How to have a predictable project workload as a graphic designer.

As you know, running a design business, or any client-based business, can be very busy at times and slow at other times. Even when we do our best to plan for smooth sailing, there are inevitably some surprises in the ebb and flow. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to see into the future? Here’s one simple strategy that helps us do just that.

Here at times2studio, we reach out to clients who may need recurring projects so we can anticipate and plan accordingly. For example, maybe a client asked us to design an annual newsletter last June, so they may need one this year as well. A list or calendar of ALL projects we did during the previous year is created so we can easily keep track and touch base with clients when recurring projects may come around again.

Woman looking ahead
As a designer, wouldn’t it be great to have a glimpse into the future to see what projects are headed our way? Some basic project planning can help.

We make sure to contact clients with plenty of lead-time so they have the flexibility to prepare content and secure funding and we have time to comfortably plan the project and avoid rushing. We draft a simple email that comes from a place of service and help (without being pushy or sales-y). If they would like to utilize us again for this project, great! If not, no biggie—it’s still a great opportunity to check in with our client anyway and find out how they’re doing, what new ideas they are exploring, and so on.

In our experience, clients appreciate the check-in since they are busy with many things and it’s helpful to them to get a little heads up so they’re not scrambling to get the project done at the last minute. This practice has definitely helped us create a workload that is more balanced and predictable. Give it a try, won’t you? What other workload-balancing strategies do you use? Let us know in the comments!

Would you like to have the exact Project Prediction Template we use in our business so you can plan your workload? This template is set up by month in Google Sheets—just enter your project info and you’re on your way. Drop your name and email below and we’ll send it your way.

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