For this customer spotlight we focus on freelance graphic and web designer Bethany DiLello. You can follow Bethany's work on her website.
What do you do for a living, and why did you make the jump to self-employment?
I am a freelance graphic and web designer. After working as an in-house designer at a construction company for a few years, I decided that I needed more variety in my work and more freedom in my schedule. I became a full time freelancer and haven't looked back since!
What's a big challenge you've had with running your own business, and how did you overcome it?
One challenge for me has been learning how much to charge my clients. I'm not certain that I've totally overcome this yet, but through experience and by reading lots and lots of articles about it, I have settled on a pretty good system for pricing my time and work.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out on the journey of running their own business?
Plan ahead. Make sure you have enough money saved to float yourself for a year or so while your business gets going. You will make money your first year, but it won't be enough. Be confident. If you believe you have something valuable to offer, so will potential clients. Your confidence will also help you charge fairly for your work. Lastly, be a human. Allow yourself and others to make mistakes, but do learn from them.
What quality, habit, or decision has contributed to the success of your business?
For me, it's humbleness and responsiveness. As a designer I am often tempted to let my artistic ego rule the day, but as a business owner I need to check that tendency and remember that what I'm doing is a job, and that my client's happiness is ultimately more important than my own artistic ego. I've also found that clients value responsiveness a great deal more than I would have guessed. Even if it's just a quick email telling them I will get back to them at another time, they appreciate knowing that I've acknowledged their request and that they're on my schedule.
How has Harpoon helped you as a business owner?
Harpoon has taken the place of three or four separate apps, greatly simplifying things for me. It makes it possible for me to focus on my current workload and find new clients. I only use a small percentage of the many features it offers, but for me the most valuable things about Harpoon have been the goal tracking, time tracking, and invoicing. (Not to mention its clean and friendly UI!)
Bethany DiLello is a freelance graphic and web designer from Philadelphia. The best place to see her work and learn more about her is on her website. Thanks for your time and insight Bethany!