Stuff & Nonsense product and website design

Posts about business

Make a brief a platform for creativity

When I was redesigning my website recently I decided on a tongue-in-cheek new footer. Even though the idea behind my help page was tongue-in-cheek, I’m serious about the advice it gives.

Hide sharp objects

Regular Unfinished Business co-host Laura Kalbag’s started to work with her partner Aral Balkan on their Indie Phone project. She wanted to hear about Sue and mine experiences of working together for sixteen years, so she emailed her some questions. I hadn’t heard her answers until Laura read them on the show, but I think that made for interesting listening.

We didn’t get through all the questions and answers on the show, so here are her complete answers. I think they offer some insight into what it’s like working together at Stuff and Nonsense for as long as we have.

Looking back at Five Simple Steps

I’d been in Nottingham for the day, catching up with friends including Owen Gregory. Driving home, an idea started to develop. Owen and I worked together on client projects at the time and I trust him to give me an honest opinion, so I pulled the car over, called him and explained the idea. A book called ‘Hardboiled Web Design.’

Sharing our sales prospects spreadsheet

Although there seems to be plenty of choice, I haven’t found any CRM software that tickles my fancy yet. I need to get better at keeping on top of prospective business though, so the first step was to make a spreadsheet. If it’s useful to anyone, I’m happy to share it. There are Apple Numbers and Microsoft Excel versions in a ZIP file. I’m keen to hear your suggestions for improving it, as well as your recommendations for CRM software/services.

Download the ZIP file

Unfinished Business episode 28: You can’t keep a pistol in a Kinder egg

Finally, yes finally, Anna and I get around to the first of two, maybe three, episodes about contacts. We talk about the ‘Contract Killer,’ why we think it’s important to always use a contract and why some people think otherwise. We discuss the essential elements that should go into every contract and why, on top of any legal benefits, how a good contract says a lot about how you do business and why writing yours should be a creative challenge you should relish.

(Don’t miss the gag wheel and ice-cream banter after the show. It’s a scorcher.)

Keith Devon’s Freelance contract survey

Keith Devon wants to find out how freelance designers and developers handle contracts. So do I, so go spend a minute filling in his survey.

As it stands at the moment, 45% use something like my ‘Contract Killer’ (or the contract itself) and another 9% wrote their own based on it. Although responder numbers are small so far, that’s brilliant. I’m prouder of ‘Contract Killer’ than anything else I’ve ever done.

Keith Devon’s Freelance contract survey

While you’re waiting

I know how hard it can be, waiting a whole week for a new episode of Unfinished Business. To make things easier, here are two more creative business related podcasts for you to try.

Mike Monteiro on What Clients Don’t Know

Here’s Luke Wroblewski with notes from Mike Monteiro’s talk this week at the final An Event Apart of the year, in San Francisco. There’s so much wisdom here, so much to like. In particular:

Your process is a mystery. Show people what it’s like to work with you on a day to day basis. Let them the sequence of events, when you’ll connect and how often. If you don’t control the process for the start, clients will start telling you how it should go. They’ll fill in voids when they see them.

(And if you haven’t already bought Mike’s book, you really should.)

Contract Killer 3

It’s coming up on four years since I published my original Contract Killer over on 24ways. The reaction to it was astonishing and over the last four years the feedback I’ve received has been overwhelmingly positive. I feel very, very happy that so many people have found Contract Killer useful.

Getting paid by regular clients

I’m glad that people like my financial buffer business post the other day. I don’t think people write enough about the business side of what we do and from what I hear, not enough about it gets taught at universities either. I’m not a very good businessman, truth be told, but I have learned a few things over the years, so I thought I’d start sharing them.


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About Andy

Hello. I’m Andy Clarke, an internationally recognised product and website designer and writer on art direction for products the web. I help product and website owners captivate customers by delivering distinctive digital designs.


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