Running a one person business with limited time can be overwhelming.

When there’s just you and you have limited time to manage your business, its important to be well organised and to let clients know exactly what to expect.

Krishna Solanski has only recently gone full time in her own business and is fitting her Branding and Squarespace web design business around her growing family with great success.

We asked Krishna what she’s good at what makes clients want to work with her more than other designers. This is a summary of an Ask the Expert session in the Drive Facebook Group.

Krishna I have a really streamlined process and I’m quite organised, which really helps both me and my clients.
I use Asana for project management, and have clearly listed out the whole process (for all my offerings) which makes it super easy for my clients to see what tasks are involved, who is doing said task, when the task is due and what the start and end dates for the project are.

It’s handy as when it comes to feedback (I have “tasks” which detail how to provide this – saves me repeating myself and it easy for clients to refer back to) as we both know when it’s due and when the call will take place, so it’s in the diary!

Karen Arnott How do you deal with clients who go ‘off piste’?

Krishna My most popular offerings are packaged up. Each package clearly states what is included, final deliverables and number of revision rounds at each stage, so from the very offset, I am clear and transparent about everything (I think this is really important!).
If a client goes out of the scope because they require more than what is stated in the package, but only realised midway through the project, then it’s not a problem – I just kindly inform them that it is out of scope and that I will need to raise a sperate invoice – I then leave them to make the decision and take it from there.

Karen Arnott Design can be so subjective, it’s tricky to untangle feedback where there’s no clarity. Can you share anything about how you receive/steer feedback?

Krishna Sure thing! Vague feedback is a nightmare so I provide some tips and advise my clients to read these in order to provide feedback in a way that is useful to both of us and the project.
It’s stated in various places from the moment they sign the contract to when they are within Asana. This way it’s always visible and easy to refer to.
I state I really appreciate simple and straightforward feedback that will help me understand their thoughts (because, you know, I’m not a mind reader, despite what I can do hah!)
Guidelines like: how to provide feedback (so using headings, bullet listing each point), reading back on the feedback to make sure they answer any questions I have asked, posting the feedback in the right task, and also making sure the collate all the feedback if they have team members that they are working with.
It’s not always easy though, I have ended up in a spiral of question after question.. and although it’s nice to have everything down in “a system”, a Skype call or phone call can save the day so I would always do that if I think things are getting crazy!

Krishna’s tips on Branding

Consistency is key

When it comes to your branding, using the same font, colours and logo (including logo variations) online and offline is important, not only for your business but your customers as well.

Branding is more than your logo

Branding is putting your brand identity to use. To further clarify, a brand identity is your logo, fonts, colour palette, pattern, icons, and other visual elements that communicate your business vision and goals. It also encompasses your business characteristics, such as tone of voice, messaging, and story.

Branding should not be based on what you like

Obviously your branding should be something you are keen on but first and foremost it needs to reflect your business vision and goals, and more importantly, attract your ideal client and be in line with what you’re offering.

How to create an effective logo

There are 5 areas you need to think about when considering a logo design for your business.

1. Simplicity

Simplicity is key. A logo doesn’t need to contain a lot of detail, it needs to be easy to remember, and easy to recognise. Example: Nike. Whether you see the Nike “tick” or the typographic “Nike”. The simple nature of both elements makes them stand out and easy to remember.

2. Relevance

Your logo needs to speak to your audience, it needs to connect with your ideal client and be relevant. For example, a women’s clothing brand that creates soft, luxurious items would need to have a logo that appeals to that market. The choice of font used in the logo to represent the typographic elements really have an impact in this, so it’s important to take the time to explore font choices.

3. Scalability

A logo needs to maintain its detail when it is small. Having variations is great – so if your primary logo is horizontal, its a good idea to have a secondary logo that is better suited to a square format, or circle le format (think profile pictures for social media) – You don’t want your logo to be “Squished” into that space so a variation can help maintain professionalism in that difficult spot. Having a submark can help when you need to add your logo to small spaces – think favicon, the little icon in the browser tab.

4. Longevity

This one can be difficult to keep in mind and adhere to. Your logo (brand) shouldn’t follow the latest design trends. It’s important to maintain longevity in a logo design so refrain from updating the design regularly as you want to people to recognise it, associate with it.

5. Distinction

You want your logo to stand out, so don’t over complicate it and remember your logo needs to be distinct even when in one single colour, for example, simple black. Obviously adding colour, or creating a great submark can really help differentiate your logo and brand.
Overall your logo (and brand) needs to reflect your target audience and the future vision of your business goals.

When should you consider rebranding?

I would consider the reasons to rebrand and ensure you rebrand for all the right reasons.

  • You have a change in business direction
  • You are attracting the wrong clientele
  • If you have lost your way a little and your branding has become inconsistent
  • Need to update or modernise the look and feel of your business
  • You have outgrown your original brand

Some reasons to use Squarespace

1 | SETTING UP IS EASY

If you don’t have a custom domain set up or a professional email address, Squarespace can handle both elements. No need to find a hosting company, as its all integrated with Squarespace, as is Google mail. With a few clicks, you will have your website URL and email up and running in no time.

2 | IT’S USER-FRIENDLY
One of the best things about Squarespace is that it’s user-friendly. You don’t need any coding knowledge, but if you did want to add custom coding you can! The drag and drop feature makes it easy to build pages, add images, and posts are easy to publish too. It’s very intuitive so you don’t have to spend AGES trying to work out how to do “stuff”

3 | ITS EASY TO MAINTAIN

There are no worries with regards to plugins, or “backend coding”. Making changes are done at the click of a button.
One of the great things about it is that you can see the changes you are making, visually, so you can sanity check it and then when you are happy, press the “Save” button and it’s done. Change made.
The good thing about Squarespace is that it will do as much or as little as you want it to. It works with you, for you – if that makes sense!

Would you like to know more? Get in touch with Krishna at https://www.krishnasolankidesigns.com