Starting a business can be difficult, but once you’ve settled on a speciality, things can become a lot more focused. You’ve finally decided what you want to do so the trick is knowing where exactly to begin. If, for example you’re interested in graphic design and want to start your own business, chances are that you’ve been doing the odd job here and there along with some freelancing to get the ball rolling, but what should you do if you want to go off on your own?
Well fear not, because we’re here to help you along the way and have outlined some basic tips on how to start your own graphic design company.
Make Sure You Have Time
Starting any kind of business can be very challenging and there is a lot to think about. Before you decide to kick things off properly, you need to make sure that you have enough time on your hands to dedicate to your new business. Ask yourself whether you really want to start a new project, and you do, make sure that you know exactly why and what exactly you want to get out of it. It is important that you understand that you are going to have to dedicate a lot of time and effort to your business, whether it be research or setting aside time for small projects. Try your best to ensure that money is not your only objective. If you start a business with only this in mind, things are not going to go well, whereas if you have a genuine interest in graphic design, your business is a lot more likely to succeed. Of course, this applies to absolutely anyone who wants to start a business, not just graphic designers, so take note!
Create a Website
Before starting your own website, give yourself to time to refine your skills and make sure that you feel like you are good enough. We are by no means saying that you aren’t, but that you need to make sure that you think you are capable. Your friends and family might think that your work is fantastic, but make sure that you are ready to compete with other businesses in the market. What experience have you had? What makes you unique? What can you bring to the market? Once you have answered these questions, it’s time to make a website! It shouldn’t be anything too adventurous, it’s simply somewhere where you can showcase your talents and what you have to offer. It is the perfect opportunity for you to create your own identity and market yourself correctly. It’ll make it easier for people to contact you and find your work, and is a great way to showcase your portfolio (very important for any freelancer or budding entrepreneur out there)!
Have a Clever Business Name
When you’re starting your own business, you need to create a brand differently than you would have done when freelancing. Your freelancing work was specific to you and what you could offer to your clients, but now you’re running your own business! With freelancing, you were the brand, but now your business name needs to sum up what you’re all about. Eventually you’ll want to expand, recruit employees and ultimately keep growing. Because of this, coming up with a clever business name is a good idea. If it has a ring to it, people will be more inclined to find out more. Try to keep it short, snappy and easy to remember while ensuring that it sums up your business and what it has to offer! Once you have your own name, you can create a brand for yourself make sure that your presence is definitely felt within the market.
Rent Office Space
This is not essential and you don’t need to rent your own office space if you don’t want to, you can always work from home if you have the right resources. However, once you have your own website and know how to market yourself and you have a business name, renting office space is a good way for you to stay organised. It will mean that you will have somewhere to work on your business plan, set yourself goals and it will mean that you are in the right mindset for running a business. Working from home means that there may be too many distractions which will ultimately affect how productive you will be. Working in your own rented office space will motivate you to meet your goals and set ground work for your business.
Make sure that you take the opportunity to meet with other designers and business savvy individuals so you can help your business grow.Networking is a great way to let people know about your business and what sets it apart from any other graphic design company. It means that people are more likely to stumble upon your business and they may want to find out more, which ultimately means that you are much more likely to get clients! Networking also gives you a fair idea about the market and where you fit in. You will be able to find out if there is anything in particular that you need to focus on in order to compete with other companies and appeal to the masses.
Design Your Own Business Cards
You’re a graphic designer, so luckily you don’t need to find someone to design your business cards - you can do it yourself! Business cards are a really handy, convenient way of spreading the word about your business. You can hand them out to different contacts during meetings or when networking with fellow business folk.
It’s also a great way to showcase your talents and show everyone what you’re capable of. Treat it like a small, personal project and give it all you’ve got. Do your best to make your business cards unique, interesting and eye-catching. That way, people will be more inclined to contact you!
Expand Your Business
Running a business is very different to freelancing. There is a lot more to think about such as bookkeeping and accounts. You’re only one person, and nobody would expect you to be able to handle all of that on your own. That is why, eventually, it may be a good idea to the likes of a freelance graphic designer to handle production or an accountant to help you keep track of business expenses and to come up with an effective business plan. In all you should make an effort to hire at least three employees to help run a smooth ship!
We hope that this advice is able to help you along the way, but ultimately it all comes down to your commitment and desire to succeed! If you put your mind to it, with the right resources you can do almost anything! So get creative!
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Mi-IDEA Manchester Networking Event
27th Sep 2016
The teams from CISCO and Manchester Science Partnerships have teamed up to create Mi-IDEA, a post-accelerator designed to foster and nurture digital innovation in the North West of England.