How Do I Start my Own Graphic Design Company?

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Small businesses fuel the economy, and starting a graphic design company is one way to own one’s own business while also using artistic and computer skills to earn money. Like any business venture, starting a business as a graphic designer is an activity that requires knowledge of the industry, as well as how to start and maintain a business. For hardworking individuals, a graphic design business could represent independence and autonomy from a standard office job.

Identifying Business Intent and Purpose

The concept of graphic design encompasses a significant number of focuses including digital design, web design, and print design. A graphic designer’s personal interests and skills may guide the direction of the business. Additionally, the type of business chosen may also be influenced by the strength of that particular segment of the industry.

One of the most lucrative areas for graphic designers today is in app design for mobile phones, tablet computers, and smart TVs. The explosive growth of digital programs has meant significant opportunities for graphic designers. A newly formed business might focus upon graphics meant for viewing on certain types of devices like smartphones.

Setting Up an Actual Business

Some graphic designers work in-house for companies that need graphics on a regular basis while other graphic designers work as independent contractors. A real business is different from these two ventures as it may come with requirements for a business license, lease on an office space, professional equipment like computers, and a business plan.

Several resources are available for setting up a business, and the owner of a newly formed company may want to tap resources like the United States Chamber of Commerce and the Small Business Administration (SBA). The local Chamber of Commerce will help a new company navigate city ordinances, and the SBA may help a new company find funding or grants to get the business off the ground.

Marketing and Promoting the Business

In business, rarely can the movie quote “if you build it, he will come” be applied to the creation of a successful business. A talented graphic designer with a brand new business won’t have a single customer if nobody knows about the business. A new business owner must consider two very important parts of a well-marketed business.

First, a graphic design company must be able to demonstrate artistic and technical prowess through a comprehensive portfolio. Most graphic designers will create a portfolio while working towards their graphic design degree, and it’s also important for graphic designers to build a portfolio at the start of a career. Customers want to see examples of past projects, particularly if they’re successful or well known.

Secondly, a newly formed graphic design business will need past clients who will help with recommendations and the formation of new business connections. Many clients a new business obtains will come through existing professional connections. As long as the parting was amicable, a company for which a graphic designer once worked may offer recommendations that will help the new company find new clients.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for a graphic designer was $44,150, as of the most recent statistics on wages in the United States. This income may increase when a graphic designer decides to start his or her own graphic design company.

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