RECAP | B-Side: Taking Care of Business

Karl Sakas led AIGA Raleigh’s fourth B-Side course, Taking Care of Business: Procedures, Paperwork & Project Management, on Wednesday June 15. His presentation provided a thorough overview of procedures and tips for managing paperwork, clients and contracts. He started and ended the session with his number one piece of advice: Be Intentional, Not Reactive. 

If you missed Karl’s session, read our recap below!

Begin with the ending in mind

“Ask yourself: What type of business do you want?”

First, determine how you want your business to grow. This goal will determine your business model.


“Because clients can’t always see what you’re doing, clients have the tendency to undervalue design.”

Three pricing models: Most designers start with an hourly rate and move towards value-based pricing as they become more experienced.

Creating estimates



Terms and Conditions

Terms and conditions are items to include in your contract with the client. They provide solutions for coming issues surrounding design work and client relationships.


Put it in writing

Client Onboarding

“We train our clients to be our clients.”

The iron triangle of project management: Budget, timeline, scope. Changing one variable impacts the others. 


Client Questionnaires

“The questions you are before a project starts demonstrates to your clients that you know what you’re doing.” 

Pre-Kickoff Survey Sample Questions


Creative Brief

It’s a good idea to include a creative brief to outline the goals and expectations for every project. Here are some items to include in the brief:


Change Orders

Change orders are necessary when the client decides they want something that’s not in scope. Karl share his 7 magic words to kill scope creep: “Would you like an estimate for that?”


Additional resources from Karl:

Our next B-Side session, Self-Promotion: Marketing your Business & Finding New Clients/Customers, is July 20th. Register here! See you there!


About the Author: Chelsea Brown is a UX/UI Designer on the marketing team at Republic Wireless with a focus in editorial content. She looks at each project as an opportunity to tell a story and enhance the reader’s experience through design. On her days off, she enjoys running, Jane Austen novels and day trips to the beach.

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