Creative Careers: How to Start a Graphic Design Business

The graphic design industry is worth a whopping $11 billion dollars worldwide. The key players range from marketing agencies to freelancers.

If you’re looking for a profitable career that embraces creativity, this is it.

But, owning a graphic design business includes much more than art skills. You must understand your target clients, your services, and how to charge your worth. Creating logos is only part of the job.

Are you wondering how to start a graphic design business? Keep reading for everything you need to know.

1. Assess Your Skills

To have a business, your skills need to be worth paying for. How confident are you in your abilities?

Keep in mind that the services clients need are far-reaching. They could need logo design, web design, social media graphics, animation, and more.

Some of the most successful independent designers offer over-arching branding services. This means they offer all those services as well as help curating a clear brand message.

You may want to take an online course on the skills you could improve on. In this career, you’ll always be learning and upgrading your abilities.

2. Get the Tools You Need

There are specific programs that freelance graphic designers use. And, since you don’t work under a company, you must pay for these programs on your own.

Do your research on which tools are the most effective and worthwhile. Some popular software options are Adobe Illustrator and Autodesk SketchBook.

Tools could also include getting a computer, high-speed internet, accounting software, and invoicing software.

Not to mention ensuring you have a place to work. You might have a home office or you could pay for a co-working membership at an office.

3. Set Yourself Up for Success

Systems make your business run smoothly. These systems range from using a CRM to creating steps for yourself to follow with each client.

Consider starting with how you create proposals for work. Do you have terms and conditions to protect yourself? Are you managing expectations well from the start?

Once you’ve completed work for a client, how do you ensure they remember you? You could send a follow-up email. Or, be even more unique by sending an ecard for free.

It’s the little touches that make clients love working with you. Remember to ask for testimonials from happy clients to help secure new work in the future.

4. Land Awesome Clients 

The last and most important step if you want to run a business is to find clients. Not just any clients. Ideally, you want clients with projects that excite you.

Some designers choose a niche to work within. Like only working with food and beverage companies or only working with small businesses.

Whatever you choose, make sure you network within those circles. Attend networking events and always bring your business cards. You never know where you’ll run into a potential client.

Want More Info on How to Start a Graphic Design Business?

The graphic design industry is constantly growing with new opportunities and new technology. You can be successful if you ensure your design skills and business skills are up to par.

Use the tips above on how to start a graphic design business. 

Then, check out the Resources Page on our site. You’ll find more tools and tips to help you start your business.