I worked for 5 agencies (and freelanced for dozens) over 9 years before starting my own design collaborative. A year before opening, I prototyped all the aspects of my business—billing, type of work, contracts, rates, and more—so that I wasn’t completely in the dark on day one. I was fortunate to be able to methodically plan my entry into running my own business, but others aren’t so lucky. Some are forced into it after being laid off or fired. Others get so frustrated at their day jobs and freelancing is the best escape. Others start with the best intentions for doing design or development a different way but haven’t anticipated all the facets of running a successful business.
SuperFriendly has been open for almost three years. The goal for year one was to see if I could even do it. I was hoping I could make a 5-figure salary; I ended up grossing about half a million dollars. Year two was even better, grossing just shy of a million dollars. Year three projections look to be slightly more. I don’t say this to brag; I feel incredibly blessed to have been more financially (and emotionally) successful than I thought. I think it happened because I spent a lot of time, learning about and experimenting with two of the most important things a business can focus on: positioning and pricing.
At the beginning of 2013, Jason Blumer and I started a podcast called The Businessology Show because we didn’t think enough people were talking about how to run successful design businesses. After receiving a lot of great feedback about the things we were talking about, we decided to take our show on the road. In addition to spending an hour every two weeks recording episodes on these general topics, we really wanted spend time in-person with agency owners and freelancers to talk and work through the specifics of how to position your services and charge appropriately for them in a way that makes your customers happy and your business profitable.
So, we created The Businessology Roadshow. We’ll be in NYC on August 19 and San Francisco on October 23. Today’s the last day to get a $200 off discount for the NYC event, so cash in while you can. We’ve also added a special option where you and a few attendees can have dinner at a great local place with Jason and me. It’ll be a special time of sharing in a much more intimate setting where we can all pick each other’s brains and enjoy each other’s company.
If there are any questions you have about the event or any suggestions you have about how we can make this better, please post them in the comments below.
Hope to see you there!