Individual Design http://www.individual-design.co.uk A personalised approach to web design, seo and branding Wed, 06 Jul 2016 09:47:39 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 It’s been a long, long time baby… http://www.individual-design.co.uk/long-long-time-baby/ http://www.individual-design.co.uk/long-long-time-baby/#respond Mon, 27 Jun 2016 14:02:43 +0000 http://www.individual-design.co.uk/?p=2813 … there’s been hard times and the good, I need to celebrate you baby, and praise you like I should!! OK so I may have taken some poetic license with the lyrics to the Fatboy Slim song, but I just didn’t know how to start this post or what to say after not being in […]

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… there’s been hard times and the good, I need to celebrate you baby, and praise you like I should!!

please excuse the "borrowing" and not even correctly using the FatBoy Lyrics

please excuse the “borrowing” and not even correctly using the FatBoy Lyrics

OK so I may have taken some poetic license with the lyrics to the Fatboy Slim song, but I just didn’t know how to start this post or what to say after not being in this space for SO LONG! I am thoroughly ashamed to say I have not been practicing what I preach, I have not been adding regular content to my own website – in fact there are more than a good handful of sites over on my portfolio that I have actually redesigned or heavily updated since I last posted, which all need to change. At the start of this year I made a promise to work on as well as in my business, vowing to regularly update my blog and portfolio, not only for new potential clients to see what I can do and what I am about but also to help my SEO and let google know that Individual Design is still alive and kicking! BUT… as you can imagine I have been buried under a ton of new projects and key account work so NONE of those things got done!

HOWEVER!!

Here I am again, six months on trying my best to catch up. Where to begin…..

Olly’s Hair for Men has had a makeover. After almost 3 years the guys had grown out of and gotten over the old style so we designed the new web site to have a slicker, cutting edge (no pun intended) design update, I will post more on that another time because it has got so much positive feedback. Ring on a Wing and With This Ring are other existing customers I have had the pleasure to help with a little site refresh, as well as a very mini facelift over at La Couture Bridal.

wedding-industry-web-design

we just added a touch of further refinement

New projects so far this year have included another beautiful bridal boutique website design or two! Working with an amazing wedding photographer on his new company logo, branding and website – you can find more details over on the wedding photography web design page Outside of the bridal world iD had the pleasure of designing completely different sites for a business consultant and bathroom fitter (told you it wasn’t just wedding industry web design i do!) I have also added another beauty website as well as working on a project for an international colour consultancy coach. It literally has been full steam ahead!

photography-WEB-DESIGN-philip-james

Philip James About Page

I have put a hold on any further new projects for the Summer as I am looking forward to spending some time away from the screen with my daughter and getting everything all spic and span over here ready for the Autumn/Winter rush. To find out about my web design services or to book a slot for Autumn/Winter 2016 contact us or get in touch via our free website review.

That’s all for now, But I WILL be posting regular updates from now on so please don’t be a stranger.

Jx

 

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Headless Howler – A Pet Peeve of Mine http://www.individual-design.co.uk/headless-howler-a-pet-peeve-of-mine/ http://www.individual-design.co.uk/headless-howler-a-pet-peeve-of-mine/#respond Wed, 27 Jan 2016 16:55:57 +0000 http://www.individual-design.co.uk/?p=2783 I need to say this! I need to vent my frustrations at seeing SOOO many headless models on wedding websites – it literally annoys the life out of me. At a new client meeting yesterday with, you guessed it – another bridal boutique, they showed me through a few of their favourite wedding websites, their […]

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I need to say this! I need to vent my frustrations at seeing SOOO many headless models on wedding websites – it literally annoys the life out of me. At a new client meeting yesterday with, you guessed it – another bridal boutique, they showed me through a few of their favourite wedding websites, their own existing site, and of course a few other none industry sites they liked the look and feel of. I have to say, practically every wedding industry website had the heads cut off the models – some even had headless models on the homepage slider!

It just screams LAZY, to me.

I know it’s a pain editing 100’s of images, I know you have to sometimes tweak css and coding again and again, to get it JUST right, but it needs to be done. The websites can look amazing, and then right in the middle of the page where you would expect to find a beautiful image of the dress you find a teeny, tiny square of what looks like a wedding dress but it could just be a white blob. Click it – oh yes it is a lovely dress and amazingly, I can see that the model does in fact have a head – Brilliant!

What is the issue with resizing the gallery thumbnails people???

I suppose I shouldn’t really get so wound up over it, after all my eye for detail and levels of perfectionism are one of the reasons lots of people choose to work with me, but seriously – do you think this actually looks good?

lazy-web-designing

 

or this?

not-lazy-web-design

It isn’t rocket science, but it is pretty bloody annoying. I know potential brides aren’t there to look at the models heads but they are there to see what the business has to offer; are they professional, conscientious and willing to show their clients care and attention. So I believe their website should reflect that – in every aspect.

Rant over! I don’t know why I get so worked up over it, I mean all the better for me I suppose but still – please stop chopping peoples heads off!!!

 

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I’m Different… And I Like It! http://www.individual-design.co.uk/a-different-kind-of-web-design/ http://www.individual-design.co.uk/a-different-kind-of-web-design/#respond Thu, 21 Jan 2016 14:43:32 +0000 http://www.individual-design.co.uk/?p=2767 It’s nice to see iD is on the money! Or actually quite a bit less than, if the article I read recently in the guardian is anything to go by. On my hunt for new and informative SEO news and updates, as part of my new regular blogging strategy (is there really such a thing?! – […]

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It’s nice to see iD is on the money! Or actually quite a bit less than, if the article I read recently in the guardian is anything to go by. On my hunt for new and informative SEO news and updates, as part of my new regular blogging strategy (is there really such a thing?! – this applies to both the “regular blogging and “new seo” techniques) I came across this piece, which basically lays out how to pick your web designer, what to look out for, and roughly how much it should cost.

I pretty much agree with all the points raised, and yep its absolutely right that a good designer will change their designs according to their clients’ needs and wants, and of course, all new websites should be 100% responsive and mobile friendly. All ticks in the box there for me – YEY.

I'm doing it right!

It’s always good to hear you are doing it right!*

The pricing got me thinking though. The article lists logo design at around the £200 mark, which I think is pretty low, you can see why here. But web design is priced at around £3,000! Wow! That is a huge cost, and quite unjustified I think. Most web designers like myself, now automatically use CMS platforms such as WordPress, which is far quicker and easier to customize than building a site from scratch. Ecommerce is priced at a whopping £5,000 – £10,000 depending on the level of customization, but again most designers will use a platform such as Magento or Woo Commerce for WordPress for the building blocks of the site. And that is just for the basics of the site. They do not include content or images supplied, and do not include any SEO. It is quite staggering.

shocking

It can’t just be me who thinks these prices are outrageous?!*

I appreciate that larger agencies have bigger overheads and need to charge more, but those prices can leave a nasty taste in your mouth especially as sometimes you are just getting a bog standard template with your logo and colour scheme, which is pretty similar to the other 30 clients who previously chose that option. I know a lot of agencies who work like that, and I can safely say, never, NEVER will that happen at iD!

It’s different here at iD

different-meryl-streep

My target market is small owner/manager businesses, who don’t have the time, experience, or will, to build a quality website which will aptly reflect their business AND get found on google. I won’t increase my prices because they are lower than the industry “norm” I charge a fair price for the hours of work I put in, it is as simple as that.

My new mantra:

I am proud iD is an affordable web design agency.

I am adamant, that now, or in 15 years time iD will always offer our clients completely custom designs.

I am dedicated to helping clients achieve a better positioning on google. Each and EVERY website page I build includes SEO.

And I’m thrilled that all of those things are what makes me different!

If you want to work with a design agency who is different, who will put your business needs and goals front and center of the project without a huge bill at the end of it, contact me at Individual Design.

*I seem to have used a lot of baby images today. I would just like to point out no babies, either real or cartoon were harmed during the making of this post :-)

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Logo Design Unlocked – What you are REALLY paying for! http://www.individual-design.co.uk/logo-design-unlocked/ http://www.individual-design.co.uk/logo-design-unlocked/#respond Tue, 12 Jan 2016 13:14:00 +0000 http://www.individual-design.co.uk/?p=2751 We all know that you can get a logo designed for you online for, well, the price of a ridiculously overpriced cup of coffee. You generally get what you pay for, except at Starbucks, where you pay through the nose and still just get a coffee, albeit a fairly nice cup. Yes, you can get […]

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We all know that you can get a logo designed for you online for, well, the price of a ridiculously overpriced cup of coffee. You generally get what you pay for, except at Starbucks, where you pay through the nose and still just get a coffee, albeit a fairly nice cup. Yes, you can get a really really cheap logo online, but will it do the job? Is it appropriate for your business and marketplace? Is it future-proof? Does it REALLY reflect your business?

logo-design-quality

Logo prices can vary hugely, usually the more talented and experienced a designer, the more you are likely to pay. Custom logo design prices at iD are based on the level of work and time I put into every project. It might seem expensive if you consider your logo to be “a bit of text in a different font or whatever” on the page. But if you know anything about branding, and care about creating the right first impression of your business, you will know it is not just a “bit of text” on the page and it matters!

You can currently expect to pay £350 for a bespoke logo design at iD. Which might seem like a lot of money, but if I break it down for you, you can see just what goes into a custom logo design.

Research: I can spend around 3 hours per client researching ideas for their new logo. This includes looking into their company history, researching their marketplace and competition. Reviewing the questionnaire I have already asked the client to fill out, helping me to narrow down the brief. Looking up suitable fonts, gathering ideas and colours on Pinterest and locally.

1st Idea Draft: I usually have a pretty strong first idea, which can be honed within 6-10 drafts (which only I see) This can take anywhere between 2 to 3 hours, depending on how well I feel the idea and style evolving.

1st Idea Edit for Client: Once I think I have the general style and feel right, I will play around with the colours and fonts. I usually have between 3 and 6 versions for the client. This is pretty straight forward and doesn’t take too long – around an hour or so.

Client Consult: After the client has seen the 1st draft, we analyse if the logo is right for the brand and company image. If the client loves the idea, we tend to tinker with the finer details and colours. Also looking at how the logo can be displayed in different formats and on different backgrounds. An additional 2 hours is about right for this stage.

2nd Draft: If the client isn’t sure, we try to pin point what is and isn’t working for them. I will then go away and come up with another idea or usually 2. This can take another few hours or sometimes longer. I tend to offer the client ideas which are completely different, to help them visualize what does and doesn’t work.

Rewind and Redo: If it’s still not right, I go right back to the beginning and start all over again. Usually after reexamining and discussing the branding questionnaire in detail with the client. This helps us to narrow down EXACTLY what the client is looking for and marry it up with the logo.

Finally: Once we have it right, I present the client with the logo in various different formats. I also include a branding board which clearly displays the correct colours and fonts plus any other supporting icons or embellishments. Time taken for this step is around another hour.

So even if it all goes swimmingly, and the client loves the first draft; the minimum time it takes from concept to completion is around 9 hours, without accounting for time spent emailing and talking to the client about their new logo. And that’s if they love the very first idea, which does happen. Although it normally takes a little back and forth on exact font, placement and colourings so you can easily add another hour to that – if they LOVE the first idea. If they don’t, it can pretty much double the time it can take.

WORST CASE SCENARIO  

I had one client who wasn’t exactly sure what she wanted, even after lots of researching and a Pinterest idea board, their heart was in conflict with their head. We ended up doing about 10 different ideas, the favourite 3 ideas each had another 6 variations! And guess what? Yup, we went full circle. She chose the very first idea I presented – and has been using it for the last two years! The logo and branding is completely perfect for what her business was, and has grown into. We may have been all around the houses, and that particular logo design probably took me the best part of 20+ hours, but it was all totally worth it. The client is happy and has a strong branding direction, which will grow with her business, and in fact, suits her better today than it did all those years ago.

She wasn't quiet this bad!

She wasn’t quiet this bad!

So that is what you get when you ask iD to design you a logo – my time, my knowledge, my eye for detail, my dedication and in some cases, my unfaltering patience.

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New Year, New Me! http://www.individual-design.co.uk/new-year-new-me/ http://www.individual-design.co.uk/new-year-new-me/#respond Thu, 07 Jan 2016 13:42:50 +0000 http://www.individual-design.co.uk/?p=2736 Happy New Year to you all, I hope you had an amazing Christmas break and are ready to take on 2016 LIKE A BOSS. I know I am! 2015 was a brilliant year for iD; the business grew with clients and referrals, I built some of my best websites, one of which was even a finalist […]

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Happy New Year to you all, I hope you had an amazing Christmas break and are ready to take on 2016 LIKE A BOSS. I know I am! 2015 was a brilliant year for iD; the business grew with clients and referrals, I built some of my best websites, one of which was even a finalist in the best wedding retailer website competition. iD was that busy we pretty much had a permanent waiting list for new projects – it was amazing, but exhausting. By the time Christmas rolled around I was ready to break, or at least have a break!

busy-overload

Yup – that was pretty much what I looked like!

After a magical two weeks of love, laughter, food and family, I am now back at my desk looking forward to 2016 and what lies ahead. I currently have some amazing projects on the go which I am extremely excited about, but all the while throughout 2015 I have been disappointed with my lack of attention on my own business. You can read about it here and here.

There is a running theme – I want to concentrate on my own business but I get so wrapped up in ensuring my clients site’s are performing well with regular updates, I neglect my own.

Business Focus

So for 2016, I am turning over a new leaf. I WILL update my blog, I WILL get out and meet new people in the industry and local business community and all in all, I WILL invest the time and energy into my lovely little web design agency. So that is my sort of New Year’s Resolution. To treat my own business as if it is my clients business! I have already started too (shock horror!) I have set out a clear blogging strategy, outlining core subject areas, topics and timescales.

blogging schedule

See! Please do excuse my scruffy handwriting.

I have even drafted three posts today – get me!! Fingers crossed I can keep it up. If you want me to share my full blogging schedule and ideas of how to plan your own, drop me an email or comment below, I would be more than happy to.

What about you? Have you set yourself new business goals for 2016? Are you working on any exciting developments or are you also struggling to focus on what’s right in front of you?

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The Good, The Bad, The Balance http://www.individual-design.co.uk/the-good-bad-balance/ http://www.individual-design.co.uk/the-good-bad-balance/#respond Sun, 01 Nov 2015 12:00:44 +0000 http://www.individual-design.co.uk/?p=2713 Are we in November already? I seriously don’t know where the time goes! I have been busy beavering away designing new websites, drawing up business card artwork and setting branding guidelines, I haven’t actually had time to sit back and take stock of what has been going on in the iD bubble. Or to acknowledge the passage […]

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Are we in November already? I seriously don’t know where the time goes! I have been busy beavering away designing new websites, drawing up business card artwork and setting branding guidelines, I haven’t actually had time to sit back and take stock of what has been going on in the iD bubble. Or to acknowledge the passage of time, it seems!

time-flies-by-when-building-websites

It feels like time is literally flying away from me.

Talking with my husband the other night, it occurred to me just where the wind seems to be blowing this little business of mine. We were discussing my current projects; where I was at with them and projects waiting to be started. The list was jam packed full of bridal websites!

I am currently working on projects in all areas of the bridal market – from boutiques, to event styling companies, eCommerce stores –  It is crackers! Of course, there are some non-wedding projects in there too but when I think about it, currently about 80% of my new design workload relates to wedding websites and i wasn’t really sure how I felt about it.

Is it a good or bad thing?

GOOD!

I love the fact that people are recommending me or new clients are seeing my work on another site within the industry and enquiring about their own website design. It is an amazing feeling to know that not only my client loves their site but others are seeing the value that working with me can add to their own online presence.

BAD!

I don’t want to be pigeonholed. I can do more than wedding website design!

4091638845_914e18a2a6

Help! I don’t want to get stuck here… Do I?

In fact, I pride myself on the fact that I can design for any industry or business type. My message is: web design and branding to suit your business. Not an entire industry! My core values all evolve around designing sites and branding unique to each client, allowing them to express their own iD. So I really don’t want to become know as “Jo, she designs wedding websites”

GOOD!

On the other hand, it could be pretty cool to be the go-to designer for the bridal industry. It would be a little bit like being famous, right? No, your right, nothing like being famous. I have neck and eye ache from staring at a computer all day, not strutting about on a stage. Still, that little bit of recognition is great for my confidence and gives me the drive to keep advancing, challenging and developing new ideas.

BAD!

It might put some businesses off. If they perceive that all of the websites I design are pretty and girlie, they might not even get in touch with me to see what I can do for them.

FINDING MY BALANCE.

I like to work with people who I feel I can get along with. If we don’t hit it off on our initial phone call or meeting, if I don’t get the direction you want to head in, or think that we could be a good partnership, I will say – sorry this project’s not for me. This benefits us both, I don’t have a headache and sleepless nights worrying if I’m doing the right thing for someone else’s business and you get a different designer who DOES know what you are looking for, and can deliver what you want. I know I am incredibly lucky to be at a stage where I can choose my clients, and I appreciate that that could all change in a very short space of time, but for now, this is working for me and my clients.

anything

To work with someone or a business I genuinely feel a connection to makes life so much easier for the both of us. It generally allows me greater creative freedom as my clients trust me, and we have a good working relationship based on an understanding of each other and the business needs.

So there’s my balance point. It isn’t about the industry sector, it is about my relationship with the client. That is the key to designing a great website or logo which becomes a useful asset to their business. If they are all bridal boutiques or mechcanics, it really doesn’t matter to me, as long as the client does.

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How do you know when it’s time for a re-design? http://www.individual-design.co.uk/how-do-you-know-when-its-time-for-a-re-design/ http://www.individual-design.co.uk/how-do-you-know-when-its-time-for-a-re-design/#respond Mon, 14 Sep 2015 15:09:34 +0000 http://www.individual-design.co.uk/?p=2681 I have been asking myself this question a lot lately, maybe because I went through a re-brand myself this year, (which I have to say has been the best thing I ever did) or maybe it’s because I have been building websites for some years now, and this year I have revisited and redesigned a few […]

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I have been asking myself this question a lot lately, maybe because I went through a re-brand myself this year, (which I have to say has been the best thing I ever did) or maybe it’s because I have been building websites for some years now, and this year I have revisited and redesigned a few existing clients websites. And possibly, it is because I am now getting approached by well established businesses with existing websites, looking to a spruce and shake it up.

For me, it was a case of I simply hated my existing site. It meant nothing, it didn’t reflect my business, me or my customers. It was something I produced out of necessity and I never really paid any attention to it, so it was a bit of a no brainer. Particularly, when I had a great idea storming around in my brain for the future direction of the business – I just had to do it, there and then.

For my clients and prospective clients, it seems to be more a case of: needing to move forward with how the web looks and feels. If we don’t evolve our websites, they get left behind, look dated and can’t offer maximum functionality to the user. Additionally, I find new clients mentioned areas of the site which may be being a little glitchy and doesn’t really work for them.

SO, the big question is: when and why do you redesign your website?

There are no right or wrong answers, but the points below may help you to decide when you should starting thinking about re designing your website.

1. If your site was designed more than 18 months ago, it may be worth a revisit. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend redesigning your existing website, in all likelihood it probably still looks and feels quite fresh – maybe just look at functionality. What is working for you? What are your clients using? Are there any areas that don’t work or you aren’t managing to use effectively? How can you make it cleaner and simpler for your clients to use and engage with?

By staying on top of your site like this, you will find it not only works better for you and your clients, you don’t really need to have a massive overhaul in the future – you are changing with the times, my friend! kudos.

evolution_of_man

2. If your site is 2-3 years old, I would ask a web designer (hello!) to take a look at it. Sometimes, particularly if you have been adding pages to the site over the years that it can all get a bit jumbled up and your navigation isn’t clear or concise. Often, both you and your clients can lose the message you are trying to convey. In my experience with a site that is this old, there are definite improvements which can be made, both aesthetically and for functionality.

lessismore-200x200

 

3. If your website is 3-5 years old, I would say your site would probably need an overhaul. Sites that are older are generally are crammed with stuff – information, colour, scrolling this and flashing that. Yes, of course all these things still have a place on the right website, but not all in one place. Additionally, if nothing has been done on your website for around 5 years, you are most likely missing out on major ways to interact with your audience. Not to mention that your website is probably not responsive or optimised for mobiles, which gives us bad SEO juju.

If your site is older than 5 years and isn’t responsive in design, stop reading this immediately and contact me now, RIGHT NOW, YOU HAVE NO TIME TO LOSE! I jest, but seriously you need to get it sorted sooner rather than later. If you haven’t been affected yet, you will soon find your website slipping down the google rankings, which favours responsive websites.

4. Take a look around. Have all of your competitors had a revamp? We are not a nation who likes change; it usually involves time and money, of which is often in short supply. The motto “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” springs to mind. But once we take time to look at what others are doing around us, if we have kept with our old reliable, our site can look and feel outdated, which rightly or wrongly has a negative impact on the business image. We are no longer cutting edge, we are behind the times… not a great first impression to make.

good-impressions

 

At this point, I am not saying get a brand spanking new site because Jones Corp has got one. I’m just saying don’t get too comfortable, the net is an ever evolving place and to offer the best service for your clients it needs to be something to be mindful of.

5. Because you hate your website, like I did 🙂 or you are a fully functioning business but do not have a website. Crazy i know, but it happens!

I think that about sums it up, but like everything when and why, it is personal to you. If you don’t like something, why wait to change it? Although, please do not change for changes sake. Look, and get an experienced designer to look (hello, yes me again!) to see how your company can be best represented online. It might need just a little tweak here and there or you may decide to jump ship and start again, ultimately only you know.

I hope this helps you to figure out if it is time to make the change or not. I am always happy to offer a free website review, should you decide now might be that time. You can simply submit your site to me for a free appraisal and follow up chat to discuss it and any changes it might need.

 

Jo

 

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Normal Service Resumes. http://www.individual-design.co.uk/normal-service-resumes/ http://www.individual-design.co.uk/normal-service-resumes/#respond Mon, 17 Aug 2015 08:45:43 +0000 http://www.individual-design.co.uk/?p=2676 Just a quick update to let all my hosted web clients know that the server transfer which took place over the weekend was completed successfully. On Friday evening we switched all websites and files to a new, larger, quicker server. The update was complete by Saturday and this morning I have checked all sites, everything […]

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Just a quick update to let all my hosted web clients know that the server transfer which took place over the weekend was completed successfully. On Friday evening we switched all websites and files to a new, larger, quicker server. The update was complete by Saturday and this morning I have checked all sites, everything seems to be in great working order and performing quickly – as promised.

If you have yet to arrange a time with me to update your email settings in Outlook or Apple Mail please contact me ASAP. If you access your email via webmail, you can continue to use your existing login details.

For any other details or information drop me a quick line and I will be glad to help.

Thank you for your patience while the changes were taking place.

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Working Holiday? http://www.individual-design.co.uk/working-holiday/ http://www.individual-design.co.uk/working-holiday/#respond Fri, 14 Aug 2015 11:04:52 +0000 http://www.individual-design.co.uk/?p=2668 I’m not going to lie these last 4 weeks have been tough (has it ONLY really been 4 weeks?) and I’ve still got 3 more to go – YIKES! That is, 3 weeks until it’s time to go back to school – YAY! Although, I should say “go to school” as there is no back […]

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I’m not going to lie these last 4 weeks have been tough (has it ONLY really been 4 weeks?) and I’ve still got 3 more to go – YIKES! That is, 3 weeks until it’s time to go back to school – YAY! Although, I should say “go to school” as there is no back for my little one, this is her first year – YIKES AGAIN! I can’t believe my baby is heading off to school for the first time in September, it really is true what they say, it only seems like 5 minutes ago since she was so tiny wrapped up in my arms… sigh.

baby-grow-up-quickly-poem

 

But she is ready, she NEEDS to go to school. Hell, I need her to go to school too. I can no longer keep her little mind busy, or wear her out enough by the end of the day to allow her a restful and easy sleep. Well, that’s not true – I can do those things, but I can’t when I am also trying to run my business.

This summer holiday has been tricky, I always find it hard to get the balance right (I really hope she doesn’t noticed) It is so difficult as a parent who set up their own business to stay at home to be with the children, but then work takes off and it is no longer a case of working a few hours here and there around other commitments, it is more than a full time job. So the question really is:

How do we keep both our kids and clients happy?

I’m going to go out on a limb and say there is no right or wrong, just what works for you. Please do correct me if you KNOW the right way – I am all ears. But before the holidays started I decided there would be a few ground rules I put in place to help keep my daughter happy and keep my sanity, unlike the Easter Holidays previously.

Working Holiday Rules

1. Don’t take on ANY new clients. Controversial, I know. What kind of fool turns down work? Although, I must admit I am breaking this rule slightly as I have taken on 1 or 2 new web design projects but this is way less than I would normally do. Plus, I have an existing eCommerce project which has been delayed until September – so really I’m just filling a gap – right?

By easing up my new workload, I have been able to ensure all my existing clients are still receiving a good solid service whether for regular SEO updates or little refresher redesigns. The benefit of this has been all my existing clients know and understand my family commitments and are happy with how I need to work during the holidays.

2. Some days don’t do any work & DON’T FEEL GUILTY ABOUT IT. It’s the summer holidays, my kid needs to have fun. I don’t want her earliest memories being stuck inside the house all day everyday while mummy sits at her desk. So, yes while some days I do pretty much sit here all day typing, coding and drawing, other days I do nothing at all and I am totally fine with that.

3.Work when my child is busy. Although R doesn’t often get totally absorbed in games and toys by herself, it is happening more and more. When these rare moments occur I basically run to my laptop and start typing as quickly as possible before my time runs out!

4.Talking of time, If I absolutely need to get something done, but she isn’t playing ball and NEEDS me to play dollies, or playdough or balance on my head while dressed up as a ballerina, I set a timer on my phone. When the buzzer goes off I am all hers to do with as she wishes, and then when it rings again I go back to work.

This is good for us in two ways: firstly, it makes sure I step away from my screen to be with her 100%. Secondly, it helps her to understand that she needs to learn be patient and sometimes other things need to take priority – dollies aren’t the be all and end all.

5. If I’m on the phone with a client – just nod yes! My child may only be 4 but she is no fool. She basically waits until I am on a phone call to ask for a second yogurt bar or more biscuits. If I try to resist she kicks up a fuss and I have to end the call (not the most professional, thankfully I pick the best clients!) Therefore I have learnt to smile and say yes to practically anything – she has yet to learn that this WILL result in extra broccoli at tea time *feel free to insert your own evil laugh.

That is basically, how I am managing to cope with being self-employed and a mama over the summer holidays – I’ve got to be honest some days it works better than others – but we are bobbing through. Although this week I have had to work a fair amount as I have made some big changes so to make up for it we are now off to the cinema!! Yay – popcorn time!

InsideOut5

If you are self-employed and work from home with kids, how are you managing the working holiday? Do you have any other tricks and rules I could benefit from?

I do still have 3 WEEKS TO GO!!!

Jo

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Beaming About My Bridal Websites http://www.individual-design.co.uk/beaming-about-my-bridal-websites/ http://www.individual-design.co.uk/beaming-about-my-bridal-websites/#respond Mon, 29 Jun 2015 19:44:34 +0000 http://www.individual-design.co.uk/?p=2648 Wow, what a week. I know I have been a little quiet on here recently – it’s basically because I am working so blinking hard on everybody else’s website that i just don’t seem to find time focus on my own. It’s kinda like the builder who lives in a run down house. After he […]

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Wow, what a week. I know I have been a little quiet on here recently – it’s basically because I am working so blinking hard on everybody else’s website that i just don’t seem to find time focus on my own. It’s kinda like the builder who lives in a run down house. After he gets home from a hard day’s work he really can’t bring himself to pick up his hammer again until tomorrow.

However, even though it is 7pm and I should actually be bathing my child right now, I couldn’t resist sharing some really exciting news.best-bridal-website-award

The website I built for The Dressing Rooms has been entered into a competition and it has made it to the finals. Out of hundreds and hundreds of entries it has been narrowed down to the last 6! I am over the moon it has been so well received. We find out the winners in September and I think I am going to keep my fingers crossed until then.

From my understanding the Bridal Buyers Awards are a huge nod of recognition from within the industry and I really do wish Rebecca and team a ton of luck and hope they pick up BOTH awards they have been nominated for.

If that wasn’t all the good news surrounding bridal websites, I am almost ready to launch La Couture Bridal Boutiques new site. It has been a long time in the making but I have to say – it is absolutely beautiful. This week I met with the boutique to show them the finished site and they loved it. There were squeals, shrieks of delight and clapping all round – I think it’s fair to say that was a good meeting!

I am hoping that site launches v soon, we just need to sort the boring server/hosting issues and we are good to go – so watch this space for another beautiful bridal website!

 

new bridal shop website

Little sneaky peek for you there! I love that it reflects the boutique wonderfully, and it is so different from The Dressing Rooms.

In my industry it can be so easy to pigeonhole websites into “industry standard” but that is what sets iD apart from the rest. We don’t build websites to look identical to others – there is no template, no standard. Just the best use of colour, space and substance to reflect your business.

The new site will be live any day now and I am just so proud of it, I can’t wait to share it in all it’s glory.

This week has been an amazing week for iD and bridal websites, award nominations, site completions – what more can a busy, thriving designer ask for? Oh, probably a clean child! I really must dash….

Jo

 

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