There’s truth to the saying, “You can have it fast, cheap or good, but you can’t have all three.” As a business owner, I recognize that fast and cheap are values that clients relate to. But as a designer, I value doing great work that I can be proud of. As an owner of a creative agency for over 16 years, I see the benefits of both sides.

Before any project even starts, the best approach is to have open, honest communication with your client to understand what they value most. If they need a package mock-up ASAP, they’ll place a higher value on availability. If they want to re-brand their company, they’ll value quality and creativity. Once these details are discussed, you’ll need to create a proper estimate/statement of work, usually around one of these parameters:

  • Hours Used – The exact amount of time being put into the project.
  • Whole Project – The cost of the entire project from start to finish.
  • Monthly Retainer – A monthly cost based on the number of people and/or approximate number of hours that will be spent on the account.

It all comes down to quality versus quantity and finding the right balance between solving a client’s problem, doing work you’re proud of and ensuring a profitable business. Now that’s a day’s work that you can be proud of.

How do you value your work?

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