Are you looking forward to starting a graphic design business? If your answer is yes, then congratulations! You have made a good decision to enter into an exciting field, full of adventures. Whether you are expecting to work for yourself full time or make a bit of extra money from especially the on-side design business, you should first know how to start a graphic design agency from the starting, if you wish to be successful in this competitive field.
The best thing is that it is not that difficult to start a creative graphic design firm if you know the right direction and the right approaches to undertake. Today, in this detailed guide, we will let you know the best ways to kickstart a graphic design business by following some simple and easy steps. So, without any further delay, let’s get started with the discussion to understand this well.
Search For Your Very First Clients
Although you may be amazed to know this, it is the truth that to start a successful graphic design business, you should first search for clients. Once you have connected with a few clients who are ready to pay you a good amount for the work, then you will feel a lot of energy, excitement, and passion within yourself which is very important to take your career to the next level.
With this energy and passion, you would be able to successfully tackle all the work tasks. Now, the main question that arises in this aspect is where can you find graphic design clients? Well, there are several online platforms or freelance job sites that you can try out to search for clients. Some of the well-known sites include Fiverr, Upwork, etc.
On the other hand, you can get some amazing jobs (entry-level) on sites such as Upwork. This platform is known to be one of the most recognized freelance marketplaces globally. You will find a lot of graphic design jobs on this particular platform. Other than these, there are many other websites as well that you can visit to find graphic design clients.
It includes SolidGigs, FlexJobs, 99Designs, Craigslist, etc. One of the important things to keep in mind is to avoid being too picky when you are just starting your journey. Also, whenever you are starting your business, you should focus on taking any satisfactory graphic design job for any fair price.
The success you will get from the initial days of your career will boost your confidence level and provide you with experience. It will also help to build your portfolio pieces. There are even chances for you to build good business relationships with some clients that will last for a lifetime.
Decide On Your Pricing
The next important thing that you should focus on doing is considering your pricing structure. Without this, you will fail to move your business forward. You need to decide on whether you are focusing to charge clients by the project, by the hour, or by the value, you are inclined towards delivering them.
For those who are starting their graphic design business from scratch, the most common and easiest approach would be to charge hourly. But, once you have become more established in this field, you can start exploring other pricing models as well.
Now, if you are confused about what to charge your clients, then one of the best ideas would be to first research the market and know the amount the other service providers in your field are involved in charging.
With a little experimentation and thorough research, you would be able to come up with a pricing that works effectively as you get started with your graphic design business. You can frequently revisit that number, depending on your requirements. In this way, you can set up competitive pricing for your business.
Give A Name To Your Design Firm
As now you have got some clients, you can begin with setting the framework of a robust enterprise. Well, it all starts with an ingenious business name. In this regard, one of the most common questions that most graphic design agencies would ask is whether they should create a business name or utilize their name.
This is a simple question with a simple response. It does not matter that much. Do any of these things you like. Later on, if you wish to change it, you can also do that. If you want to get started with a solid business name and stick with this, then it requires a little more thinking. The name you choose for your firm can significantly impact many aspects of your business which include the following:
- The amount which you can charge for your design work
- The types of design projects you will be hired for
- How people can effortlessly recall your business
- Whether or not people are likely to recommend your work to colleagues and friends
- And many other aspects
It is always recommended to keep things simple while you are naming your graphic design business. The name you choose should be easy to remember, easy to say, and easy to spell. Avoid using complicated names while you are naming your business, otherwise, people will find a tough time remembering them.
Another important thing is to ensure that it is easily available on the web. Before you decide on any name, you should focus on checking its availability around the web. Can you find a domain that goes well with your graphic design firm name? If yes, then you can choose that name.
Focus On Building A Basic Website
Once you are done deciding on a suitable name for your name, you should concentrate on building a basic website. Do not overcomplicate everything by focusing on building a complex website. In the initial days, you have a lot of things to do. So, instead of investing a lot of time in building a website, you should stick to a basic website design.
To handle this work, you can either take the help of a web designing and development company or else, you can use website builders that are cost-effective and easy to use. Wix is one such easy-to-use website builder that you can choose. This particular builder has a collection of numerous exceptionally designed templates to select from.
All of these come with drag-and-drop functionality, and you can easily carry out the job without any technical expertise. Another option to choose is WordPress. But, to work with WordPress, you will require a little technical knowledge.
Don’t worry, you do not need to know how to code to build your website on WordPress. It is a preferred platform for most businesses. If you are looking forward to building your graphic design business website in WordPress, then you can take the help of a professional to get the best outcomes.
Develop A Simple Business Plan
After you’ve gotten a few clients, named your company, and built your website, the next step is to create a simple graphic design business plan. It is the phase when you should start thinking more tactically.
Well, for this, the most important thing is to develop a proper business plan. With the right plan, you would not be able to move your business on the right path. A lot of the design businesses get lost especially in the stage of planning. If you do not want your business to get lost, then you need to do something different.
As you are adopting the best possible methodology to understand the best ways to kickstart your business, you only require a very straightforward business plan. It is recommended to keep it limited to one page. If you wish to make it even shorter, then consider answering the following questions:
- What services your business is inclined toward offering?
- Who is the ideal client for your business?
- What are the revenue goals of your design business?
- How many clients do you require every month to reach your revenue goals?
- How or where will you discover new clients? Or what approaches do you need to adopt for retaining your existing design clients?
- How much do you charge clients for the work you accomplish?
Answering all of these questions will help you a lot at the time you are starting your business.
Establish Communication With Your Clients
As you are starting your business, you need to handle many of the responsibilities. Along with a graphic designer, you are also the marketing manager, the bookkeeper, and the account manager.
So, as a responsible business, you should focus on communicating effectively and regularly with your clients. It will not only ensure the smooth running of the work but also help to maintain a good relationship with your client.
Provide Exceptional Quality Of The Projects By Sticking On Time
Maintaining professionalism is considered to be a very important aspect of your graphic design business. You should never fail to deliver on your promises. Ensuring timely delivery of the project is of utmost importance to retain your existing clients. Not only that, but your focus should also be on delivering high-quality projects.
If you have several clients and are having trouble coordinating their projects, you can utilize Timely, Cushion, Plutio, or Trello. Using these particular tools will help to keep you on track.
It also ensures that you provide your design clients with a positive experience each time. It is extremely significant in the initial days of your business as bad word-of-mouth statements or bad reviews could make your business unsuccessful.
Consider Writing And Sending Professional Invoices
It’s time to get paid for all of your hard work when you’ve finished delivering your work to your clients. You now need to create and send a professional invoice to the clients. The easiest and most common option is to write down an invoice in InDesign, Google Docs, and Word as well as send it to the clients through email. But, if you are looking for advanced software for making invoices, then you can try out something like Freshbooks.
In this software, you would be able to create as well as send the invoice in less than 30 seconds. Another advantage of this software is that your clients can immediately make payments from the invoice whenever they focus on opening it on their devices. And, in case, your client fails to remember to pay the invoice, then this software will automatically remind them.
Many designers in this industry are involved in asking for payment upfront. But when you are getting started with your business, it is highly recommended to deliver the project first and after that, ask for a payment. As you begin to develop mutual trust and confidence, pre-payment can be an excellent alternative.
Collect Payments From Your Clients
Doing and loving your job is important. Similarly, finances are also important to keep yourself motivated and continue with the best quality of work every day. So, for someone who is starting a business, it is absolutely important to collect payments. Asking for money can seem to be a little awkward at the beginning. But relax, you are just asking for money for the hard work you have done for your client. So, there is no point in feeling awkward.
Ask For Referrals
Word of mouth is an amazing way to boost your business. If you want to establish yourself in this field, then one of the great ways is to ask your graphic design clients for referrals. It can assist you in taking your company to the next level.
In A Nutshell
We hope, after reading this detailed guide, you have got a very good understanding of how to start a creative graphic design firm by following some simple steps.