Category Archives: Design Firm Makeover

Common Mistakes Graphic Designers Make

It’s Bill from Go Media again with your favorite 30 Day Design Firm Makeover Course. Last time we talked about making money. In today’s lesson we’re going to talk about some common mistakes we find ourselves making as we grow our design firm.

Lesson 5: Common Mistakes

Let us say that mistakes themselves aren’t bad. We only ever realize we made a mistake when we know what we should have done instead. And sometimes the only way to know is to try something and fail. Failure is one of the quickest ways to learning how to do something. Now that we understand that mistakes and failures are keys to evolving as a business-minded designer, let’s move onto some common mistakes.


We’ve seen it time and time again in our industry. Designers always struggle trying to find their ideal rates. We’ve made some amazing discoveries when we’ve accidentally added a zero to the end of an invoice and the client paid it in full with no questions asked. We were left baffled and realized we could have been charging this much all along.

This is one of the most common mistakes, but it’s a mistake that is easily correctable and every firm goes through it.

Lack of Education

One of the mistakes designers make is not investing into their business education. In one of the bonus videos, Go Media president William Beachy talks about wishing he would have invested more time in learning about business. We tend to become experts at design fundamentals, Adobe products, web standards and technologies, and even fashion trends! This is all fine, but so many of us avoid fundamental business lessons like supply and demand, market research, business ethics and legalities, etc. If getting an MBA isn’t for you, pick up a few books on business. A couple we really recommend is Book Yourself Solid and Good to Great. We also recommend forming relationships with business mentors.

Not Being Aware of your Numbers

We creative people would want nothing more than to spend all day in design software cranking out beautiful designs. However, as painful as it can be, you need to be aware of your cash flow in and out. You need to be aware of how much time you’re spending on projects. You need to pay attention to your bank statements, your profit and loss, your metrics dashboards.

That’s all for this week. If you’re looking for more advice on increasing revenue, we’ve got a 10 minute video on pricing and billing and a How to Make More Money bonus PDF in our Drawn to Business Plus Package.

If you have any specific questions about what we’ve covered so far, just ask.