SWOT analysis began as a way to analyse internal and external factors that can directly or indirectly affect businesses. Internally, it looks at Strengths and Weaknesses; externally at Opportunities and Threats. Do you know what your current strengths and weaknesses are, or how opportunities and threats can affect your business? No? Read on to find out how SWOT analysis can get your business into gear.
As freelancers, it can be increasingly difficult to sit down and focus on the ever-growing to do lists. Especially with the constant connectedness of today. Social media, email, and the latest iDevice can easily grab your attention from your current project. While each of those elements are important to a business’s success, there is a time and a place. That being said, here are some tips I hope you’ll find helpful in this new year to help you remain focused and present!
It's a rare freelance consultant who doesn't dream of "bigger things". It's in our nature. We already wanted something different the day we left the office environment and boldly went where few(er) have been before. So what happens when we're ready to move past the consultancy stage? What's next on the "bigger things" list? In my case it was recurring revenue via products...the consultant's dream.
Nobody’s born knowing how to write a great proposal. Invariably we learn through trial and error, which I’m sure you’ll agree isn’t the best way to learn. One of the reasons I decided to publish The Designer’s Guide to Proposals free on the blog was to help design professionals get over this immense hurdle. I think every creative professional should understand how to write a winning proposal. So to aid the process I’ve put together: The Ultimate Proposal Cheatsheet and here it is for FREE!
Have you ever heard a prospective client ask you questions like… “My friend said I should use Ruby on Rails instead of WordPress.” “I want someone who’s really good at Photoshop, especially CS6. It’s really good.” “I want to stay away from Ruby on Rails, because it’s really expensive.” “How many years have you been doing InDesign?”
In my seven years of freelancing, I can't recall having any client that caused me a lot of headache. I've had several prospects that did, but none of my clients really caused me trouble. Most of them paid before the invoice due date (and those who didn’t paid shortly after), they were always responsive and provided things in a timely manner, and I never had to hunt them down to get them to do something.
Going head-to-head with established freelancers can be a daunting prospect. How do you get clients to notice you and then choose you over a competitor? Regardless of your experience, a brand can help set you apart from the crowd, make you memorable and lend credibility. If it’s targeted at the right clients, it might just help land you that first freelance contract.
Have you ever felt like you're sending off proposals into the darkness? You're kind of doing the right thing and following all the standards. It's not a cold sale — your potential client clearly has an immediate need. But for some reason you already know that you're not going to land this gig. What's the problem?
Companies like Apple epitomise simplicity. Others like Yahoo walk their own path. Apple takes away, Yahoo adds. Apple offer simple solutions to sometimes complex problems, Yahoo... There is only so much information that can be of use at any one time.
I recently had the displeasure of taking a trip to Ikea. I do my best to limit these trips to once or twice a year. It is not one of my favorite places, I loathe Ikea, truly.