// author archive

Tom Nagel

Tom Nagel has written 20 posts for px Magazine

Seven signs of a great client

Many articles have been written about how to spot a bad client, and how to deal with them if you’re already working with one. Unfortunately, it seems that fewer words have been devoted to great clients, which are a big reason why we’re in the design business in the first place (and are able and […]

Two simple ways to sell design services with ease

For years, I would go into sales meetings with nervous apprehension, not knowing what to say in order to convince clients that they should choose my company to design their new website or other marketing materials. My plan was to introduce myself, hand the client a business card and folder with some literature about our […]

How to hire your first employee

Aside from making the decision to quit your job and start your own business, hiring your first employee can be one of the scariest and most exciting moments in the career of an entrepreneur. If it’s done wrong, it can cost a considerable amount of money and possibly put the survival of your business on […]

“I” vs. “we” for the small business owner

In the past year or two I’ve read a few books and articles that encourage freelance designers and small business owners to avoid referring to themselves in the plural as a way of making their operation look bigger than it really is. For example, if you’re a sole proprietor, the argument is that there’s nothing […]

Nine warning signs of a difficult design client

Most designers will, at some point, work with a client who is difficult to please. Even if you work through all the challenges and frustrations and somehow manage to satisfy the client, the final design often ends up being worse due to the client’s micromanagement or ill-advised preferences. What if you knew in advance that […]

The pros and cons of selling web hosting

If you’re a web designer, you’ve probably had more than one client ask you about hosting: Where will my site be hosted? Do you provide hosting? Can I continue hosting my site with my current provider? Some clients are particularly hands-off and need someone to handle everything relating to their website, including domain registration, hosting, […]

Are you acting in the best interests of your clients?

One frustration I have with our industry is that some designers don’t always act in their clients’ best interests. There are several notable ways in which this problem manifests itself: Not addressing the client’s business needs. Designers take pride in the fact that they aren’t merely artists; they solve problems for their clients. All too […]

How clients attempt to take over the design process (and what to do about it)

Throughout my career I’ve never had to fire a client, but looking back, there are several times I probably should have. And in every case, in one way or another, it’s because the client attempted to take over the design process.

Keep clients and foster trust by downselling

A few days ago, I met with a prospective client, and during the course of our discussion I found myself repeatedly trying to convince them to abandon many of the plans they had for their new website. The client had some interesting ideas: a new e-commerce system, a custom video upload tool, and a mobile […]

Work-life balance starts with setting boundaries

One of the challenges in managing your own design business is setting boundaries, especially if you work from home. If left unchecked, work has a tendency to overflow into your personal life, which can undermine the benefit of owning a business and having a flexible work schedule.