How to Start a Graphic Design Business

Are you an experienced graphic designer and wanna start a business of your own? Then go ahead! Starting a graphic design business may seem exhilarating in the beginning. But has this question ever crossed your mind- how to start a graphic design business? Well, this is an obvious question for both who are looking forward to working full-time or want to keep this as an on-the-side business.

This profession provides ample scope of opportunities to grow and develop your business. Specializing in various areas of the graphic designing field can make your career as a freelancer, independent or self-employed way easier. Follow this guide to formalize your plans and establish a thriving business to stand out from others.

As a graphic design business owner, what is your scope of work? Let’s begin with that first!

What are the services provided by a graphic designer?

Providing printed and digital creative designs to different types of media is the first and foremost responsibility of a graphic designer. They also create digital elements for websites like web layouts, typefaces, digital illustrations, etc. Below-mentioned is some of the more recognizable graphic design services that can get you better and high-paying clients if you have the required skills.

  • Branding
  • Advertisement
  • Print design
  • Website graphics
  • Packaging
  • Motion graphics
As the services are highly in demand, the business outlook for graphic design is incredibly positive. Therefore, it is essential to figure out how to start a graphic design business, and here it is!

How to start a graphic design business?

Want to embrace plenty of opportunities for exciting work and start a career with confidence? Then follow the below guide to learn to begin your graphic design business.

Set your business goals:

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”- Without an effective strategy or plan, you won’t be able to move forward. Frame out few points to be very specific before you start, like

  • Services to be offered
  • Budget to maintain and the number of clients you need to follow that budget
  • Will it be a single-owner company or one with multiple employees
  • Approximate time to be invested per project
  • Business-model to be followed

Set your prices tactfully:

Pricing is an absolute art for running a business smoothly and ensuring its long-term success. Before you proceed further, decide how you will rate your services, whether hourly or project-based. The hourly pricing model is preferred by those starting a business from scratch. But do research before you establish any specific pricing model.

Get legal documents ready:

Make sure you get your legal documents ready for your business while you plan for it. Frame your business model and register it with the local authority to make it identifiable as a legal entity. Legal structure influences your business finances, how you work with your employees, taxes, and other related things. Hence, necessary legal paperwork is essential to carry out your business legally.

Engage in competitive research:

The market for graphic designers is fairly competitive, and hence, thorough research is a must to ensure you are at par with the industry trends. Research would help you figure out competitors’ service rates, pricing model, services to offer, and many other business-related facts.

Establish a business budget and scheme your funding sources:

An effective business plan and a strong financial strategy are significant for steady business performance. Besides pursuing business loans or personal investments, you also need to explore your other funding sources. Moreover, assign specific dollars to particular sections to keep finances on track. Opt for an online invoicing tool, Billbooks to track your expenses.

Name your business:

Naming your business helps in identifying your firm. It helps in referral purposes and makes it easier for your prospective clients to look out for your company online as well. Some easy-to-follow naming processes are:

  • Keep it simple and easy
  • Ensure it’s available on the web and not the same as any other business name.
  • Easy to spell and represents your company mission

Build an attractive website:

Building an attractive website is a significant part of business marketing. Website emphasis on your online presence and helps prospective clients reach out to you seamlessly. They get to know about your company’s detailed services you provide along with other important information.

Structure your business finances:

Collecting payment is a crucial part of a business. Hence, it is important how you organize your business finances. Make your invoice payment flexible and easy for them to pay instantly without delay. Moreover, get smart online software like Billbooks to track your pending invoices to keep your cash flowing smoothly and steadily.

Get Clients:

Getting clients may be the most common struggle faced by new business owners or freelancers. If you are planning to start as a freelancer and hunting for prospective clients, then there are hundreds of sites to look for. Some of them are SolidGigs, FlexJobs, Upwork, 99Designs, Craigslist, and many more. Looking for referrals is also an effective technique to get clients for new entrepreneurs.

Stock your resources:

List your inventory in your workspace to organize your basic requirements like a laptop, external hard drive, designing software, marketing material, etc.

Key points to remember:

  • Include a formal agreement for business safety.
  • Try not to go against your standards, as that may affect your creativity and impact business credibility.
  • Always remember to hold a strong online presence.
  • Must have a strong mission statement to draw more attention from prospective clients.

Quick Q & A:

How much do you need to start a graphic design business?

Approximately, starting a graphic design business would cost between $7k-$46k. Let’s make it simple by presenting an easy expense breakup of a graphic designing company:
Business Formation fees: $20k
Software Expense:$3k
Office Space Expense: $7k
Employee expense: $350
Equipment and Supply Expense: $5k
Website Cost: $7k
Marketing Expense: $60
Training Cost: $1k
Miscellaneous: $1k

How much to charge for logo design?

As per the current rate in 2021, a good logo is liable to cost around $300-$1300. Approximately, the range varies between $2-$2500 depending upon the website you are designing for and its type.

How much money do graphic designers make?

The range of income for most graphic designers lies between $49k-$117k. The income varies depending upon their skill set, experience, and also on the state where they are located.

Wrapping up!

Establishing a business is more like a great design project. It requires a lot of brainstorming to plan, tweak, adjust and refine your every decision. Besides putting in your hard work, follow the above guide for added support. Take the necessary steps to make your dream a reality and keep polishing your skills for better results.