Licensing Pattern Designs in Uncertain TimesKristin Crane
A lot of small businesses, freelancers, and entrepreneurs are facing uncertainty these days. We can relate, we are too at Design Pool. Our goal to grow our business by licensing pattern designs is the same. Yet, our plans had to be reassessed. The shows we were exhibiting at have both been postponed. Both the Licensing Expo and NeoCon have been canceled. As a small business with big plans to grow in 2020, this has been a blow.
BUT, we are still moving forward. We continue to create new designs and patterns, as well as establish new partnerships with designers and manufacturers. While it may seem counterintuitive, we’re looking at this time as one in which to plan for growth. With a business model that centers around licensing and a royalty payment structure, it is actually a great time to build new partnerships. If you need a new design for your product, now is the time to license a design.
Why is licensing smart in a down economy? Because licensing has a very low upfront cost. This low cost has nothing to do with cutting corners or lowering quality. Rather, it’s the nature of a royalty payment structure. By quickly adding a new library of designs, you enhance your existing offerings and provide value-added services to your current customer base.
Here’s how licensing pattern designs works if you’re a designer.
You pick a design from the Design Pool online library that works best for your project or product and we pair you with one of our approved partners. Working with our partner, you communicate the design you are interested in and they take it from there. They send you a quote and let you know the timeframe for manufacturing. Pattern files are delivered in a vector format that is easy to scale for your needs and comes with five colorways. If you have a manufacturer you work with that is not a partner, that’s not a problem. Let us know and we can work it out.
Here’s how it works if you’re a manufacturer.
Licensing is also a smart option if you are a manufacturer. Did you recently buy a printer because you’re watching the digital printing market grow? Smart move! Partner with us, and you instantly have over 300 designs to offer and you haven’t even hired a single designer. Once you start making and selling your product, you pay us through a royalty structure. That’s it. There is no upfront cost. Files are delivered in a vector format that is easy to scale and comes with five colorways. (Yes, FIVE!) So, when do we get paid? We make money when you make money. Paying us through royalty means that you start paying when you start selling. Sure, it’s a bit of a risk on our part, your product could be a flop. It’s a risk we’re willing to make though because it could also be a huge success!
A couple of details to keep in mind. If you want a custom color or need us to tweak a design, we do charge a consulting fee for the work. (I mean, we’re willing to take a risk, but we’re not crazy.) Still, this one-time fee is a lower investment than hiring someone to design a new pattern for you. If you want this design to be exclusive to you, that may also involve a different payment structure. We always discuss all these details and numbers before we sign a contract. We believe open and transparent partnerships are always the most successful for both parties.
Need more details on licensing pattern designs? We wrote a longer piece about everything you need to know about licensing designs over on the ITNH blog. Still have questions? Leave them in the comments or shoot us an email and we’ll answer them for you.