catalyst for change.

Her current work includes consulting, creating brand communication strategies, training, and coaching. She received an AIGA Los Angeles Fellows Award honoring her as an essential voice raising the understanding of design within the industry, and among the business and cultural communities. She served as a national advisory board member of the AIGA, and is frequently asked to serve on numerous local, national, and international design juries.

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Salepage: https://www.linkedin.com/learning/running-a-design-business-starting-small
Archive: https://archive.ph/wip/ncqgJ

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