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Staff Writers
Updated March 24, 2021

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Starting a Graphic Design Firm Tips

  • Create your Idea/Goals
  • Go Through the Legal Bit
  • Market yourself
  • Get on the right side of Technology
  • Grow your Portfolio

If you're thinking of starting your own graphic design firm but don't know where to start, you're in luck. We've put together this list of 5 tips to help set you on the right path to owning your own company. Graphic design is in high demand, so you'll want to get in on the entrepreneurial end of the industry.

1. Create your Idea/Goals

There's no point in starting a business if you don't have a plan. You'll have to figure out what type of graphic business it is you want. What will make your firm unique? How many employees would you like to start off with? How many would you like to grow to? You'll also want to decide what type of market or markets your business will be involved with and do your research accordingly. The market you enter should complement not only your skills, but also the skills of your employees and firm as a whole. Will your firm focus on certain areas or be expansive? The first step in creating a graphic design company is creating a plan.

Related: Top 8 Cheap Online Graphic Design Degree Programs

2. Go Through the Legal Bit

When you're sure you want to take the leap, you'll want to take care of all the legal ends. You'll want to get yourself a lawyer and cover every aspect of the game. You'll need to take care of liability issues, employee/client legal issues, as well as basic business legalities. It's also important to begin setting your fee/price standards. How much will you charge for your services? Will you charge on commission or on a flat-rate basis? Having clear-cut prices and in-order legal agreements not only make it a more stress-free environment for you, but also for your client.

3. Market yourself

It's important that prospective clients know who you are and what your business is about. You should be marketing yourself online and in print. Since you've already got your business plan, you should know who you target market is and should create a plan for drawing in potential clients. As a graphic design company owner, you should always be on the market for employees as well. Decide whether you'll want to hire on freelance designers. "Most freelance graphic design is piece work, but there's so much of it out there", stated Forbes. You'll need to market yourself to the right employees as well as to the right clients.

4. Get on the right side of Technology

Obviously if you're starting your own graphic design company, you'll need some equipment. You'll need to decide what you want; if you're starting small, you may not need as much as someone who will be hiring employees right away, for example. Do your research on office and IT suppliers that will service you to the best of what you need. You'll also need to decide on leasing/buying and decide on the scope of the software you need. As the owner, you'll have to discover the potential costs involved with not only the initial cost of the equipment, but also the upkeep.

5. Grow your Portfolio

This may coincide with marketing a little, but no client will want to work with a company who can't show them the work they do. It's important to continue to hone and grow your skill set; it's also important that your employees do so as well. It may be advisable to hire an account manager who can not only look after your client accounts, but put together portfolios of past work that best highlight your skills and the skills of your company. You'll want to put ‘your best foot forward' so to speak, so try to fill your portfolio with projects that best reflect the path in which you want your company to take.

With the right skills and the right plan, you can be on your way you owning your own business. Take the tips we've given you and take the leap to starting your own graphic design firm; and remember to have faith in yourself.

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