How To Start a Graphic Design Business

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Starting a Graphic Design Business

If you enjoy graphic design, then opening a business offering your services is an option you can look into. This article provides a lot of information you use and resources that offer more information. You will want to take your time to understand what’s needed to start, operate, and own your graphic design business before you get started. The more you know the better your decisions will be.

First, we’ll go over the 14 steps you’ll need to get started, giving you an overview of what is involved. Next, we will look at a few points to be aware of that may alter your decision on whether this is the right move. And finally, you will get to the resource section offering information from the web related to a graphic design business.

Steps to Starting a Graphic Design Business

1. Make Sure Running a Business Is Right For You

Before you start, decide if starting your own business is right for you and if you have the necessary skills.

Running a business takes time, skill, and know-how. If you don’t have business experience, you may be overwhelmed with running the business and providing the services. There are always options. For example, when you get busy, you could hire a manager to run the business, focus on designs, or go the other way where you run the business and hire graphic designers. Once you’re set on that, think of how you want to set it up and run it.

You want to be sure this is the right business for you. It’s much easier to start a business than to get out of one, so you want to be sure you are on the right track. Can you see yourself owning and running a graphic design business for the rest of your life? If the answer is yes, then you are on the right track. If your answer is no, then what would you rather do? Should you be looking into that instead? Explore the article below for more information.

2. Research

Business Research

The more you know about a graphic design business, the more successful you’ll be. From the link below, you’ll access inside information about a graphic design business from people in the industry.

See An Inside Look Into the Business You Want To Start for more.

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Target Audience

You need to know who you are advertising to so you can succeed. Also, the more you know about your target audience, the easier it will be to set up your business to satisfy your customers.

For more, see, How To Understand Your Target Market.

3. Considerations and Goals

It’s important to have a goal in mind before starting. Answering some questions will help.

For example:

  • Will you operate from home or a from a commercial location?
  • Will you operate online only?
  • Are you planning on a freelance type of business?
  • Will you do the work yourself, or will you have a team handle multiple jobs at once?
  • Are you planning to create digital designs only, or will you offer printing services?

Answering the above questions can help you stay on track during the startup.

As you are performing your research, your goal may change because something better has come to light, and that’s okay. But, for now, stick to one goal.

4. Choosing The Right Business Location

An important factor in success is choosing the right location. You’ll struggle with a poor location, and a good one contributes to your success.

For more, see Choosing The Best Location for Your Business.

5. Choose a Business Name

You will want a business name that is available for registration, memorable, easy to pronounce, and catchy. In addition, you will want a matching domain name for your website.

For more, see the following links:

6. Business Registration

To operate your business legally, you’ll need to choose the right business structure, apply for the necessary permits, and register the business.

See, How to Register Your Business for all the details.

7. Create Your Corporate ID

A corporate ID consists of a few components like your logo, business cards, stationary, promotional items, brochures, etc. You can start with a logo and business cards and add the necessary parts. You want to ensure you have a professional design to impact your customers positively.

See A Complete Introduction to Corporate Identity Packages for more.

8. Estimating Your Startup Cost

You need to know how much money you’ll need to open and operate your business in the first few months. Start by listing the items you’ll need, and as your research your costs, other issues could appear that you can add to your list.

For more, see, Estimating Start-up Costs: Are you Missing Anything? Also, see, Business Expenses To Consider.

9. Writing a Business Plan

You’ll need a business plan to help you get a clear vision of your business and keep you on track, and you’ll need one if you plan on getting a business loan or attracting investors. A few options for creating one are outlined in the link below.

For details, see How to Write a Business Plan.

10. Set up Your Banking

You will need to separate your personal and business finances. The best way to do so is to open a separate checking account. You will also want to look into a merchant account, so you can accept credit and debit card payments.

For more on business banking, see the following articles.

11. Get the Funding for Your Operation

Getting a startup loan isn’t easy because lenders consider new businesses high-risk and would rather fund an established successful business than take a risk on a startup.

Even though it’s difficult, you can get a business loan when you have a professional business plan that makes sense to the lender and the collateral for the loan.

For ideas, see our article, Getting a Small Business Loan.

12. Software Setup

Software can help you stay organized, analyze critical information, and operate your business.

You can explore the software from the links below to help you operate your business effectively.

For the software packages you consider, I suggest you research and check reviews for an overview of what others have experienced.

13. Get The Right Business Insurance

You must have the right insurance before you are open for business. Speaking with a qualified insurance broker helps you get the insurance that covers your customers, employees, and property.

For more on business insurance, see the following:

14. Physical Setup

For this step, you will need to focus on the layout of your operation. You need it to be organized, so you know where to put things away and where to find them.

You want an attractive layout to leave a positive impression if a customer drops by. But, of course, the same applies to your office, where you’ll spend most of your time managing your business.

In addition, it’s time to put up your business sign that indicates you are open for business.

For More, See the following articles:

15. Creating a Website

Your website is a tool for communication with your customers and can help you market your business. Therefore, you must have a professional design to impress users, and your site must be mobile-friendly and quick.

In addition, You will want to register a domain name and sign up for a decent hosting account to ensure you have full control over your website.

For more, see our page on How to Build a Website for Your Business.

16. Create an External Support Team

An external support team is a group of people you use for their professional services or as consultants. Your team may take months or years to build, but you don’t have to wait until the team is complete before you start to use their services.

Make a list of professionals you may need on your team and consider meeting with them. For example, your team may consist of a lawyer, a financial advisor, an accountant, a banker, an IT professional, a marketing expert, etc.

For more, see, Building a Team of Professional Advisors.

17. Hiring Employees

If and when it’s time to hire employees, don’t hire more people than you need. Overstaffing will run up your operating costs and cut your profits. Instead, for each available position, make sure the person is a good fit for the job.

Hiring mistakes result in lost time, lost productivity, and money that could have been used to produce results; plus, you have to start the hiring process from scratch when the person doesn’t work out, which can be frustrating.


Points to Consider Before Starting Your Business

Some Points To Consider in the Graphic Design Industry.

Creative Limitations

You may be creative and love to create designs in a particular style as a graphic designer.

It is critical, however, for a business owner to create designs in accordance with what a customer wants. You may have difficulty meeting the customer’s expectations if what they want is tacky, cluttered, or has an aesthetically unpleasant color scheme. It can be challenging for you to work this way.

You can either create a design and offer it to the customer in hopes that they will like it better than their specifications. Or, you can do it their way and ensure your name is not associated with it. You can also decline the work if it doesn’t meet your standards.

It is possible that the above scenario could occur, and you should be prepared in case it does.

Revisions Are a Standard Part of Graphic Design

There is no doubt that you will need to offer revisions. However, when you communicate effectively with the customer to understand what they want, you will reduce the number of revisions needed. You can look at revisions in a positive way, for example, they make you a better designer and give you more experience.

Digital File Storage

You will want a secure service where you can keep backups of your designs. This is because your customer may need them in the future, or you may need to make a change in a few months. Another point about keeping backups is sometimes you will use components of a previous design that you can use in a new design, which saves a lot of time.

I would suggest having a backup hard drive in your office so you can keep a copy of the files on your computer. In addition, use a service like IDrive or Carbonite to protect your designs from fire or theft.

Keep Strict Deadlines

It is imperative that you stick to your deadline. You must be on time when you promise your customers that their design will be ready by a certain date. Your reputation could be tarnished if you miss a deadline for a client’s event or promotion.

Rather than cutting it close, give yourself extra time and complete the project before the deadline.

Getting Clients Quickly

Online platforms such as Fiverr and Upwork may be of interest to you. These are freelance sites where people can find freelancers for their projects. Despite running a business, you can still sign up and bid on projects. Building a portfolio, getting positive feedback, and building a reputation is key to starting on these types of platforms

Marketing Your Graphic Design Business

Without customers, a business isn’t really a business. For your business to succeed, you must market it. It is not necessary to do everything yourself. You can hire professionals or take it slowly using one technique at a time. You must market your business regardless of what approach you take. For more see How To Market a Graphic Design Business


Next, you’ll find a few resources that can be helpful during the start-up phase and when your business is up and running.

Graphic Design Business Industry Trends and Statistics

It is imperative to take a closer look at the trends and statistics relevant to a graphic design business so you can gain valuable insights and tips that you may not have considered otherwise. Click Here for the Latest Google Search Results Related to Trends in the Graphic Design Industry.

Industry Terminology

There is no doubt that it is critical for you as a business owner to be familiar with your industry. If you want, you can wait until you gain experience in order to learn the terminology. For a head start, you might want to take a look at glossaries, for more see, Search Results Related to Terminology in the Graphic Design Industry.


There are many benefits to joining an association. There are a lot of associations that provide news and publications that can be of assistance to you. The majority of them also host events on a regular basis that you can attend to network with other people in your industry.

Click Here To View Associations Related to the Graphic Design Industry. Check out our page for tips and insights about Joining a Trade Association.

Top Graphic Design Businesses

By studying other businesses, you can learn what the market offers, as well as pricing and other concepts. In your business, you might discover something you’re missing or come up with an innovative idea. Search Google for the Top Graphic Design Businesses.

Graphic Design Tips

In spite of the fact that you may be an expert or not in the field, it doesn’t hurt to take a look at the latest tips about graphic design, no matter what your experience level may be. Have a Look at the search results for tips related to graphic design.


Reading books can also help you to gain a deeper understanding of your industry, as it is another great source of information. View the Most Recent Google Search Results for Graphic Design Business Books.


If you have the knowledge and skill to run a business successfully, you are more likely to be successful. You might want to take a moment to take a look at the latest publications related to graphic design training that is available. Google’s Search Results Related to a Graphic Design Training.

Industry News

Searching Google News for stories about graphic design is an excellent way to find media coverage. See Google’s News Search Results Related to the Graphic Design Industry.

Videos on YouTube

You can find videos on YouTube that are dedicated to providing tips and insights to expand your knowledge in your industry, and this can be an excellent source of information for you.

See the Most Recent Videos Related to a Graphic Design Business.

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