April 19, 2012

April 18, 2012

I didn't get much done other than blogging and ironing today. I did do some thinking though, and something that I think I should have mentioned and don't think I did. One of the problems I have had with freelance design drawings, is that people tend to take advantage of you. Or me at least. They will promise a commission, but not pay for drawings. I have done hundreds of drawings and not receive much commission. I think it's a lot like what I mentioned early about shops taking your product on consignment. If they don't invest anything in your work, they have nothing to loose and therefore aren't motivated to push what you have placed.

For both of my business, I have to design some kind of contract. Of course with the jewelry, there will be a much higher discount for cash orders, so that would motivate a retailer to buy, rather than consign. I really don't plan to consign, but if it is a certain shop, I might allow them to "test the waters" first, before they buy.

For my design business, I plan to write a simple contract for each client. I will ask for an upfront dollar amount for the drawings (minimal, for time only) which can be subtracted from commission if and when the designs sell. Different commission base for different end consumer. Higher rate for showroom sales, lower rate for big box retailers. And most importantly, stated in the contract, that if the design is not accepted (or paid for) within x amount of days, it reverts to me.

I have been too casual about the design business. I won't do that in the future. If a client wants my designs, they can pay a little up front for them. I also have too many contacts in the business for a client to steal from me. I have eyes everywhere and would know if my designs are showing up somewhere without my getting paid commission or fees. I prefer to work with honest clients anyway.

I have found a few basic freelance contracts online that I have downloaded and plan to alter to fit my work. There are a lot of resources online to find exactly what you need. My business has improved greatly from my online research. If you are struggling with your business. Take some time to critically evaluate what you are doing. You will not be wasting your time.

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