It seems everywhere we read, watch or listen there’s advice to adapt to the new normal. Problem is there’s very little consensus about what this new normal will be. Economists see a recession, business gurus see opportunities. Here’s what I think…
In ’normal’ hard times, the traditional process is to reduce fixed costs; refine and reduce your service offering. But in crisis times like this, you must rethink the business model. Companies that survive and go on to prosper look beyond costs and services to the weaknesses that existed in the business operations.
We had the good fortune to have worked through the 1987 market crash, the dot.com boom and crash and the global financial crisis. I say good fortune because it taught us how to pivot.
This COVID19 crash is going to be far worse.
This has been a tumultuous few weeks and we are looking at another 4-5 months of it. We have spoken to more than 100 designers over the last few weeks and we are starting to get a picture of how the industry is faring.
Now is not the time to take your foot off the pedal. Besides, for most design business owners there’s no option but to plough through the plain. The key is to plan short term, mid term and long term goals and strategies.
I have long been a believer in the need to have designers in the C suite. However some recent research has made me wonder if we need to work differently to reach that level.
Value pricing will only work with some clients. As an industry we have spent far to long selling our services by the hour. We need to accept that our legacy clients …
Jobs to be done is a process designers can use to understand why customers/clients choose to purchase a product/service. Understanding leads to knowledge.
Most designers are not in any doubt they add value for clients.
The problem – for both designers and clients – is they can’t quantify that value.
Creative studios must cost on hours and sell on value. Selling a service by hours means the only way to increase profitability is to employ more staff and that’s just not sustainable.
It is possible for designers to work a shorter week and increase profits. It’s directly related to salaries and increasing productivity. What it’s not about is increasing stress.
It still happens – design studio owners treating designers as slaves and promising the long hours will worth it on their CV. It doesn’t have to be that way. You can build a sustainable studio on good working practice.