5 Simple Steps To Start Your Graphic Design Business

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The job market for graphic designers is booming and the industry is estimated to be worth several billion USD annually. 

Do you have the skills and passion to open your own graphic design business? 

If you do, read on! 

Taking the first steps to make this a reality may be exciting and scary, but this step-by-step guide will help to know you’re on the right path. 

#1. Decide on your graphic design specialty and create a portfolio

Graphic designers offer a range of services including print, branding, packaging, website, advertising, and motion graphics. When you are starting out, it can help to focus on just one. Selecting a niche can assist to identify your target market and clients too. Linkedin can be the best place to find a helper in case you need assistance with your work. You can look for a remote worker or on-site worker depending on your need.

You need to demonstrate your skills and versatility to potential clients. A portfolio should showcase your best work over a range of types of projects. 

If you are just starting out, approach nonprofit or other organizations and offer to do free work to include.

#2. Put your business basics in place

Jumping in is no way to start any business. You need to think strategically and require a:

  • Business plan outlining the services you offer, who your clients will be, where and how you will find your clients, pricing, and your revenue goals.
  • Marketing plan in which you identify channels through which you can reach your clients, market yourself and your services, and network.
  • Suitable business name that reflects what you offer. It should be one you like, is easy to say, is memorable, and has not already been used/registered.
  • Pricing structure that is based on your value (linked to your skill and experience), and current market prices for the service. Decide on an hourly or per-job rate.
  • Website that describes what you offer, provides your portfolio, and allows clients to contact you. It can be basic initially, but you should also consider to have a VPN to protect you and your clients from cyberattacks.

If you struggle with these, find yourself a mentor or seek advice and information online.


#3. Invest in the necessary equipment

Even skilled, experienced graphic designers cannot produce and deliver quality work without the wherewithal to do so. 

You will need a high configuration computer system, top-quality software and apps, design or office devices/tools, a desk/table, and a suitable chair.

#4. Find a workspace that works for you

An optimal work area depends on your personal preferences, which may change as your business grows and develops. 

You could begin and remain in a home office, rent, or take space in a coworking venue.   

Wherever it is, it must be where you have easy access to all you need and it’s an environment that’s free of distractions and interruptions. 

If you are going to have clients in your working space, you want to ensure it looks professional and makes a good impression.

5#. Find, sign-up, and retain clients

You know who your potential clients are, and your marketing plan identified the best marketing channels to reach them. Freelancer platforms are also an excellent option, especially at the beginning.

Once you have found clients (or they found you), strike a balance between doing anything and being too picky. If the job is a good fit and the fee is reasonable, take it. Fees can grow as your experience and reputation do.

Getting new clients is great but retaining them is important. 

This is achieved by delivering high-quality work on time, maintaining good communication, and managing your time so you can handle business tasks too.

Wrapping up

If you are a graphic designer with drive and passion, you can set up your own business. Begin by deciding on your specialty and creating a portfolio that showcases your abilities and versatility.

Take the time to draw up a business and marketing plan, decide on a name for your business, set pricing, and create a website. Invest in the equipment, tools, and workspace that are necessary to deliver professional, high-quality work.   

Finally, by taking care of your customers you will grow your business. Good luck!