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How to Manage a Design Project in Decline

If you’ve been in the business long enough, you’ll have experienced at least one design project decline. We’re not just talking about a project that looks like it might be in danger of slowing down, but one that’s arse-over-head and looking for something to hold on to. Perhaps you’ve let the deadlines pile up? Or been slacking off on getting the design over, and now it’s too late to produce anything worth selling? If you feel like your back is up against the ropes, don’t despair quite just yet. Before you give up hope on your freelance design project, use your quick guide below to rapidly and efficiently solve the problem from the ground up. Starting with:

  1. Set the Schedule: The very first thing you should do before going into crisis mode is determine exactly what needs to be done with the design project and when. We aren’t talking about what you’d like to get done, or what you feel like you can put off. Take an honest look and determine what can be left alone for a while, and what has got to be finished today, tomorrow, the day after. Once that’s been determined, put the items on your bloody calendar. Stick to this schedule like the plague, and keep that head down until all the work has been finished!
  2. Inform the Client of the Situation: The very next thing you’ll want to do is inform the client of the situation you’ve put the project into. If you’ve encountered unexpected issues, do tell the client about them. In most cases, as long as the deadlines weren’t due months ago, the client will be understanding. Keep in mind that they’ll be even more understanding if you give them an estimated time when they’ll receive the services you’ve promised. When in doubt, always over inform, that way the client is completely up to date on what’s going on.
  3. Work Your Butt Off: This is really the hard part, and depends entirely on  your own sense of drive. If you’re looking down the barrel of the gun, work your hardest to get out from under it. It really is that simple. Remember that the amount of work you put into this directly corresponds to what you get out of it.

Posted on March 21, 2012

Category: Designing, Small Business

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