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21.03.20 | Business

How to trim costs as a small creative business

By Amanda Kirkman

No need to sugar coat — it’s a bit shit at the moment to be a small creative business or freelancer. Whilst working from home is second nature to our industry, unfortunately, this isn’t possible for a lot of businesses. This week we’ve had one client withdraw mid-project already, and fingers crossed this isn’t the start of a trend. As a glass-half-empty type of person, I wanted to set aside some time to do a full audit of studio costs and look at ways to build our buffer.

Check your subscriptions

Review all your monthly costs and the software you use. Do you need all those users? Is the premium package REALLY necessary? Is there something you’re not even using anymore? I saved $150USD a month this morning by taking the time to review each subscription individually.

Bugherd allows you to put your subscription ‘on-hold’ at $5USD/month instead of $29USD/month.

Harvest is charged per user — check you aren’t paying for additional users if they’ve recently left your business.

Are you using ALL those Google accounts? Can you get away with using an alias instead? Their basic package is $8.40/month.

Is your whole team working from home? Speak to your ISP about putting your office internet on hold temporarily, or if possible cancel it altogether and reconnect once you’re back in the office. (Just remember to ask about re-connection times and any cancellation fees.)

Adobe has come to the table — if you are an existing subscriber, go to ‘cancel your package’ (ignore the cancellation fee notice), and a 60 days free offer will come up before the final review stage.


Side hustles

Dig out those old prints and pins and put them online. Our friends at the Hungry Workshop just released an awesome Heavy Metal pin.

Handy with a camera? Submit your photos to sites like austock — whilst some businesses are quiet, expect health and Government departments to be at capacity and they’ll need appropriate resources.

Submit to noun-project or similar? Get those COVID-19 and health inspired icons uploaded!


Research grants & offers

Governments have been announcing packages daily so keep an eye on the news, and remind your accountant to check if you qualify for anything. Visit for the latest on Australian grants.

Facebook is offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits with more details to come, you can register for updates here.


Reach out

Whilst hospitality and face-to-face based businesses will be experiencing a downturn, this isn’t true for all businesses. Reach out to your old and existing clients in cleaning, health, Government departments, delivery services and let them know you’re available. Also — for your clients that are high human contact, don’t forget about them. Brainstorm ideas on how to keep their business operating during this difficult time and alternative revenue streams.


Speak to your mortgage broker or bank

I’ve heard on the grapevine of banks and credit unions offering small loan and mortgage respite periods. Make the call — find out if you qualify.


Work on yourself

Designers are known for doing all the creative work for their clients and none on themselves — if you are quiet, don’t waste your time on Netflix. Get those case studies photographed, develop that product you’ve always wanted to make, refresh your website and brand so once the economy is back on its feet you’re ready to hit the ground running.


Need help?

Working for yourself can be more stressful than most can imagine, and CO-VID isn’t doing much to improve that. If it is getting a bit much our wonderful clients at Everymind have put together a list of resources available if you need someone to have a chat to. Check it out.


Send me more!

If you have any other ways to save let me know via email — I’d love to keep adding to this list!

Interested in partnering with us on your next project? Let’s talk!