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Tom Nagel

Tom Nagel has written 20 posts for px Magazine

Don’t charge by the hour

When I started out as a freelance web designer back in college, I charged a very modest hourly rate. After my business became a full-time venture, I increased my rate significantly, because I found that people didn’t take me seriously when they found out how little I charged. Suddenly, just by charging more, I was […]

The value of vacations

I just returned from a weeklong vacation. As a business owner, vacations can be difficult, and this one was no exception. A few fires had to be put out while I was away, which caused some inconvenience for me and my family. And now that I’m back, there are way too many e-mails in my […]

What to cover in a web design contract

Before providing web design and development services to a client, or even accepting payment from them, it’s important to have a contract in place for the protection of both parties. Although you should always consult an attorney when drafting a document like this, here are some key points that you might want to cover in […]

When to say no to new business

Although learning how to deal with difficult clients can provide a wealth of valuable business experience, sometimes it’s better to identify these clients in advance and avoid them. Here are some warning signs.

The biggest mistakes I’ve ever made in the design business

One surefire indicator of success in business is how you deal with mistakes. I’ve made a lot of them in 10+ years as a business owner. Fortunately, I’ve learned more about how to manage a design business from my mistakes than from my successes. Here’s a list of my “best” mistakes: 10. Letting projects get […]

How to get your proposal accepted (almost) every time

If there’s one thing I’m not, it’s a salesman. But as the owner of a small design agency, it’s part of my job. Without being able to close a sale, I’d never get to move on to the fun stuff—building websites and building relationships. There’s a seemingly endless supply of books, seminars, and websites devoted […]

How (and Why) to Dress for Success in the Design Business

I can vividly remember my first meeting with a new client, back in the spring of 2000. I wore a cobalt blue tie, fastened to a powder blue shirt by a tie tack depicting a Mercury dime. The client wore sweatpants.

Web Design for Print Designers: Understanding the Difference

As a web developer, I often collaborate with designers and agencies that have a great deal of expertise in design for print, as opposed to interactive media. This can sometimes be a challenge, because of the inherent differences between print vs. web design. By helping designers to understand these differences—and what to do about them—projects […]

Ask your clients the right questions

When making a pitch to a prospective client or kicking off a new project, it’s essential that you drive the conversation by asking the right questions. During the sales process, it conveys your expertise and value to the client, and during project planning, it can help to ensure that everyone has a correct understanding of […]

An introduction

Welcome to px Magazine, a new online publication dedicated to the business of design.  The purpose of px Magazine is to serve as a practical resource for graphic and web designers, particularly freelancers and agency principals who want to become better business owners.