February 4, 2015

I'm running a business, not a charity.

Occasionally, I will do a friend or acquaintance a favor and do some design work for their business. Although I make sure they understand I usually charge a lot more for the work I do, without fail, these same folk will come back and want me to do twice or three times the work for the same low fee. They just don't seem to understand my time is money as well as the skills and tools I use to create my illustrations and graphic designs. Sometimes a job may take 10-40 hours to create, and I don’t work for the minimum wage. After all, I live in Manhattan and as Jimmy McMillam would say, “the rents are too damn high.”

One acquaintance happy with the illustration I had created for his/her business wanted me to do a second illustration he/she wanted to re-sell on a product. This new job involved three times the work I did the first time so I wasn’t all that keen to do it. Besides, I knew this person did not understand the licensing fees involved in creating an illustration for re-sell. I also knew the person did not have the funds to pay for this project. So I simply doubled the fee because of the licensing.

Surprise, surprise, this person was shocked. “But how can you charge me more when I might be able to sell it?”

I did this person a big favor. The product the person wanted to sell probably would not have sold well anyway. Too many people think it’s easy to produce something and people will just buy it because they think people will buy it. All products require research and development to determine if there is a market large enough to make a profit from it. 

I met people all the time who think they will make a lot of money selling tee-shirts only to discover they are left with a large inventory and few buyers. Producing a product is just the beginning. Marketing is another financial investment and without it, your business is not going anywhere. Think about it. Cheers 
from Jeanetmarie of Good Hair Cards.com