Whether they are straight out of university or have been working for a company or agency for a while, most graphic designers will reach a point when they want to branch out on their own. The venture can be equally exciting and frightening, and there are plenty of potential pitfalls along the way, but with the right preparation and research, you can establish a thriving career doing what you love every day. While you may have excellent design skills and experience, do you have the necessary services to run a sustainable and profitable business? This guide outlines the main factors to consider when starting your own graphic design company.
Get the Right Tools for The Job
Your first step is to ensure that you have the latest software and skills so you can stand shoulder to shoulder with your competitors. If you find an area where you’re lacking, take the time to improve yourself, as using outdated programs will be time-consuming and may affect your chances of securing work.
Do Your Research
The design industry is moving constantly and there are always new trends and styles. The best ways to stay up to date are to read articles and watch online tutorials by established designers. You should be able to pick up some amazing tips and approaches that will help you develop your own identity as a brand.
Sharpen Your Business Skills
The most talented designers in the world are unlikely to make a commercial success of their business without sound knowledge of business principles. Consider investing in high-quality business methodology Six Sigma certification, which will enable you to focus on the core aspects of the business that lead to long term profitability.
Expand Your Portfolio
A broad portfolio is essential when starting a design company, as you need to be able to show visual examples of your skills and experience. If you are in the early stages of your career and your portfolio is a little sparse, you can create design mock-ups for a variety of different scenarios.
Build Your Website
Your website is your opportunity to introduce your brand, your creative style and your portfolio to prospective clients. When you market your business, you need to be able to direct clients to the website. Remember to keep the design as simple as possible, so your portfolio stands out and isn’t overpowered by the site itself. It’s also important to consider search engine optimization in your design and content to increase your visibility in search engine results.
Start Applying for Jobs
Freelancing platforms are a great way to find work as a graphic designer. You create a professional profile that promotes your experience and skills and directs potential clients to your website. In some cases, clients may approach you, but you can also apply for projects which appeal to you.
Market Your Business
There are more opportunities than ever for designers to market their services with digital marketing, such as social media, content marketing, or pay-per-click advertising, but it’s important not to forget about traditional marketing. Distributing business cards or flyers to local businesses and/or at business networking events can be very effective.