Business of Design short course

This is a 3-month short course to help designers build business knowledge and confidence.

Business knowledge helps de-mystify the numbers and understand risk. Confidence means you can grasp opportunities and back your instincts.

It's an opportunity to embed our knowledge and our experience into your studio's processes and procedures. The result will be a stronger, more robust business.

“I’ve practiced successfully as a sole trader for the past 20+ years but was keen to grow my business to the next level. I loved accessing Carol and Greg’s expert knowledge of design business models, they validated much of what I was doing was working well but, they were also able to flag areas I could streamline, guide me through better processes, offer invaluable resources, and simply just adjust my focus where needed…

…working through the BoD Program has been both reassuring for my practice and worthwhile – it was the confidence boost I needed. I have finally taken on a comfortable studio lease and found the right people to hire when needed. Work life balance and the future is looking bright! I would thoroughly recommend the program, it has been a great investment.”

Kate vandeStadt vandeStadt design.

It's not one-size-fits-all

Every program is built fit-for-purpose

We build a program perfect for your needs and your specific business challenges. Some designer’s use our program to rethink and reshape their business model. Others frame the short course as a proof-of-concept of a new business model. Some need our help to upsize, or downsize. And others are just in a funk and need a fresh set of eye(s).

The Business of Design short course is an opportunity to access our knowledge, experience, insights and tools on your business. You’ll leave the experience with better design business decision-making skills.

We know this approach is unique, there’s nothing else like it. And we know it works.

Contact Greg to learn more about the program.

“Coming out of lockdown I wanted to take a step back, look at my business and make a plan for the future. Problem was I quickly realised I had no idea how to do that… I had been in business for just over seven years, and as I think is the case with a lot of designers, the “business” side of running a studio, I’d just been making it up as I go. I reached out to Greg and Carol to help gain some perspective, looking at the way the business operates, financials and also getting some insights into how everything looked in comparison to similar studios in Australia.

… We identified areas for improvement, developed a budget to define pricing structure, implemented Streamtime to manage the day to day operations and updated my capability doc to use when talking new business with both prospective and current clients. Working with Carol and Greg helped to reassure me I was on the right track and with the changes we made, I’m saving time and less stressed. The process gave me confidence in what I was doing, helped me define a direction for the studio, improved efficiency in operations and put in the ground work to ensure the business is on a solid footing for the future.” 

Dean Gordon Creative Director, Studio Baton.

A business course for designers

We share our library of resources

Everyone doing the short course has free access to our resources including publications, mentoring, workshops, online readings and factsheets/activity worksheets. We use these resources to build a bespoke program specific to your skills and needs. And if we don’t have something you need, we’ll find it.

Discussions might include:

  • different business models to consider
  • understanding relevant financial benchmarks
  • analysing salary packages and job descriptions
  • pricing structures and budgets
  • setting a profitability target
  • benchmarking pricing and costing
  • identifying and targeting the right new business
  • finding your ‘onlyness’ for competitive advantage

Contact Greg to learn more about the program.


It's not one-size-fits-all

It’s unique: We’ve all been involved in great workshops only to return to the studio and resume ‘business as usual’. This is different, learnings stick because we’re working alongside you for 3 months.

It’s practical: You learn at your own pace but you are not alone. We introduce tools and activities, with explanations of how they’ll work specifically in your business. Processes and procedures you can implement immediately. In between sessions we’re on Slack to help if you get stuck.

It’s proven: This program is based on industry insights honed from a decade of workshops and mentoring Greg and Carol have done with Australian studios. We know the result will be a better performing, more capable business.

Contact Greg to learn more about the program.

“I highly recommend the Design Business Council. They have mentored me over the years and have given invaluable insight into the Australian design industry and in particular salaries, remuneration.
Both Carol and Gregs’ expertise as a design business coach and mentor can help with pathways, whether it’s within your own business or with career paths in industry, both in the private sector and in government positions.

… Their combined experience is invaluable to tap into. They are highly organised, super responsive and are experts at thought leadership and generally great people to align yourself with. They bring out the best in people.”

Lisa Minichiello, Creative Director


The true cost is your time investment

The mentoring component is delivered in two hour sessions online or face-to-face. We can meet every fortnight for six weeks or every month for three months, you set the timeline. Inbetween sessions you will need to commit 3-4 hours to implement and assess the outcomes.

How it works:

  1. we’ll talk to discuss if this is the right program for your needs.
  2. there’s some preliminary work – information for you to provide so we hit the ground running
  3. we schedule three two-hour sessions at a time suitable for us both
  4. we set an objective. What do you want to leave with?
  5. three sessions to discuss your issues, workshop the solutions and share materials.
  6. we talk … there’s constant mentoring via a dedicated slack channel between sessions to check in and keep you on track.
  7. we assess to make sure you’ve got what you came for.

Core requisites: You must be a design business owner.

Cost: $3,600 plus GST payable fully in advance.

Contact Greg to start the discussion


“Working with Greg Branson has been a defining moment for our business. He has assisted in providing us a clear and implementable plan that has led to substantial growth, a more defined vision and articulating the real value we can provide to our clients.

… He took us beyond a focus on design outputs and moving firmly into delivering measurable business outcomes that help grow our clients businesses. Greg also provides financial benchmarks and cost structure recommendations that have moved us away from charging in hours, to charging in value added to our clients business. If you’re a design studio, company or agency we can not recommend Greg’s services more highly.”

Rusty Benson Director, Raine & Makin