As with everything in life, business will have its good and bad times. Everyone experiences ebbs and flows in their workloads – the most important thing is to be prepared for when times are tough. When you finish a project and realise that you have absolutely nothing else to do, the idea of not having any work starts to really sink in. Whilst a lack of design work does mean that you’re earning, there is nothing stopping you from doing the following.
- Go through your emails
The very first thing you should do is comb through your emails with a fine tooth comb to ensure that there aren’t any projects that you’ve missed. It is easy for the odd email to somehow be overlooked or to turn up in a junk folder, so ensure that you’ve gone through absolutely everything on the off chance that there’s some work in there. Even if some time has passed, return the email with apologies and see if you can help.
- Think of new ideas
You’ll have a lot of free time now that you’re spending your days without any design work to do, so make good use of this time and come up with some fresh ideas. It can be a bit nerve-wracking to not have some pay to look forward to, but take the opportunity to think of some new ways to do what you love. Explore the internet and set aside some time each day where you will focus on self-development only.
- Refresh your portfolio
If you’ve had a long streak of constantly flowing work, you may have had so much to do that you haven’t had a chance to update your portfolio in a while. This is one of the first things you should do when you no longer have much work on your hands. As a designer, your portfolio will speak of your prowess and capabilities – you need to ensure that it’s up to date and reflects the quality of work you’re currently churning out.
- Get in touch with old clients
Past clients already know your potential – and if you provided them with quality design work, chances are that they’ll be interested in using you for subsequent work. There is nothing wrong with calling on an old client to find out if they have any new projects on the way. You might even be able to land a job that would otherwise have passed you by, so ensure that your business is first by making some calls.
- Follow up every lead
Sometimes, you might miss out on work because it’s not what you’re used to doing. Every designer eventually finds a niche they are comfortable with and sticks with it, often at the expense of lesser favoured areas. How about trying out some of those projects that you previously said you wouldn’t touch? You might even find that you really enjoy it and have a new niche to add to your business.
We hope that the information provided above has given you plenty to do when you don’t have any design work on. At the end of the day, it’s important to understand that these sorts of ebbs and flows happen to everyone – and the hard times will eventually pass. A few months down the track, you’ll likely have so much work on that you won’t know what to do with yourself. Even so, ensuring that you have a plan for when times are slow is a must.