The Design Trust Business Club

For creative businesses that are ready to fly

Picture this: your creative business. The one you’ve built on the fabulous products and designs you love to create. But wait… Something’s changed…


Instead of feeling like people still see you as a hobbyist, your business is being taken seriously – by other people and by yourself.

Instead of… wondering when your time will come, you’re achieving your goals – the events, galleries and shops, blogs and press you’re dreaming of.

Instead of… lying awake worrying about money, you’ve grown your sales so you can pay yourself a proper salary and start really making your business your living.

Instead of… feeling overwhelmed, you feel confident, focused and proud!

Is this the kind of business that you want? And are you prepared to get into action and make it happen?

The Design Trust Business Club is an online learning platform designed exclusively for creative businesses, by people who truly know what it takes to grow your kind of business in today’s world. And it’s specifically for growing businesses, not start-ups, so you won’t have to wade through the basics to find stuff you don’t already know.

What do you get when you join?

​80+ online videos

A library ​full of practical, real life business training. ​Access anytime​ wherever you are in the world, whenever you want.

2 Live ​webinars every month

Realistic & honest advice. What you need to focus on so you stop wasting your time. Move forward and make progress.

Worksheets, checklists & tools

Worksheets, checklists and planning tools to make it easy for you to use your new skills in your business

Interviews with creatives and experts

Learn from experts, successful creative professionals, journalists and buyers.

Help where you need it most

All aspects of growing your business – getting organised, time management, rebranding, getting more clients and more regular income, and lots more.

​Get you into action

Each session has got practical ‘next steps’ and gets you into action.

“I did the annual review last year.
I thought I knew myself and my business pretty well, but Patricia’s questions helped create answer​s which were a revelation and have helped me see more clearly.

It feels as if Patricia is right there in the ring with us creative professionals – wiping away the sweat, encouraging, supporting, lifting us when we want to give up or when we fail – and genuinely caring.”


Melanie Muir, Jeweller





Which of these topics do you need to tackle?

Creative business planning & goal setting

Finance & money

Growing your business

Production

Essential marketing & branding

Selling online

Social media

Selling

Events & trade fairs

Getting press

Photography







“Being a member has created a new interest and appreciation of marketing my work and all other aspects of business management. I now spend less time making and more time marketing, a better balance to help sell more work.”


Jacqueline James, Weaver

​Photo: Yeshen Venema


“​When I was first starting out I had no idea how to price my products and it was information from The Business Club that helped me do that. It gave me the confidence to understand the conventions behind the process (including what the baffling acronyms mean) and meant that I was 100% sure of my pricing from day one.”

When I was first starting out I had no idea how to price my products and it was information from The Business Club that helped me do that. It gave me the confidence to understand the conventions behind the process (including what the baffling acronyms mean) and meant that I was 100% sure of my pricing from day one.

​Sam Osborne, ​Designer


Hello, I'm Patricia van den Akker

I’m a well-known creative business adviser and coach and I run The Design Trust. I’ve been working with professional creatives for over 20 years, as well as building up my own business, so I really know what it takes to make a creative business successful.

I created this Business Club to provide a learning platform specifically for businesses that want to grow. There’s lots of advice out there for start-ups. But it’s harder to get the right information to grow your business.

When you’re already super busy with the day-to-day running of your business, when you’ve got a family and other commitments, and especially when you don’t live in a big city, it can be really hard (and expensive!) to attend lots of courses.

​What you need is practical, thought-provoking and strategic information. And that’s what you’ll get, from me and from the other experts who’ve contributed to The Design Trust Business Club.

“Webinars are such a great way to learn wherever you are, and the website seems to have the answers to any question you may have. I have learnt so much!! After a call with Patricia I had the confidence to use my own name for my work, and to start my creative journey with my vase project. The Design Trust really has, for me, been the difference between giving up and carrying on.”


Clara Castner, Ceramicist


Are you ready to get serious about your creative business – and see the results?