The Happy Studio- Invest in Good Tools.
Computers – The Way You Earn Your Money.
In the manufacturing world, investing in equipment is a major part of the annual budget. We are so lucky in the studio world. A serious machine costs only a few thousand dollars. It’s amazing that a machine you can do 100% of your work on, and that can earn you many tens of thousands of dollars costs so little. At most studio rates, you can earn enough to pay for a new machine plus software in a couple of days. Why then, do so many studios run on out of date, slow machines, or deficient software? try a software for a mobile app development to work faster and much approachable for any market.
If you do the math, it makes even less sense. If a new machine, or network can save you just five minutes a day, that’s 20 hours a year! More than enough to pay for the technology upgrade that caused it. The benefits are numerous. You become more efficient for your clients, your employees are happier for not having to wait, and you make more money. There’s no reason not to do it. Plus, ask your employees. Everyone loves having a new computer. It makes work more enjoyable- and that’s what this is all about.
Get a good backup system
Knowing that your files are safe is a huge stress off of your life. It’s like buying health insurance. Of course we hope nothing happens, and it rarely does, but imagine if it did? You simply can’t afford to lose all that equity. Not only would it be awful for you, but it would be awful for your clients. Either they’re going to have to repay you to rebuild everything, or you’ll have to do it for free. It’s a lose-lose situation.
The secret with backup systems is to find something sustainable. We have our own unique set of tricks, but this isn’t about teaching how to backup files. This is a pure recommendation that you devote some time and thinking to backup. Once we had a livable system that kept our files safe, and allowed us to find old stuff fast, our work lives changed quickly for the better.
We use mostly online tools for collaboration. Partially because we don’t have a traditional office, but mostly because it works better for us. Even if we’re sitting ten feet away from each other, we still try to write our needs, and our communications to each other. Having a clear stream of work that shows how and why your work got done is an important thing in today’s service world. The benefits we see to our online collaboration tools are:
- They’re available everywhere we work
- They’re continually backed up
- They provide a constant timeline of our work as it’s done
- They’re amazingly inexpensive
Leave your system alone when it works
When you finally get a system that works- quit fiddling. It’s the dream of every studio to finally get a sustainable system to get work done in. It doesn’t mean that you should be complacent, or forget to look for ways to improve, but it does mean you should quit arbitrarily changing things. We went through a time where we were constantly changing time keeping systems, and billing methods. We were rewriting our proposals, and changing our portfolio. Looking back on it, it was exhausting. It was added pressure on top of the things we really needed to be doing. Working for your clients is the first, and biggest thing you need to worry about. Whatever lightweight efficient way you can get that job done is the best. There will always be better ways to get work done, but if you spend 20% of your time making a 2% improvement in your efficiency, what was the net gain?