Running a design business is very time consuming. Once it starts taking off, one of the hardest parts is finding the time to actually do any design work, especially if you are a freelancer. Thankfully, there are ways to liberate more time and focus on your design work. We explore a few of these in this article.
1. Use the right tools
Unless you are a web design agency, you don’t want to spend all your time on the technical aspects of your website. You want a website that does its job: show of your services and products, and convert visitors into customers.
For that, don’t bother with tools that come with a steep learning curve. Go for tools like Vert, which combines an incredibly easy-to-use interface for building pages with powerful tools to market your website and analyze conversions.
2. Outsource everything that can be outsourced
For anything you have to do, consider if somebody could do it just as good and cheaper. If the answer is “yes”, just hire someone to do it. Obviously, this is quite time-consuming in the beginning. Even afterwards, you have to replace people that stop working for you, so it’s not on autopilot.
However, outsourcing work is a good idea most of the time. First, you cannot be the best at everything, so it’s better to hire people that will improve your business. Second and last, if you are the best at designing, it’s a good idea to liberate some time to focus better on what you are good at.
3. Automate what can be automated
In your daily business chores, there are plenty of things that don’t even to be outsourced, because they can be automated. One of the obvious ones is customer support. If you work in software, you already know that support can be a time-sucker like no others. Using a chatbot that’s well set up, plenty of customers will solve their issues before getting to you. Emails can also be automated (or semi-automated) for all kinds of purposes: marketing, basic requests, enquiries,… Using templates for your communication and emails is probably the first step towards automation.
4. Templates, templates everywhere
For all the things that can’t be automated, but that you often do, you can use templates. There are plenty of advantages to using templates. First of all and the reason for inclusion in this article is that they save a lot of time on the long term. Also, templates will help your branding by ensuring you are not recreating a new design for each email everytime, or changing the tune of your emails. Finally, templates also save time by facilitating decision-making. Whether it’s design, content or other things, templates pre-define most things so you don’t have to re-think it through each time.
Running a business can be a totally new experience if you think it through and facilitate your own work. Try to improve little by little and you’ll avoid being sucked in non-design related work forever.