How to start a graphic design business – if you started asking yourself this question, then we have great tips for you. Graphic design can be a great area to explore. If you have already mastered the craft and become a graphic designer, you may want to move from working for someone else to starting your own business. To be successful, you need to set clear goals and take care of numerous financial and legal issues. You will also need to set up your real place of work and attract (and delight) customers. It’s not an easy task, but it’s a great way to take control of your career!
- Assess your skills and goals. Before starting your own business, take the time to do a thorough and honest self-assessment. Assess your biggest strengths and weaknesses as a graphic designer and ask yourself what you hope to achieve in this area and in your life.
- If you’re good at coming up with fresh ideas for existing clients, you can set a goal of establishing long-term business relationships with fewer key clients.
- In addition to self-assessment, ask trusted colleagues, supervisors, and mentors to evaluate you and offer recommendations. Ask for honesty and take their opinions seriously.
- Not everyone is ready to start their own business. If you thrive creatively but don’t know how to manage all the little details, like running your own business, it might be more of a challenge than it’s worth.
2. State your business vision. Perhaps you are starting your business because you want to become the number one graphic designer in your area. Or you may be looking for more control to find a better work-life balance. Use your goals to define the ideal vision for your business in 1, 5, 10 and even 20 years.
- If your vision is to grow your small business into a large enterprise, you can make financial and practical plans for expansion from the outset.
- However, if your vision is to stay small and agile, you may want to focus less on long-term expansion plans.
3.Build a strong portfolio. In today’s graphic design market, it’s best to develop both digital and physical portfolios. Your physical portfolio should look as professional as possible – for example, you can fill a high-quality portfolio book with 15-20 professional images of your best work.
- When it comes to your digital portfolio, it’s probably best to integrate it into a well-designed, professional website.
- Consult mentors and other trusted sources in the field for advice on developing your portfolio.
How to start graphic design business Legal and Safe
- Work with a lawyer and an accountant. Even if you are considering starting a small one-man graphic design business from the comfort of your home office, handling all the legal and financial complexities alone will be a huge challenge. You will save a lot of time and hassle, and possibly money, by working with a lawyer and accountant who have experience in small business matters.
2. Create a business plan. You will definitely need a good business plan to get investors or funding, and either way, this is a great resource. A well-written business plan aligns your business vision with the realities of the market and customer base.
- While business plan formats vary, they generally have three main components: a business concept, which describes the structure of the business and its products/services; market analysis, which details both your targeted customers and competitors; and financial analysis, which forecasts income, expenses, debts, profits, and so on.
- Business plans usually begin with a summary, which essentially summarizes the entire business plan. Although it comes first, write it last and make it no more than 10% of the length of the entire business plan.
3. Create a legal entity. If you are starting a small graphic design business, you can start a sole proprietorship. If you involve any partners, you can form a joint partnership, a limited liability partnership, or a limited liability partnership (LLP). You may also want to consider forming a limited liability corporation ( LLC ).
- All businesses listed here exist under US business laws. You may have alternative options where you live.
- Consult with your business lawyer about the legal entity option that is best for you, as well as the legal entity creation process.
4. Secure funding for your start-up costs. Most small business start-ups rely on loans from financial institutions, so refine your business plan and explore your options. Depending on where you live and other factors, getting funding through an organization such as the Small Business Administration (SBA) in the US may be your best bet.
- You can also use your savings, look for investors (from venture capitalists to crowdfunding sponsors), or seek support from friends and family. However, like loans, all of these options carry their own risks and should be carefully considered before proceeding.