5 Things That Could Kill Your Business and How To Avoid It

January 27th, 2011 Posted in Various, Web Design

As freelance designers or owners of small businesses, there are a few things that need to be well aware of. These are more or less normal things that alone or together can put a stop to your business if you let them go to far. We know how important your business is to you and decided to put together a list with the five most “dangerous” things that can kill your business and share some thoughts on how you can avoid it. Remember that we would love to hear your own feedback and experiences as well, so leave us a comment if you have anything you’d like to share.

Now let’s have a look!

Bad efficiency/productivity

Image by Ante Vekic

We’ve mentioned this in several of our previous freelance and design business related articles, but it’s too important to leave it out. Being efficient and productive is extremely important. If you’re having trouble meeting deadlines and spend too much time on every project, you may be in deep trouble. There’s a lot of competition out there and clients know that if you can’t deliver as promised they can easily find someone else. This could quickly mean a bad income for you, clients that are not loyal and possibly a bad reputation. If you need to do something about your efficiency you need to start by evaluating your days to discover why you’re not producing enough at your given time. Make sure that you have schedules to follow and that you don’t have to work nights and weekends to make ends meet. Maybe what you need is a better way of planning, some software training or just to learn to not do personal things during work hours.

Too few clients

Image by Asif Akbar

Not having enough clients and projects is of course very crucial. To make money and make a living from what you do you need enough work. Again you’ll need to do some evaluating. It’s often the case that you’ll need to invest some more time in marketing your own business. Make sure that you have a good website, a good portfolio and that people can find you when they need you. Participate in contests and get a network. Spend the time required and don’t forget to be visible in your home area as well. Maybe a friend or former client knows someone that may be in need of your services. It’s all about investing time in your business and not giving up!

Financial issues

Image by Michal Ufniak

If you’re in financial trouble you can quickly find yourself thinking more about those problems than focusing on your actual projects. Financial matters are true creativity killers and a lot of new freelance designers give up when they’ve had a couple of months with little to no money. The first thing one should do before the start-up is to plan well and make sure to somehow have enough money to live from while the business is coming to life. You usually can’t expect to make enough to pay all your bills before a couple of months have passed. In some cities there are great possibilities to get an office space with cheap rent and sometimes even some help with paying bills in the start. Make sure that you check out what’s available in your area, that you work hard and keep looking for possibilities to earn some extra money. Again it is about not giving up. Maybe a part time job somewhere can help you get through the most difficult months?

Unhappy clients

Image by John Evans

If you’re clients aren’t happy they wont recommend you to others, and they’re less likely to come back again later. This is obviously a problem as former and current clients usually make the best marketing of your business. Make sure that you always keep a good communication during projects to avoid misunderstandings. You should also immediately take action if you have the feeling that they’re unhappy with something. By remembering this you can avoid them getting unhappy and get the chance to correct any problem they are having.


Image by Eduardo Schäfer

Being motivated when you’re working alone and working long hours can often be a huge challenge, especially if you’re used to having a very social job earlier. If we’re not motivated we become less effective and it can affect many aspects of the business. Different solutions can work for different people. What you need to do is sit down and think through why you’re doing this and in which ways it’ll be worth it in the long run. Another important thing is to remember to take regular breaks, give yourself a vacation every now and then and be good at doing things that are not related to work. If you’re always working you wont get time to look forward to going to work and your brain can’t recharge like it should. Find out what works for you and remember to dedicate some time for yourself. You are your most important tool!


There are many reasons why freelance design businesses sometimes fail. We hope our tips can help you out a bit so that you can avoid some of the most common reasons to why this happens. As long as you keep your spirits up, work hard and remember to relax, you’re more likely to succeed.

Good luck!

Author -

who has written 551 posts on [Re]Encoded.com.

Contact the author

Leave a Reply