Design Business Plans… the missing ingredients

Before you jump into business planning – here are some important ‘missing’ ingredients that are worth considering…

If you are in the early stages of starting your own design business then you may be experiencing the internal ‘fear and doubt’ monologue that can often take place in one’s mind. The goal of this article is to help ease some of the heartache – ensuring that you ‘keep the faith’ all the way to success. The key to success in business is to revisit your plans often, making minor adjustments along the way – especially during challenging times.

Design Business Plans – Missing Ingredients:

* A good quantity of Passion
* Two tablespoons of Niche
* An ounce of Leverage
* A pinch of Lateral Thinking
* Two cups of Testing
* A clove of Efficiency
* 2 bunches of Lag
* 300g of Timing
* 4 tins of Action

1. Passion (a.k.a Do What You Love)
The number one missing ingredient in most design business plans is Passion. It’s a good idea to work in a business that interests you. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to be in love with the product or service that you sell; however, you must enjoy aspects of the business otherwise you won’t be motivated to give it 100% of your focus. And it will need a lot of your focus and energy, especially in the early stages!

To help determine this point, you could ask yourself the following types of questions:

* What do you really like to do (in a business sense)?
* Are you an ideas or action type of person? Or a bit of both?
* In which 20% of your talents do 80% of your results come from?
* In other words, where do your key skills lie?

It really all boils down to one question though – what are you really passionate about?

2. Niche
Another missing ingredient in design business plans is the ‘spice’ Niche and it goes a long way to determining success. Without exception, the majority of successful on and offline business owners I know can tell you in a couple of sentences exactly what it is they love to do and why it has made them wealthy.

Without a precise understanding of your Niche your chances for success are greatly diminished. After all, it’s very difficult to hit a target which doesn’t exist or to win a game when you don’t know what it (winning) is.

Ask yourself what you are trying to achieve in this online business venture:

* Do you want to make quick cash?
* Do you want to develop and grow a sustainable online business?
* Are you interested in high cash-flow or developing assets? Or both?
* Do you have BIG aspirations or are you just looking to develop a hobby for some part-time cash?

Keep in mind that your Niche can always be adapted down the track if your situation or the market changes.

3. Leverage
You need to become a master of Leverage. It is one of the most powerful principles in online business. The majority of people who are successful in business and life use Leverage in a significant way.

To use the concept of Leverage you need to continually examine how you can access other people’s skill, resources and money more effectively. Furthermore, consider less obvious assets such as systems, marketing and time.

Leverage is about duplicating a high-value item or skill at a lower cost.

I will explore this topic in depth in future articles; however, at this point it is important to remember the following points:

* Focus on Money-Making activities
* Delegate to others as much as possible

By doing this you will see an immediate increase in your ability to work ‘on’ your design business, rather than getting stuck ‘in’ the day to day running of it.

Lateral Thinking shares an implicit relationship with Leverage…

4. Lateral Thinking
This is the concept of looking at things from a different point of view. You can increase profits significantly by doing simple things to “Add Value” in ways that others are not.

In other words, continually look at you business and ask yourself questions such as:

* How can we do, what we do, better?
* What do our clients want that they are not getting currently?
* Could we use affiliate marketing to grow our online business?
* Do we currently use the internet to effectively market our business?
* Could we join forces with another online business to cross-promote our products?
* Could we use our knowledge to create another product?



Design Business Plans… the missing ingredients

Before you jump into business planning – here are some important ‘missing’ ingredients that are worth considering…

If you are in the early stages of starting your own design business then you may be experiencing the internal ‘fear and doubt’ monologue that can often take place in one’s mind. The goal of this article is to help ease some of the heartache – ensuring that you ‘keep the faith’ all the way to success. The key to success in business is to revisit your plans often, making minor adjustments along the way – especially during challenging times.

Design Business Plans – Missing Ingredients:

  • A good quantity of Passion
  • Two tablespoons of Niche
  • An ounce of Leverage
  • A pinch of Lateral Thinking
  • Two cups of Testing
  • A clove of Efficiency
  • 2 bunches of Lag
  • 300g of Timing
  • 4 tins of Action

1. Passion (a.k.a Do What You Love)
The number one missing ingredient in most design business plans is Passion. It’s a good idea to work in a business that interests you. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to be in love with the product or service that you sell; however, you must enjoy aspects of the business otherwise you won’t be motivated to give it 100% of your focus. And it will need a lot of your focus and energy, especially in the early stages!

To help determine this point, you could ask yourself the following types of questions:

* What do you really like to do (in a business sense)?
* Are you an ideas or action type of person? Or a bit of both?
* In which 20% of your talents do 80% of your results come from?
* In other words, where do your key skills lie?

It really all boils down to one question though – what are you really passionate about?

2. Niche
Another missing ingredient in design business plans is the ‘spice’ Niche and it goes a long way to determining success. Without exception, the majority of successful on and offline business owners I know can tell you in a couple of sentences exactly what it is they love to do and why it has made them wealthy.

Without a precise understanding of your Niche your chances for success are greatly diminished. After all, it’s very difficult to hit a target which doesn’t exist or to win a game when you don’t know what it (winning) is.

Ask yourself what you are trying to achieve in this online business venture:

* Do you want to make quick cash?
* Do you want to develop and grow a sustainable online business?
* Are you interested in high cash-flow or developing assets? Or both?
* Do you have BIG aspirations or are you just looking to develop a hobby for some part-time cash?

Keep in mind that your Niche can always be adapted down the track if your situation or the market changes.

3. Leverage
You need to become a master of Leverage. It is one of the most powerful principles in online business. The majority of people who are successful in business and life use Leverage in a significant way.

To use the concept of Leverage you need to continually examine how you can access other people’s skill, resources and money more effectively. Furthermore, consider less obvious assets such as systems, marketing and time.

Leverage is about duplicating a high-value item or skill at a lower cost.

I will explore this topic in depth in future articles; however, at this point it is important to remember the following points:

* Focus on Money-Making activities
* Delegate to others as much as possible

By doing this you will see an immediate increase in your ability to work ‘on’ your design business, rather than getting stuck ‘in’ the day to day running of it.

Lateral Thinking shares an implicit relationship with Leverage…

4. Lateral Thinking
This is the concept of looking at things from a different point of view. You can increase profits significantly by doing simple things to “Add Value” in ways that others are not.

In other words, continually look at you business and ask yourself questions such as:

* How can we do, what we do, better?
* What do our clients want that they are not getting currently?
* Could we use affiliate marketing to grow our online business?
* Do we currently use the internet to effectively market our business?
* Could we join forces with another online business to cross-promote our products?
* Could we use our knowledge to create another product? Leer más “Design Business Plans… the missing ingredients”

Setting Goals to Succeed: Lessons from a Freelance Classical Musician


I never cease to be amazed by the number of players I meet who still believe in playing the classical music equivalent of corporate cubicle nation – clinging onto the notion that an orchestral job is fundamental to reputation and survival.

Those of us who have already escaped from the traditional straitjacket can assure you that life is infinitely more pleasurable and less stressful when you’re fully in control of your own destiny.

For classical music jobs, successful freelance musicians center their work around the concept of a “portfolio” career. In order to survive and thrive with such a lifestyle, just like learning to play an instrument, it is essential that you start with the basics in order to build solid foundations.

Following the method outlined below, I re-launched my classical music career after two decades out of the industry and have never looked back. It works! Leer más “Setting Goals to Succeed: Lessons from a Freelance Classical Musician”

Should You Charge Customers Late Fees?

When it comes to getting customers to pay on time, business owners typically use two approaches — carrots and sticks. Pay your bill early and you get a nice discount. Pay your bill late and you get smacked with a late fee.

The trouble is that neither of these solutions does the job it’s intended to do. Quick payers who’d pay on time anyway often take advantage of early-payer discounts, cutting into your company’s profit margin. Slow payers — often cash-strapped consumers or small business owners themselves — don’t have the money to pay late fees and may not pay you at all.

What’s the answer? Scrap this ineffective system of rewards and punishments and try to figure out why your customers are paying late and what you can do to make them pay you faster.


When it comes to getting customers to pay on time, business owners typically use two approaches — carrots and sticks. Pay your bill early and you get a nice discount. Pay your bill late and you get smacked with a late fee.

The trouble is that neither of these solutions does the job it’s intended to do. Quick payers who’d pay on time anyway often take advantage of early-payer discounts, cutting into your company’s profit margin. Slow payers — often cash-strapped consumers or small business owners themselves — don’t have the money to pay late fees and may not pay you at all.

What’s the answer? Scrap this ineffective system of rewards and punishments and try to figure out why your customers are paying late and what you can do to make them pay you faster.

For example, let’s see… Leer más “Should You Charge Customers Late Fees?”