BizCraft Episode 7 – With Guest: Brian Hoff

BizCraft Ep06

Play or Download this Episode (Recorded live on 09/07/2012)

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About the Show

This is BizCraft, the podcast about the business side of web design, recorded live almost every two weeks. Your hosts are Carl Smith (@carlsmith) of nGen Works and Gene Crawford (@genecrawford) of UnmatchedStyle.

Episode Overview

In this episode we have Brian Hoff as a special guest. We discuss the differences between running a sole proprietor style design business and a larger multi-person company as well as contracts, client management and project process.

About: Brian Hoff

Brian Hoff (@behoff) is a graphic designer living in Brooklyn, New York who loves creating compelling and useful websites and memorable interactions across the web. When he’s not designing, he can be found writing, speaking and occasionally part-time teaching at colleges — all on the subject of design. You can follow his blog at

Discussion Topics

What are some of the differences between a solo-designer business vs. a bigger multiple person design company?

Brian’s Post:Hey Designer Get it Right
Covers getting the design right on the first shot as far as the client can see.
Don’t share every step of your project vs. step-by-step process.

Responsive Web Design: Carl wanted to talk about the additional time for building a responsive site versus it’s value.

Questions from the kids:

From: Beefcake Smartypants
How do you typically bill clients: man hours or agency hours? i.e., If you’re billing a client $100/hr (Carl’s even number rate) and you have 4 people working on the project simultaneously, is that $400/hr to the client or just $100/hr? Are they burning 4x the available hours in the bucket What’s your justifications on this?

From: Adam Davidson |
I have been freelancing now for about 4 years, and I initially started with a long 10-page contract which has been modified over the duration to suit my exact terms. However now i am thinking of simplifying this contract to one or two pages, straight to the point, no-nonsense stuff, so clients can read it easily and get a quick, clear understanding of the terms. Is this something you would recommend? Or is it better to have a lengthy contract and include absolutely everything?
I sometimes think having such a lengthy contract for a small designer/developer is overkill.

We riff off of Brian’s Google + post again:

Lenny Terenzi How do you keep motivated when the projects that keep the lights on are not the most glamorous? Many times I feel as if the love for design is sucked right out of me. Do you actively seek or take projects that you know will challenge you or do you need to take your fare share of “keep food on the table projects”

Bretton MacLean How many concurrent projects do you typically have on the go? Have you ever tried a one-at-a-time approach?

David Lim Be very intersted to know how you construct your project terms/agreements—no. revisions, warranty, payment terms etc. (Gene-Mostly i’d like to talk to you guys about warranty stuff.)

Dave Dawson I’m curious on how folks are able to get a consistent amount of work coming in, while scheduling it far enough in advance so you know what to expect in the near future and have some security.

Ross Nover How do you balance what the client wants and the great work you try and strive for when those two things seem at odds?

Deb Dulin Do you have any goals for increasing your business, or a business plan?

**Derek Long was this show’s winner of the Moo biz card package!**

Beers from the end of the show

Brian: Ommegang
Gene: Allagash Tripel Ale
Carl: Sam Adams Octoberfest


Huge thanks to everyone who checked out the live show. We’ll be back on in 2 weeks to kick it up again. Don’t miss getting your question sent in for the next show too! OR you can call in on the Grasshopper phone # (888) 668-6110 and leave an audio question we can play on the show.


Gene Crawford

With over a decade of experience in the industry he has overseen the design and architecture of hundreds of web sites and applications. An active member in the design community, he's the editor & producer of, the ConvergeSE, ConvergeFL, ConvergeRVA and the Breaking Development conference series.