Graphic Designer Business Plan
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If you are planning to work as a graphic designer in the future, well let me tell you that a graphic designer business can be extremely exciting and adventurous whether you are hoping to work for yourself, or just make a little extra money from an on-the-side design business.
Want to learn more deeply about it? Learning how to work as a graphic designer is pretty simple, but you have to be willing to put in the work.
In this following article on graphic designer business plan, we are going to tell you how can you start a graphic designer business by following some crucial steps, so if you are ready to properly learn how to start a graphic design business, let’s get started!
Start by finding the right clients
Don’t be surprised? Finding the right client is very crucial for any kind of business and in this section of graphic designer business plan, we are going to tell you exactly how can you do it?
If you will simply begin your graphic designer business with all the bogged-down tasks, it can get a bit overwhelming for you, hence we suggest you to start by finding the clients for your business.
Once you are able to attract a few people who are actually willing to pay you for your work, you are good to begin your business.
But how to find the right client for your business?
Do not lose hope right in the beginning. There are a number of freelance job sites available on the internet which can help you find exactly the types of clients you are looking for.
A good example is Fiverr, which offers a huge marketplace of entry-level clients that can get you started when you are still learning how to start a graphic design business.
You may find clients you do not want to work for a long time and some you would want to stick to for a long period of time, but they are a great way to get you some experience, a few portfolio pieces, some cash, and a good amount of confidence.
You can also find some nice entry-level work on sites like Upwork. Upwork is a popular freelance marketplace in the world using which you can get access to thousands of graphic design jobs.
Given below is a list of some sites where you can find graphic design clients:
- SolidGigs is a great platform you can try for just $2. Their team of fellow freelancers combs through thousands of freelance job boards every weekday and posts the best leads for their users. This platform also features a library of helpful courses, templates, and other resources that will come in handy as you learn more about this business.
- FlexJobs is another such platform you can try for just $14.95 per month. It is not a great option when you are just learning how to start a graphic design business but they post daily jobs in all areas of design and other fields as well.
- Upwork is the largest freelance services marketplace in the world and a number of freelancers have built their own six-figure businesses on the back of this powerful platform, so we totally recommend you this platform.
- Craiglist is yet another platform you can choose to use in the beginning. Their services are absolutely free in the beginning, so make sure to check out this website.
- 99 Designs is another great platform you can use. This platform can help you build experience, and confidence that can be very beneficial for you in the future. If you are a beginner, you can totally invest your time in this platform.
Avoid being picky in the beginning
When you would be beginning how to start writing a graphic designer business plan, you might come across advice from experienced freelancers who might tell you to be very picky when choosing clients. Easier said than done. They have been running their business for years and finding clients for themselves might not be tough for them.
As a beginner, you need clients and you need them right now, so avoid being too picky as much as possible in the beginning.
In the beginning, take any reasonable graphic design job for any reasonable price, you never know where these small opportunities may lead you.
They will most definitely bless you with confidence, experience, and portfolio pieces. They could also turn your life-long lucrative business relationships or worthwhile conduits to other clients as well, so stay hopeful and dedicated.
Set your pricing
In this section of graphic designer business plan, you will learn about how should you set your pricing.
Before you get too much further along in starting a graphic design business, you may first want to consider your pricing structure.
Note down for yourself will you charge clients by the hour, by the project, or by the value you deliver them?
Charging hourly will probably be the easiest way for anyone who is thinking about starting a graphic design business from scratch, but you may still want to explore other pricing models once you are a bit established and there is nothing wrong in that.
Decide what are you going to charge?
Deciding what to charge your clients when you are barely getting started learning how to start a graphic design business can be tough for you but in this section of graphic designer business plan, we are going to tell you how can you do it.
A freelance friend of mine recommended using Bonsai’s Rate Explorer. When you will use their graph, you will get to see how much fellow graphic designers and other professionals are charging for their work and adjust your rates as you see fit.
If you are completely unsure of how much to charge, just pick a number. If the client finds it too much, you can come down a little as well.
Ultimately, you will land on a price that will work well for you as you start a graphic design business. You can then revisit the number frequently.
Name your graphic design business
Now that you have gotten a few clients and have also the confidence you need to start a graphic design business for the long haul, it is time for you to start laying the framework of a solid business. This starts with naming your business properly. You can either use your own name or create a business name for your business.
The first question that might come to your mind must be, should you be using your own name or should you be creating a business name? The answer to this is easy. It does not matter that much. You just have to pick something you like. The good part is that you can change it anytime you want.
Our team recommends you to simply pick something and run with it. You can always change it later on. Selecting the name of your graphic design business may require a lot more thinking than you expected.
The name you will ultimately pick for your graphic design business will impact many facets of your design business, such as:
- How much you are able to charge for your design work.
- How can people easily remember your design business.
- The kinds of design projects you will be hired for including industry, calibre, and scale.
- Whether or not people are likely to recommend your design work to friends and colleagues.
- Where you can do business legally without infringing on copyright or trademarks and a lot more.
Make sure to choose a business name that is easy to remember and which sticks to the mind of clients. You can easily fall into the trap of getting overly cute, clever, or creative when thinking of design business names.
Instead you should keep it simple. It should be easy for people to say, spell, and remember.
Next you should make sure it is available on the internet. Before you fall in love with any name too much, you should check its availability first.
Find out are there any social media channels you hope to use and if there are any, are they available or not? Is there a domain that works well for your design company name or not?
If you want to keep your ideas safe, we suggest you to use Bluehost or Dreamhost. These websites work very well for beginners as they are quite affordable. You can use these websites to check the domain availability without asking it is parked for squatted.
It is equally important that you feel good about your business name and it speaks of the vision of your graphic design business.
Trust me, you will be using your business name a lot. You will be typing it, you will be discussing it, and what not. And if you feel silly about it or have to explain the context or feel the need to pronounce it for people, that is going to get old real quick.
Never make the mistake of getting stuck on all the possible graphic design business names that are available out there.
Your biggest enemy is indecision. While this is an important decision for your graphic design business, getting back to the revenue driving decisions will be more critical at this stage of your business.
Wan to know the basics about how you should name your business more precisely? You can check out our article on How to Name a Business in 2023-24.
Time to build a website
In this section of graphic designer business plan, you will learn the importance of building a website for your graphic designer business.
It can be equally tough like naming a business. Lucky for you, there are numerous easy-to-use and affordable website builders to build your first portfolio website.
Time to build a business plan
In this section of graphic designer business plan, you are going to learn how to make a proper business plan from scratch.
Now that you have gotten a few clients at the door, you have named you graphic designer business and gotten a minimum-viable portfolio site, you can start thinking more strategically about how you are going to start a graphic design business properly.
It is definitely time for you to start developing a graphic design business plan. You might be thinking why we have included this step during the end of this article, well it is for your own convenience, slowly and deeply you will realize that there are a number of businesses that gets lost in the planning stage to never resurface.
Do not worry, if you will follow these steps, you are sure to reach your destination. Just trust the process.
Your business plan should not be more than one page. You can download a business plan template from any available source out there which fits your taste. It will take less than a minute.
If you are planning to make a shorter graphic designer business plan, you can grab a piece of paper or a computer and answer the following questions, such as what services will my design business provide, who is the ideal client for my graphic design business, how much will my design business charge for the work you do, what are your monthly design business revenue goals, how many clients, or how will you retain current design clients.
Answering these questions will help you maintain traction and gain momentum when starting a graphic design business.
How are you going to communicate with your clients
In this section of graphic designer business plan, you are going to learn how are you going to communicate with your clients.
Not only you are a graphic designer, but also a bookkeeper, the marketing manager, and the account manager and communicating effectively with your clients is an absolute necessity when you are considering starting a graphic business.
If you are really passionate about working as a graphic designer, one thing you have to realize is that your clients should not feel like a burden to you, but an essential and wonderful part of your graphic design business.
During your working period, you will meet different clients. Some can be quite easy to handle whereas some might be not be so easy to handle.
Part of learning how to start a graphic design business is managing both the day-to-day growth of your graphic design business as well as keeping current clients satisfied with your services.
If you ever find yourself overwhelmed with all the client communication, you can try using automation tools like Freshbooks which can send invoices, follow-up on those invoices, send proposals, and also create.
You can also deliver high quality projects on time
In this section of graphic designer business plan, you will learn how can you deliver high quality projects on time.
If being unprofessional in your communication methods does not kill your graphic design business before you can even get it started, then failing to deliver on your promises will.
It is a massive fail point for many creatives who are learning how to start a graphic design business because they mistakenly think the hardest work is finding design clients when in reality, it can be more difficult to manage multiple projects and deliver them on time.
There are several tools like Trello, Plutio, Cushion or Timely that can help you manage your projects and tasks, keeping you on track and ensure you give your design client a positive experience every time.
This can be especially important in the early days of your graphic design business, since a few bad reviews or bad word-of-mouth reports around your local city could signify a real setback for your design business.
How can you collect payment from clients
If you are a passionate graphic designer, doing the work you love every day can be quite exciting. In this section of graphic designer business plan you will learn more about how can you collect payment from clients.
Depending on how much you hate your day job, you might be hoping this graphic design business can be an escape from your cubicle into work you actually care about.
A business that does not make money is just a hobby, so make sure to put all your blood, sweat and tears into your business.
For someone who is starting a graphic design business, collecting payment is an absolutely critical part that you have to play well.
So, this was our article on graphic designer business plan. If you liked our content, make sure to comment down below and share it with your friends.
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