Design business coaches


Carol Mackay and Greg Branson can usually be found at the Design Business Council coaching and mentoring designers.

We founded the DBS because we understand not everyone wants or can afford the time or the money to be mentored. We’ve packaged some of the material we use at the DBC into a library of DIY resources ready to go when you are. Same practical knowledge, packaged to go.

Our aim is to de-mystify the business of design.

Greg Branson

Most business consultants come from a finance background. That’s where I differ. My background is firmly in the creative space. I have degrees in photography and education and my extra-curricula love is a dark room, analogue photography and vintage cameras – a money pit if ever there was.

That’s why my interest in the business of design. Carol and I loved running a design studio but were adamant it was a commercial business and our energies should be well-rewarded. I started research into working smarter not harder early in my career.

Since then I’ve sat with many Australian creative business owners and discussed what’s working and what’s not. I understand the practicalities of a studio, and have empathy for the challenges but I know good profit margins are attainable.

Outside work, I’ve sat on committees at VCE, TAFE and University level and regularly guest lecture. I’ve previously served a two year term as President of AGDA Victoria and currently sit on the National Board. I am member of the US based Design Management Institute, known for it’s extensive research into design management, practice, strategy, design thinking and design effectiveness.

You can contact me here.

Carol Mackay

After 30+ years running a design studio, I accumulated a pretty special network of fellow designers. One thing most have in common: a dislike for the ‘business’ side of design. Most are impatient with any task competing for time spent doing what they love – designing.

Not me. I love that intersection between design and business. I built a career working with Ombudsman schemes, the Emergency Services sector and the Courts. My special power has always been an ability to use design to translate the difficult to understand or the unpalatable message.

I now use exactly the same skills with creative business owners. I translate the indigestible into bite-sized chunks of information. I share insights, introduce tools and embed processes to help others build confidence business decision-making skills. More confidence makes it easier to grasp opportunities. More confidence makes it easier to recognise a good client from the bad.

Outside DBC I have mentored with Womentor, AGDA and most recently with The Aunties.
And I’m a proud board member of Never Not Creative. Ask me about internships ?

Always happy to chat, I can be contacted here.