i + D - July/August 2020 - 20

Business
of Design
Financial
Health

Fear Itself

Making Hay

Borrowing money is an important strategy to keep a business
progressing in any economic situation, Low says, but design
businesses have to get over the psychological fear of taking on
debt. "When is the best time to borrow? When you don't need it,
because you'll get it easily," he explains.

When a lender has greenlighted funds, Low explains, a business can take
advantage of design services that the pandemic has created, "especially in the
luxury space."

But when you do need it, and it's available, it's foolish not to
pursue loans, especially when the federal government is opening
its coffers for borrowers. "And there are also likely state and
non-profit funds available," Low says. "If some business has
returned and a line of credit is possible, now is the time."
Williams notes that fear has never solved anything. Instead of
panic, action is demanded on the micro and macro levels by
cutting personal expenses, and "in your business cut all except
what will impact strong branding," she advises. "Manage every
penny, and tell every penny where to go."

Designers are then confronted with a choice, Low says. "Do they take on too
much business to recover from the shutdown? Or really focus on the right
business? If you have capacity to do, say, five projects, but you're offered 10,
my advice is to triple the price for the five," he recommends. "The people who
care the most want you to do your best, and if that means triple the price,
so be it. People invest the most in what they believe will help them the most."
Kalra says, "The silver lining for designers right now is that people are
maximizing being at home by investing in home improvement projects.
Take advantage of this by pivoting your business to support the needs
of these possible clients at home through the pandemic. Get creative in how
you provide your services." And she recommends getting up to speed
on virtual consultations.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) tracks these ideas and
advises looking for savings everywhere, from brown bag lunches
to carpooling.
Williams notes that many designers think their business is
different simply because a creative person is at the helm.
That thinking can be fatal. "Business is business," she says,
"and the same principles apply."

What's in the Storeroom?
A company loaded with inventory when hard times hit has a real
problem. Williams advises watching inventory the same way as
cash flow-mercilessly.
One tip to recession-proof your business is to take full advantage
of "better information technology," notes writer Bill Connerly
in an article for Forbes. "Barcode scanners, accurate warehouse
data, as well as better transportation and communications" can
cut supplies that will just take up space when clients aren't calling.

M&Ms
Kalra says in rough times, relying on revitalized messaging and
marketing will light a path out of a dim present, and the place to
start is with a vibrant digital presence. "Now is the time to invest
in the foundation of your website," she urges.
Image: Viktoria Kurpas/Shutterstock

A pillar of best business practice is to know where your
customers are. And the truth is they're gathering hourly, day and
night, on the internet. According to an MIT Technology Review
Americans spend almost a full day a week (23.6 hours) online;
and mobile device access to the web jumped from 23 percent in
2010 to 84 percent in 2018.

20
378_022_i+D-July_August_v1.indd 20

No matter if eyeballs are on home screens or on the palm-sized
tyrants we can't do without, online is where a business has to
be, Kalra says. When she uses the word "investing," she means
providing potential customers "with a seamless user experience."

i+D - July/August 2020

20-07-28 16:10



i + D - July/August 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of i + D - July/August 2020

Contents
i + D - July/August 2020 - Cover1
i + D - July/August 2020 - Cover2
i + D - July/August 2020 - 3
i + D - July/August 2020 - 4
i + D - July/August 2020 - 5
i + D - July/August 2020 - Contents
i + D - July/August 2020 - 7
i + D - July/August 2020 - 8
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i + D - July/August 2020 - 12
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i + D - July/August 2020 - Cover3
i + D - July/August 2020 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/id/20211112
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/id/20210910
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/id/20210708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/asid/design_product_guide_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/id/20210506
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/id/20210304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/id/20210102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/id/20201112_french
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/id/20201112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/id/20200910_french
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/id/20200910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/asid/design_product_guide
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/id/20200708_french
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/id/20200708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/id/20200506_french
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/id/20200506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/id/20200304_french
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/id/20200304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/id/20200102_french
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/id/20200102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/id/20191112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/id/20191112_french
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/id/20190910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/id/20190910_french
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/id/20190708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/id/20190708_french
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/id/20190506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/id/20190506_french
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/id/20190304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/id/20190304_french
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/id/20190102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/id/20190102_french
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/id/20181112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/id/20181112_french
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/id/20180910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/id/20180910_french
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/id/20180708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/id/20180708_french
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/id/20180506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/id/20180506_french
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/id/20180304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/id/20180304_french
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/id/20180102_french
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/id/20180102
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com