Are you interested in starting a freelance graphic design business from home? Do you need a sample graphic design business plan template or feasibility study report? If YES, then I advice you read on.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the graphic design industry is expected to enjoy a 13 percent increase in business between 2008 and 2018. This simply implies that there is a lot of money to be made in this in-demand industry.
The escalating growth of the graphic design industry boils down to the increasing demand for Internet and interactive media advertising, such as mobile phone apps. And the demand for graphics for offline advertisements is still on the high, too.
From individual freelance designers to small design firms and to large design agencies, the graphic design business provides huge opportunities for creative experts. So if you have a solid background in graphic design, then starting your own graphic design business might be the best opportunity for you to make money from your skills. The following are the steps involved in starting a graphic design business.
Starting a Freelance Graphic Design Business from Home – Sample Business Plan Template
1. Assess your skills
Do you really have what it takes to work as a professional graphic designer? You need to give yourself a satisfactory answer to this question before going on with your plan to start a graphic design business. That is, you need to assess your skills, knowledge base, and level of creativity to ensure you can really offer high quality graphic design services.
If you are lacking in certain aspects, you must never proceed until you have improved significantly on them. You must also ensure that you can work effectively and creatively with the major graphic design software packages that you will need all the time. You can approach a veteran in the business to get some mentorship and expert advice.
You will need to create a business plan for your graphic design business. This plan will highlight how you will run your business and how you will grow it with time. What type of business structure do you plan to run? Would you work as a lone freelancer, or would you set up an agency in which you will hire others to work with you? You need to answer these questions and many others that will define how you will run your graphic design business.
In addition, you should define the kind of graphic design services that you will be offering. It goes without saying that this will depend on your skills. You must also draw up a list of services that you will offer, which can include:
- Logo design
- Brochures design
- Book formatting
- eBook covers
- Website design, and so on.
Depending on your skills, you might also want to focus on specialized services such as corporate identity, e-commerce design, 3-dimensional graphics, annual reports, and so on, that you can offer to larger clients with huge design budgets. Having decided on the specific services you will offer, you can then proceed to set prices for each.
3. Set up your workstation
If you are planning to work as a lone freelancer, then a small home office would suffice. However, if you are planning to start a graphic design agency, you will need to rent office space.
After choosing a suitable location, you will need to acquire the necessary equipment, such as the latest versions of the various graphic design software packages (Corel Draw, Adobe Photoshop, etc) that you will need, computers, printers, a reliable internet connection, a phone line, and so on, depending on your needs.
It is important that you conduct some research and come up with a list of individuals and businesses that will most likely need your graphic design services. Send them pitches, telling them about your business and how it can help them. However, you must emphasize how your services can help them achieve their goals and how your business stands out from the competition.
Also, you should contact marketing consultants, public relations firms, brand management agencies and advertising agencies. Let them know that you are available to handle specialist design projects that they cannot cover with their own resources. You can also ask them for contacts of potential clients who might need your services.
5. Promote your business and start operations
You must market your graphic design business aggressively; using both online and offline marketing platforms. Offline, you can send a press release to your local newspapers and advertise in local magazines.
Promoting your business online starts with setting up a small website, where you tell potential clients about your business and how it can help them. Your website will also serves as your portfolio, which showcases samples of designs you have done in the past. Other online marketing strategies that can help you attract clients include social media marketing and forum marketing.
Once you start attracting clients, you must ensure that you deliver high quality and satisfactory services. This will compel them to come back for your services repeatedly and motivate them to tell others about your business.