The Business Side of Design

As a freelance designer, I sometimes find myself in certain situations I’ve never dealt with before — in particular, when it comes to the business (money) side of the job. Unfortunately, I can’t just forward questions to someone else to handle — that’s what you become as a “one-stop-shop”: Designer, Owner, Consultant, Marketer, and Accountant. Just to name a few.

One such situation recently came up with a client of mine: whether I would work on a retainer. Now, I know what a retainer is, but how would it benefit me? Is there a real perk to signing such a contract? As a recent freelance designer, the thought of signing my time away to a client seems counter-productive for the type of life I’m trying to create. But, after doing some research, I stumbled upon a Smashing Magazine article that answered all of my questions (and then some). In fact, I’ve bookmarked it for all future business-related questions.

After reading the example of their sample retainer agreement, I was convinced that the benefits outweighed the negatives. The major benefit, of course, is a guaranteed amount of monthly income for a set amount of time. Something that all freelancers will realize is priceless!

Visit Smashing Magazine for more helpful design advice: