IDSA 2013 - Design Driven Businesses Development

Kevin Lehtiniitty
Kevin LehtiniittyManaging Director at TINITT Ventures
COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013
DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS
DEVELOPMENT
KEVIN LEHTINIITTY | FOUNDER & CEO
1Sunday, April 21, 13
• Hello everyone
•Talking about design driven business development
COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013
DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
1994 2000 2007 2009 2011 2012 2013
BorninFranceMovestoIndianaCreatesfirstventure
FoundsCSIndy
CSIndyrebranded
to
TINITT
Rejectsacquisition
offer
Namedin20under20
Namedin20
under20again
2010
FoundsJummba
Jummbafails
Kevin Lehtiniitty
TINITT|Ventures
2Sunday, April 21, 13
•A little bit about me.
•[Go through the timeline].
•going to share with you a few of the less obvious lessons we’ve learned along the way.
•We lost a lot of time and money making these mistakes so hopefully, if you can avoid one or two of these, this talk will have done its job.
COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013
DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
http://www.seriouswheels.com/pics-mno/Mercedes-Benz-SLR-McLaren-Cutaway-1920x1440.jpg
3Sunday, April 21, 13
•Whether we’re talking about a high performance sports car,
COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013
DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
http://www.cruisescope.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/cruise1.jpg
4Sunday, April 21, 13
•a big cruise ship
COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013
DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
http://boardingarea.com/blogs/flyingwithfish/files/2009/04/ba_concorde.jpg
5Sunday, April 21, 13
•a sleek high speed jet
COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013
DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
http://www.e-architect.co.uk/images/jpgs/england/mclaren_technology_centre_fp270509_ny_1.jpg
6Sunday, April 21, 13
•or growing a business...they all need the same two things
COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013
DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Power & Direction
7Sunday, April 21, 13
•power to move and a direction to get where we want to go.
COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013
DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
http://www.coolfunpics.com/slides/Crazy_Stuck_Car.jpg
8Sunday, April 21, 13
•no matter the potential, if you have no power your not getting anywhere
COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013
DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Client acquisition drives business
9Sunday, April 21, 13
•client acquisition powers business development
COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013
DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Two less obvious lessons
we learned the hard way
10Sunday, April 21, 13
COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013
DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
1. Learn to say no
11Sunday, April 21, 13
•Learn to say no to perspective clients.
COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013
DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Myth:
12Sunday, April 21, 13
•very common trap that we fell in for a few years
COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013
DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
=
=
http://www.opensecrets.org/news/assets_c/2010/11/stack-of-money-3153.html
http://s396.photobucket.com/user/eln1/media/marketing%20pictures/money.jpg.html
13Sunday, April 21, 13
•myth is the more clients you have the bigger your business gets
•If one client equals money, the 10 clients must equal 10x money
•We were in this for a a little over a year
•year of very slow growth that we could have used to develop our business much faster had we been smarter about our clients.
COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013
DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Number of Clients
BusinessSize Focusing on landing as many clients as possible
14Sunday, April 21, 13
•this is what we saw.
•We focused on landing every client we saw no matter the size of the account or the industry they were in.
•We had low profits from our clients and no pieces to put on our portfolio to bring us to the next level.
COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013
DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Reality:
15Sunday, April 21, 13
•We were barely able to pay for our office and our other expenses
•we made the scariest decision we’ve ever faced.
•started saying no to clients who would bring in the money we so desperately needed.
COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013
DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Quality
Quantity
16Sunday, April 21, 13
•We picked a few markets that weren’t too saturated with design, educational institutions for example
•focused all our efforts on landing bigger clients in those few spaces
•turned down all clients that didn’t fit our profile.
•focused on quality over quantity.
•one of the best decisions we ever made.
COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013
DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Number of Clients
BusinessSize Focusing on landing quality clients
17Sunday, April 21, 13
•used every client as a portfolio piece to land even more profitable clients the next time around.
•able to climb up the ladder of design projects getting to more interesting and more profitable projects.
•by focusing all of our clients into a few niche areas, the effects were amplified.
•we were able to say look at this great project w did in your industry.
•That was the competitive advantage that pushed us over the top when competing for bids.
COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013
DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
http://www.funnyjunk.com/funny_pictures/3942365/50+shades+of/4#4
18Sunday, April 21, 13
•Turning down clients doesn’t seem intuitive to growing a business but there’s only so far you can go by grabbing every client you see.
COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013
DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
2. The client isn’t always right
19Sunday, April 21, 13
•The second big and costly mistake was letting clients drive our final product.
COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013
DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
http://www.ready2spark.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/customer-service.jpg
20Sunday, April 21, 13
•signs like this posted in too many offices to remember including my dad’s.
•first “take your son to work” day, my dad’s shining cubicle and a big “the customer is always right” sign on the wall.
•That’s the customer service environment I grew up with so that’s exactly the attitude we took.
COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013
DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Image courtesy of McCann Erickson
21Sunday, April 21, 13
•clients aren’t always right.
•We’ve all had the experience of creating a truly great product and seeing it get ruined by client change requests.
COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013
DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
What clients want:
22Sunday, April 21, 13
COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013
DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Image courtesy of Clients From Hell
23Sunday, April 21, 13
•log onto clients from hell and the horror stories start pouring out.
•we lived in fear of the inevitable email that contained client feedback
•we realized that none of our portfolio pieces actually showcased our work and our abilities.
•All the projects we had to show had been subjected to the whims of our clients, most of which knew nothing about design.
COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013
DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-lnF2ymkb5KI/Tw1YS7X9IAI/AAAAAAABQHc/FlFmE0VBKo8/s640/172458_10150137277585751_634670750_8380962_3247352_o.jpg
24Sunday, April 21, 13
•We got tired of taking all sorts of bullshit from our clients.
•This is our field and we weren’t going to let clients ruin our hard work.
•We decided to push back
•Instead of losing clients they started to respect our opinions.
•most clients are actually looking to you for guidance, big company politics has just trained them to keep to themselves and not ask for help.
•In our experience, dictating the project - within reason of course -
•gained us a lot of respect,
•helped grow our business to the next level,
•decreased stress
COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013
DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Power without direction
25Sunday, April 21, 13
•second component to growing any business is having a direction. If you don’t...
COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013
DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
http://i674.photobucket.com/albums/vv101/Konradius5/Gary%20Larson%20Comics/GoingInCircles.jpg
26Sunday, April 21, 13
•You’ll end up going around in circles.
•No matter how much power you have driving growth, you need somewhere to get to.
COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013
DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Steering with long term strategy
27Sunday, April 21, 13
•This is where a long term strategy comes into play.
•Starting out long term can mean 6 months, a year, two years, it doesn’t matter.
•The point is to set a direction a go after it.
COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013
DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Two less obvious lessons
we learned the hard way
28Sunday, April 21, 13
COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013
DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
1. Create a design process early on
29Sunday, April 21, 13
•Creating a design process sounds really boring but it’s one of those business structures you have to put in place to grow a company.
•started with the process our freelancers had before they came to TINITT.
COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013
DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Image courtesy of Toothpaste For Dinner
30Sunday, April 21, 13
•looked a little like this.
•This leads to a few problems when you’re trying grow a business:
•becomes extremely hard to track your workload
•building a business is so much more than just completing client projects
•when you spend 80% of your time fucking off you spend all of your actual work time designing.
•seems great, spend all our time doing what we love.
•But that doesn’t really grow business.
•have to spend a little time everyday deciding where you want to take your business.
•This give you a lot more time to adapt and you’re constantly keeping your end goals in mind which keeps you focused on moving towards
them.
COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013
DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Image courtesy of Lifehack
31Sunday, April 21, 13
•This was one of the hardest things for me creating a business.
•I’m a huge procrastinator and it took a lot of missed business opportunities and a couple hard conversations with some of our key employees
to get me to start doing things right away.
•Once we put in some concrete plans for how we develop our products, I began to see how much business we had lost because of my
procrastination.
•I wish we would have created our work flow and processes much earlier in our companies history, we would have been able to grow
significantly faster.
COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013
DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
2. Think three moves ahead
32Sunday, April 21, 13
•you always have to think at least three moves ahead if not more.
•The great part of big companies is if you or I make a mistake and they lose some money we might get yelled at, demoted, or even fired...but
the company will go on as if almost nothing happened.
•When your creating and growing a business mistakes can bring down the company.
•avoid mistakes by creating plans.
•When we were landing every client we could find we didn’t have any idea where the company was going to go so we went nowhere
•Eventually decided that we wanted to make the web beautiful and functional.
COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013
DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
http://www.commonplaces.com/sites/commonplaces.com/files/ugly%20baby.jpg
33Sunday, April 21, 13
•The web still looks extremely ugly and most websites are “ugly babies”.
•So now we had an end goal, something to work towards.
•But we’re not just going to wake up one day and see the web has completely changed.
•have to take small steps one at a time to reach our goal.
COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013
DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
http://www.squidoo.com/chess-three-move-checkmate
34Sunday, April 21, 13
•we started creating a plan.
•The chess analogy is really overused but it’s true.
•We started creating a plan to eventually get to our goal.
•didn’t work.
•you need a lot of plans.
COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013
DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
http://alltheragefaces.com/img/faces/svg/misc-all-the-things.svg
35Sunday, April 21, 13
•We were dead in the water with no idea what to do.
•cost us a lot of money.
•A few months later we hit the same scenario but this time, we had a plan B.
•burned through that one unsuccessfully too.
•plan a and a plan b aren’t enough...we almost went bankrupt making that mistake.
•Now, we have at least four plans to move the company forwards towards our goals.
COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013
DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
1. Learn to say no
2. The client isn’t always right
3. Create a design process early on
4. Think three moves ahead
36Sunday, April 21, 13
Here’s a quick recap of the 4 big mistakes we made developing our business. Hopefully some of you can avoid them.
COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013
DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Post panel questions
Twitter: @infinitekevin
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/infinitekevin/
Email: kevin@tinitt.com
Web: http://infinitekevin.com
37Sunday, April 21, 13
We’ll be taking a lot of questions after presentations but if you come up with questions afterwords you’re all welcome to contact me. Twitter
and email usually work best.
1 of 37

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IDSA 2013 - Design Driven Businesses Development

  • 1. COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013 DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT KEVIN LEHTINIITTY | FOUNDER & CEO 1Sunday, April 21, 13 • Hello everyone •Talking about design driven business development
  • 2. COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013 DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT 1994 2000 2007 2009 2011 2012 2013 BorninFranceMovestoIndianaCreatesfirstventure FoundsCSIndy CSIndyrebranded to TINITT Rejectsacquisition offer Namedin20under20 Namedin20 under20again 2010 FoundsJummba Jummbafails Kevin Lehtiniitty TINITT|Ventures 2Sunday, April 21, 13 •A little bit about me. •[Go through the timeline]. •going to share with you a few of the less obvious lessons we’ve learned along the way. •We lost a lot of time and money making these mistakes so hopefully, if you can avoid one or two of these, this talk will have done its job.
  • 3. COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013 DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT http://www.seriouswheels.com/pics-mno/Mercedes-Benz-SLR-McLaren-Cutaway-1920x1440.jpg 3Sunday, April 21, 13 •Whether we’re talking about a high performance sports car,
  • 4. COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013 DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT http://www.cruisescope.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/cruise1.jpg 4Sunday, April 21, 13 •a big cruise ship
  • 5. COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013 DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT http://boardingarea.com/blogs/flyingwithfish/files/2009/04/ba_concorde.jpg 5Sunday, April 21, 13 •a sleek high speed jet
  • 6. COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013 DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT http://www.e-architect.co.uk/images/jpgs/england/mclaren_technology_centre_fp270509_ny_1.jpg 6Sunday, April 21, 13 •or growing a business...they all need the same two things
  • 7. COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013 DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Power & Direction 7Sunday, April 21, 13 •power to move and a direction to get where we want to go.
  • 8. COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013 DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT http://www.coolfunpics.com/slides/Crazy_Stuck_Car.jpg 8Sunday, April 21, 13 •no matter the potential, if you have no power your not getting anywhere
  • 9. COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013 DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Client acquisition drives business 9Sunday, April 21, 13 •client acquisition powers business development
  • 10. COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013 DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Two less obvious lessons we learned the hard way 10Sunday, April 21, 13
  • 11. COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013 DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT 1. Learn to say no 11Sunday, April 21, 13 •Learn to say no to perspective clients.
  • 12. COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013 DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Myth: 12Sunday, April 21, 13 •very common trap that we fell in for a few years
  • 13. COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013 DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT = = http://www.opensecrets.org/news/assets_c/2010/11/stack-of-money-3153.html http://s396.photobucket.com/user/eln1/media/marketing%20pictures/money.jpg.html 13Sunday, April 21, 13 •myth is the more clients you have the bigger your business gets •If one client equals money, the 10 clients must equal 10x money •We were in this for a a little over a year •year of very slow growth that we could have used to develop our business much faster had we been smarter about our clients.
  • 14. COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013 DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Number of Clients BusinessSize Focusing on landing as many clients as possible 14Sunday, April 21, 13 •this is what we saw. •We focused on landing every client we saw no matter the size of the account or the industry they were in. •We had low profits from our clients and no pieces to put on our portfolio to bring us to the next level.
  • 15. COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013 DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Reality: 15Sunday, April 21, 13 •We were barely able to pay for our office and our other expenses •we made the scariest decision we’ve ever faced. •started saying no to clients who would bring in the money we so desperately needed.
  • 16. COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013 DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Quality Quantity 16Sunday, April 21, 13 •We picked a few markets that weren’t too saturated with design, educational institutions for example •focused all our efforts on landing bigger clients in those few spaces •turned down all clients that didn’t fit our profile. •focused on quality over quantity. •one of the best decisions we ever made.
  • 17. COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013 DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Number of Clients BusinessSize Focusing on landing quality clients 17Sunday, April 21, 13 •used every client as a portfolio piece to land even more profitable clients the next time around. •able to climb up the ladder of design projects getting to more interesting and more profitable projects. •by focusing all of our clients into a few niche areas, the effects were amplified. •we were able to say look at this great project w did in your industry. •That was the competitive advantage that pushed us over the top when competing for bids.
  • 18. COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013 DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT http://www.funnyjunk.com/funny_pictures/3942365/50+shades+of/4#4 18Sunday, April 21, 13 •Turning down clients doesn’t seem intuitive to growing a business but there’s only so far you can go by grabbing every client you see.
  • 19. COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013 DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT 2. The client isn’t always right 19Sunday, April 21, 13 •The second big and costly mistake was letting clients drive our final product.
  • 20. COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013 DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT http://www.ready2spark.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/customer-service.jpg 20Sunday, April 21, 13 •signs like this posted in too many offices to remember including my dad’s. •first “take your son to work” day, my dad’s shining cubicle and a big “the customer is always right” sign on the wall. •That’s the customer service environment I grew up with so that’s exactly the attitude we took.
  • 21. COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013 DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Image courtesy of McCann Erickson 21Sunday, April 21, 13 •clients aren’t always right. •We’ve all had the experience of creating a truly great product and seeing it get ruined by client change requests.
  • 22. COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013 DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT What clients want: 22Sunday, April 21, 13
  • 23. COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013 DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Image courtesy of Clients From Hell 23Sunday, April 21, 13 •log onto clients from hell and the horror stories start pouring out. •we lived in fear of the inevitable email that contained client feedback •we realized that none of our portfolio pieces actually showcased our work and our abilities. •All the projects we had to show had been subjected to the whims of our clients, most of which knew nothing about design.
  • 24. COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013 DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-lnF2ymkb5KI/Tw1YS7X9IAI/AAAAAAABQHc/FlFmE0VBKo8/s640/172458_10150137277585751_634670750_8380962_3247352_o.jpg 24Sunday, April 21, 13 •We got tired of taking all sorts of bullshit from our clients. •This is our field and we weren’t going to let clients ruin our hard work. •We decided to push back •Instead of losing clients they started to respect our opinions. •most clients are actually looking to you for guidance, big company politics has just trained them to keep to themselves and not ask for help. •In our experience, dictating the project - within reason of course - •gained us a lot of respect, •helped grow our business to the next level, •decreased stress
  • 25. COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013 DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Power without direction 25Sunday, April 21, 13 •second component to growing any business is having a direction. If you don’t...
  • 26. COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013 DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT http://i674.photobucket.com/albums/vv101/Konradius5/Gary%20Larson%20Comics/GoingInCircles.jpg 26Sunday, April 21, 13 •You’ll end up going around in circles. •No matter how much power you have driving growth, you need somewhere to get to.
  • 27. COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013 DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Steering with long term strategy 27Sunday, April 21, 13 •This is where a long term strategy comes into play. •Starting out long term can mean 6 months, a year, two years, it doesn’t matter. •The point is to set a direction a go after it.
  • 28. COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013 DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Two less obvious lessons we learned the hard way 28Sunday, April 21, 13
  • 29. COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013 DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT 1. Create a design process early on 29Sunday, April 21, 13 •Creating a design process sounds really boring but it’s one of those business structures you have to put in place to grow a company. •started with the process our freelancers had before they came to TINITT.
  • 30. COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013 DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Image courtesy of Toothpaste For Dinner 30Sunday, April 21, 13 •looked a little like this. •This leads to a few problems when you’re trying grow a business: •becomes extremely hard to track your workload •building a business is so much more than just completing client projects •when you spend 80% of your time fucking off you spend all of your actual work time designing. •seems great, spend all our time doing what we love. •But that doesn’t really grow business. •have to spend a little time everyday deciding where you want to take your business. •This give you a lot more time to adapt and you’re constantly keeping your end goals in mind which keeps you focused on moving towards them.
  • 31. COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013 DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Image courtesy of Lifehack 31Sunday, April 21, 13 •This was one of the hardest things for me creating a business. •I’m a huge procrastinator and it took a lot of missed business opportunities and a couple hard conversations with some of our key employees to get me to start doing things right away. •Once we put in some concrete plans for how we develop our products, I began to see how much business we had lost because of my procrastination. •I wish we would have created our work flow and processes much earlier in our companies history, we would have been able to grow significantly faster.
  • 32. COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013 DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT 2. Think three moves ahead 32Sunday, April 21, 13 •you always have to think at least three moves ahead if not more. •The great part of big companies is if you or I make a mistake and they lose some money we might get yelled at, demoted, or even fired...but the company will go on as if almost nothing happened. •When your creating and growing a business mistakes can bring down the company. •avoid mistakes by creating plans. •When we were landing every client we could find we didn’t have any idea where the company was going to go so we went nowhere •Eventually decided that we wanted to make the web beautiful and functional.
  • 33. COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013 DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT http://www.commonplaces.com/sites/commonplaces.com/files/ugly%20baby.jpg 33Sunday, April 21, 13 •The web still looks extremely ugly and most websites are “ugly babies”. •So now we had an end goal, something to work towards. •But we’re not just going to wake up one day and see the web has completely changed. •have to take small steps one at a time to reach our goal.
  • 34. COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013 DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT http://www.squidoo.com/chess-three-move-checkmate 34Sunday, April 21, 13 •we started creating a plan. •The chess analogy is really overused but it’s true. •We started creating a plan to eventually get to our goal. •didn’t work. •you need a lot of plans.
  • 35. COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013 DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT http://alltheragefaces.com/img/faces/svg/misc-all-the-things.svg 35Sunday, April 21, 13 •We were dead in the water with no idea what to do. •cost us a lot of money. •A few months later we hit the same scenario but this time, we had a plan B. •burned through that one unsuccessfully too. •plan a and a plan b aren’t enough...we almost went bankrupt making that mistake. •Now, we have at least four plans to move the company forwards towards our goals.
  • 36. COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013 DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT 1. Learn to say no 2. The client isn’t always right 3. Create a design process early on 4. Think three moves ahead 36Sunday, April 21, 13 Here’s a quick recap of the 4 big mistakes we made developing our business. Hopefully some of you can avoid them.
  • 37. COPYRIGHT 2013 TINITT | DO NOT DISTRIBUTEAPRIL 20TH 2013 DESIGN DRIVEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Post panel questions Twitter: @infinitekevin LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/infinitekevin/ Email: kevin@tinitt.com Web: http://infinitekevin.com 37Sunday, April 21, 13 We’ll be taking a lot of questions after presentations but if you come up with questions afterwords you’re all welcome to contact me. Twitter and email usually work best.