Tagged: business

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What I learnt today: approaching names

Today I had lunch with Andi, an old friend of mine who is a Designer and Art Director living and working in Berlin. I’m in the middle of “rebranding” the small web design studio. I’ve been running for the past six years and Andi is helping me with creating a visual identity.

In the last few weeks I’ve been trying to come up with a name for the business and I’m hopelessly stuck. My initial idea was to provide Andi with a name so that he can go on and develop the visual elements for whatever idea I’d come up with. That hasn’t worked out so far.

So today Andi suggested that we start with mood boards instead and focus on a broader kind of design atmosphere first. I really like this approach because visual thinking is something I prefer to abstract concepts and I’m absolutely sure, that this will work out the way we planned. That’s what I learnt today.

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What I learnt today: time tracking

I’m really not the worst person when it comes to tracking my time at work. In fact, I consider it a vital factor in keeping my business profitable and tracking the time on clients’ projects has become an everyday habit.

What I’m not that good at—or what I often just forget for that matter—is tracking the time I spend on administrative tasks such as doing finances, dealing with tax returns, chasing invoices and so on. Everyday there’s time I can bill a client for and then there’s time that I have to factor into my rates because there’s no client paying for it. Therefore, it’s key to know how much time I actually spend on those non-client work tasks.

Today I reminded myself again to track the time on everything, including my “internal projects”. In addition to recording a lot more working hours today (which was quite satisfying), I hope to gain valuable insights on how my working hours are split between client and non-client work. That’s what I learnt today.

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What I learnt today: getting an outside view

I’m in the middle of re-branding the small webdesign studio that I founded in 2009. I’ve thought about this over and over again and this week I felt like I had to get things started.

So today I called Andreas—a designer and a friend of mine—and asked him to help me set up the new visual identity for the business. So far, I’ve been doing all of the corporate design stuff myself, but this time, I wanted to do things differently. I believe getting an outside perspective is incredibly valuable.

I don’t have the slightest idea how the new visuals will turn out, but after talking to Andreas I’ve already a good feeling about it. And I’m glad I’m getting more comfortable with giving up control over things. At least that’s what I learnt today.

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What I learnt today: giving up control

This morning I went to see my new accountant to talk some stuff over. She has been taking care of my finances for a couple of weeks now but up until then, I used to do it myself (well, I tried at least).

The truth is, I’m not an expert when it comes to taxes and forms and all the other things related to the financial side of the business. But I’m not very good at giving up control over something either. That’s why I hesitated a long time before consulting with her.

But today was a bit of an eye-opener for me. She does an incredible job and she also takes her time to explain things to me in a way I understand them. So I guess sometimes it is perfectly ok to give up control and let someone else handle the things that I’m not fond of. Ultimately, this gives me more time to do the things I’m an expert in. That’s what I learnt today.