With competition from so many quarters, designers, it seems, are having a difficult time maintaining a unique and viable proposition for their business. Perhaps you’re thinking of expanding into new areas of service, designing products, or adding a design specialty or subspecialty to your menu of offerings in order to set your firm apart from your competitors. It’s always a good idea to adapt your business model to changing market conditions. But how can you know if such a move will be successful?
When markets are in flux, sailing into uncharted waters can be risky. Will there be a big enough market and sufficient demand for what you intend to offer? How should you price your new services or products? You will need to take time away from your usual activities to ramp up for the change, identify potential clients, and promote the new offerings. Quite possibly you will need to hire or outsource additional personnel and have to seek additional capital to fund the expansion. All this before you have secured even one new client or project.
Before going all in on modifying your business model, take your idea for a test run. Just as you would for a new design concept, develop a prototype of your new service, product or specialty area and seek out by word of mouth a client or two you can try it out on. This allows you to minimize your investment and exposure while gaining invaluable knowledge and experience. You will quickly learn if you have hit upon a viable new business proposition, and, if not, whether you need to modify it or change strategy.
If you need help structuring your business proposition or determining how you can better position your firm in today’s market, contact me. I have helped many designers to grow and advance their businesses by showing them how to retool their business models to make them more competitive and profitable.