Doing Business as a Designer: Top Three Reader Questions

Posted on July 7, 2010


1) Why do you preach having a “competitive advantage” for a design business?

When all designers are offering the same prices, at the same quality, with the same turn around time, in the same market, a competitive advantage will set you apart so you can differentiate and get more business.

I’m going to say this again… and again…

“There are a lot of “generalist” designers; they are a dime a dozen, they are everywhere, and most of them are going nowhere.”

2) So I have picked my market, what’s next?

Drill down into smaller sub market.

Say for example you choose to do restaurants. However the restaurant market is still a very big market on its own. Start segmenting your market like so:


  • Franchises
  • Hole-In-The-Wall
  • Restaurants with bars
  • Mexican Food
  • Italian Food
  • Coffee Shops
  • Donut Shops
  • Pizza Shops
  • Oriental Food
  • Greek Food
  • Lebanese Food
  • Middle Eastern Food

The list can keep going but you get the idea.

After picking about one to two sub markets:

  1. Scope out for any competitors in your markets
  2. Find out how what are their services and pricing
  3. Define your competitive advantage
  4. Start working on your brand identity packages for your company so you communicate very well (business cards, website, company motto, etc.)
  5. Sell, advertise, promote, pass out fliers, market, test-test-test

3) Why are you such a jerk, hardass, drill sargeant, etc?

From what I’m told by friends, co-workers, and family:

“You only seem like a jerk to lazy asses. Its no wonder I’m still slim.” – Former girlfriend.

“Jae can be such a drill sergeant when procrastinating excessively. Now I do better in school.” – My sister.

“The guy is sadistic; he gets joy out of the pain of others. Run away from him before he talks your ear off.” – My best friend.

“Jae’s on crack.” – My boss.

“He’s just like his father.” – My mum.

“He’s just like his grandfather.” – My dad.


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Posted in: Insight