Thoughts On Web Design

Sealed Envelope

The Entrepreneurial Artist

I would like to propose a class that explains how to start and run your own creative company. The class would be for students in the Studio Art and Graphic Design programs. At the end on the class each student would have a fully functioning business with a website, logo, stationary, business cards, business plan, marketing plan and clients/customers.

I emailed this to one of my design teachers a few years ago.

Hi Daniela,

I would like to propose a class that explains how to start and run your own creative company. The class would be for students in the Studio Art and Graphic Design programs. At the end on the class each student would have a fully functioning business with a website, logo, stationary, business cards, business plan, marketing plan and clients/customers.

I believe this would be extremely beneficial for students that are interested in freelancing or selling their creations and services. I have a attached a word .doc that has a general outline of what I think such a class should cover.

I don't know how the process for pitching classes to Loyola works. If you think this a worthy idea, please advise.

Thanks,
Richard Beu

Nothing came of it, but it's still a class I'd like to teach.

Below is the general outline that I attached in the original email.

WELCOME

Introduction

What will be covered and a general timeline.

Benefits + Drawbacks of Self-Employment

Loneliness, Responsibility, Financial Roller Coaster, Lack of Benefits, Doing Sales and Marketing, Own Boss, Greater Potential Earnings, Variety of Work, Own Hours.

SETTING UP YOUR BUSINESS

Legal Structures

Sole Proprietorship, Partnerships, Corporations, S Corporations, Limited Liability Company. Decide on a legal structure after weighing pros and cons of each.

Business Plans

Do you need a business plan? What goes into a business plan? Determine how detailed a business plan is need. Create business plan template.

Pricing

How to price your products or services. Determine hourly rate which will be basis for project/product pricing.

Running a Home Office

Keep your home office your sanctuary, keeping things quiet, basic supplies, tax benefits, be honest about it, get dressed, have a routine, keep regular hours… Set up home office.

Policies and Processes

Even if you work alone, creating clearly defined policies and processes is very helpful. Write down phone policies, your design process, how you handle initial meetings and so on. It will help ensure a certain level of quality and consistency in your services/products. Write policies and processes out. This will make you think about how your business will run in detail.

Record Keeping

What to keep track of and how to do it to make sure your business is on track. Create record keeping templates or set up software.

Professional Services

Guest speakers talk about what you will need them to do. What you can expect from accountants, lawyers, insurance companies and banks. Plan for when you will need these professionals.

Using Interns

Understanding how to set up a proper owner/intern relationship. Write out intern requirements and circumstances where they would be useful.

CREATING YOUR BUSINESS

Brainstorming Business Ideas

Students to come up with an idea for their business.

Create Business Plans

Create and present business plans.

Critique Business Ideas for Feasibility

Can they afford the startup costs and initial overhead? Is there a demand for the service/product? Can they acquire any needed skills in a reasonable amount of time?

Dealing With City Hall

Guest speaker from City Hall to explain the process and requirements of starting a business in New Orleans. Everybody registers a company, gets a business license and an EIN.

Specializing

How to find your niche. Start out as more of a generalist and figure out what you like then focus on it.

MARKETING YOUR BUSINESS

Logo + Stationary +Business Cards

How to find a designer or create them yourself. Guest speaker on what makes good logo and stationary design.

Printing

Get stationary and business cards printed. Guest speaker from printer to talk about printing process and paper selection.

Competitive Analysis

Conduct a competitive analysis which analyzes the marketing effectiveness of a company’s online presence and their competition’s. Define parameters for someone being a competitor for the company. State who your competitors are. What customer needs are you competing to meet? Determine who your customers are and what they expect. How do their prices compare to yours? How do you plan to compete?

Project Planner

Fill out a project planner which asks about features, scope, objectives, audience, competition and branding.

Project Brief

Create a project brief that provides a project overview, project scope, creative considerations and a timeline for your website.

Search Engine Optimization

Go over SEO basics.

Content Creation

Create all text and images for the website.

Website Creation

How to find a designer/developer or use a wordpress theme or make it yourself. The approach to this would be dependent on student knowledge of website design.

Marketing Materials

Create a market/press kit to mail to or drop off at potential clients.

Qualifying Prospects

So you don’t waste time with clients who won’t work out.

Build Your Audience

Having an audience who freely listens to you is so much easier and cheaper than you going to them.

Email Signatures

Include business and website in all email signatures.

Tell Everyone You Know

Literally everyone you know.

Print Advertising

The pros and cons of print advertising. Determine if it is appropriate. If so, design and place ad.

Online Advertising

Go over pros and cons of online advertising. Determine if it is appropriate. If so, design and place ad.

Press Releases

Send a press release announcing your business and major milestones to local publications. Only send in things you think other people would find interesting.

Competitions

Hold some sort of competition your target audience would be interested in. Prize is some free service, consultation or product.

Working With Others

How to approach other companies, ad agencies and other freelancers for contract work.

Referrals

How to generate and incentivize referrals.

SELLING

Invest in Relationships

The better you are at building relationships and the more people you know, the more you will sell.

Look for problems you can solve

Prospects want to know what is in it for them. What problem can you solve for her?

The Sales Meeting

Do your homework and be prepare beforehand. If you are nervous, don’t let it show. Be nice, show competence, know the problem and how to solve it, paint a picture of life after problem is solved, get a concrete next step (another meeting, sign a contract and so on). Conduct practice sales meetings with other students.

Don’t Pressure People

Don’t be annoying or pushy.

WORKING WITH CLIENTS

Minimizing Risk

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket

Conflicts of Interest

What constitutes one and how to avoid them.

Coping With Incompetence

How to handle it when things go awry.

Danger Signs

These situations indicate a project is starting to go bad.

Clients to Avoid

How to spot problem clients before they become clients.

Paperwork

Create and go over invoices, receipts, terms & conditions, estimates, proposals, f1099.

Meetings

How to approach, prepare and execute meetings so they aren’t a giant waste of time.

GETTING HELP

Mentors Are Awesome

Discuss the benefits of having help from someone who has been there before.

Read a Book

Books are really helpful.

THANKS FOR READING
Thank you for reading The Entrepreneurial Artist. I hope you enjoyed it. You can give me feedback, say hi or yell at me on twitter.com/richardbeu.


Oct 30, 2015 Filed under Education

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