Why studio management comes before design

Being a great designer doesn’t automatically bring in clients.
Nor does it transform a once-off client into returning revenue.
When you boil it down to the basics, you’ve got to sell before you get to design.

We sell ideas using design that gives clients an outcome – it may be a website, a publication, a way finding system or a workshop that helps define their needs.

We need design studio management to get stuff done.


We can’t sell unless we know:

Who our prospective clients are new business development
Who our competitors are competitor analysis
What it is that our clients want to achieve Jobs to be done, customer journey mapping, service blueprints
What makes us uniquely capable of helping clients get what they want our design value proposition
How our business can deliver our value proposition Design Business Model Canvas, Design Value Proposition canvas, Design Value Chain
How to prove design value research, evidence based design
Who we need to work with to deliver our value proposition recruitment, staff, job descriptions, workflow
How to manage the people we work with building a studio culture, professional development
How to manage projects on time workflow management
How to manage projects on budget financial management

The studio manager’s role

All of these tasks now form part of a studio manager’s role. Where once a studio manager’s activities were heavily weighted to traffic planning, now they are one career-step away from a general manager.

Over the last decade I have closely observed hundred’s of Australian design agencies.

The most successful studios have all the studio management practices well established.
Having put these practices in place they can get on with what they are best at: design.

If you want to put all these practices in place check out the Design Studio Management program.

Contact Greg if you would like a sneak peak at how the program is structured


Got a question? Want to share your point of view? Please feel free to email me.

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Greg Branson

Contact Greg Branson if you would like to learn more about the many programs the DBC offers.

Greg’s passion is the research and development of methods that improve design management and the role of design in business.

Greg has developed The Design Business School to help owners manage their business better along with showing designers how to get more involved in the studio and develop their career path. Contact Greg.

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