Graphic Design Business Tips To Grow Your Business


Updated 12/15/20

To start a graphic design business is something you may have been dreaming about for years. You don’t have to start from scratch, though. You can buy a business from a business broker or you can buy a business for sale at an affordable cost.

Can you buy a business using a loan? If you are going to get business loan to buy a existing business, then you should make sure that the business is already doing well and has enough loyal clients so you don’t have to go out looking for more clients. If you don’t know exactly where to get funding, you can try to apply for a business loan to purchase a business like this. Getting an sba loan to buy a business may be easier than you think. All you have to do is to go on the website and apply.

However, you should first have a business plan before going that route. Show in your business plan that you have experience and marketable strategies. If you do not qualify for a loan, you may be wondering, ‘how do I get money to buy a business?’ Well, you can ask family members to pool together and loan you the money at a low-interest rate. You may also be asking how to buy a business no money down. There are financial institutions that offer this option, but you could consider a leveraged buyout; using the assets of the business with other finances. You might be thinking about how to get financing to buy a business where the seller could finance the purchase. These are workable options you should consider.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has recently made some very positive predictions for the graphic design industry. According to the experts, there is an expected 13% growth in this industry. Now maybe the time you have been waiting for to launch your graphic design business.

If you are thinking about starting your own graphic design business these graphic design business tips can help you get your business off the ground and avoid some of the common mistakes new business owners make. These easy to follow graphic design business tips will help you to enjoy a robust business.

Start Out Freelancing

Basically if you have the skillset, and the printer products you do not have to take the full leap into owning your own business. One of the easiest graphic design business tips to follow is to start out freelancing on the side.

It can be scary to give up your day job when it is your sole source of income. Working as a freelancer can help you to earn an extra stream of income and build a client base so that in the near future you can venture out on your own and quit your day job. Working as a freelancer can also help you sharpen your skills, and give you an idea of what running your own business will look like.

Let’s say that you want to specialize in custom sign designs, advertising your skillset on one of the gig sites can be an easy way to reach your audience and start putting your business model idea to the test. While you may not make as much money freelancing as you would have your own brick and mortar shop, you will make money, and more importantly, you will start building a reputation among your audience.

The beauty of starting out as a freelancer is that you can:

  • Not have to make an out of the pocket investment to get started.
  • Generate extra income while you gain experience.
  • Make connections in the industry that will serve you well when you do start your own business full time.

Freelancing on the side is a great way to test the waters for your new business. Starting a new business does not necessarily mean you have to jump in with both feet. You can keep one foot in your day job, and put the other foot inside gigs to get started.

Freelancing will give you the opportunity to amass the equipment that you need without having to deal with a lot of out of the pocket expense. You can take the money you make from those first gigs and use it to invest in equipment.

Of course, in this gig economy, you can also choose to do what other graphic design artists do and tap into the power of wholesale printing initially instead of investing in equipment. Using a third-party source to manage your printing needs can help to save on equipment costs. As the gigs start to pile up and the money starts to flow in, then you can buy equipment, or you can just keep using the wholes printing option.

Freelancing is an easy way to start your business and build that base that can launch you toward bigger and better things.

Graphic Design Business Tips: Start-Up Costs

If the gig economy is just not for you and you are ready to branch out and start your business now, there are a few graphic design business tips you should follow to help reign in the start-up costs. Initially, your biggest costs are going to be for equipment, supplies, and materials.

Right out the gate you do not need to rent or lease a commercial space, but you will need to clear some space to work. That space can be in your garage, your shed, or your attic. It can be any space that allows you to sit an focus on work.

If keeping start-up costs down is your goal, then real estate, should be the last thing on your list. A large sweeping commercial space can come later when you have established yourself. As a new business founder, plan on reinvesting whatever you make into your business over the next year. Draw a small salary that you can live on, then funnel the rest of the revenue back into the business. This model helps you to grow your business finances and ensures that your business will make it through those critical first years.

Investing in equipment can be costly, consider the savings if you buy pre-owned device, compared to buying a new device. There are companies that specialize in pre-owned sales that refurbish the device like printers or laptops and even offer a warranty. The savings can be in the hundreds of dollars range. Pre-owned can be the way to go if your budget is tight.

Other ways to reduce your start-up costs include:

  • Finding a business partner with like goals. Taking on a partner can make start-up costs far more affordable because you can split the costs.
  • Look for grants and low-interest loans. Running up your credit cards is not the best way to get the money you need. Interest rates are typically higher on credit cards. Consider applying for grants and low-interest loans from government programs.
  • Buy only what you absolutely need to do business.

There are ways to save on starting up your business. Sometimes you have to think outside the box and get really innovative to make starting your own business more affordable. Taking on a partner comes with plenty of positives but keep in mind than you also have to share the decision making. Taking out a loan will give you instant cash flow, but keep in mind you have to pay it back. The point is, while you are trying to figure out how you can afford the start-up costs, consider both sides of the coin. Making smart financial moves early on will help to ensure you are able to build a strong business.

Graphic Design Business Tips: Marketing

Early we talked about the value of branching out on your own through freelancing on the online gig sites. One of the benefits of taking on freelance work was that you could build a following for free. Getting people talking about your work is vital to the success of your business. One of the reasons that freelancing first is such a great option is because your work gets talked about and it is an avenue to free marketing.

Marketing is vital to any business in any industry. It is how businesses connect with their target audience. Graphic design business tips for marketing can help you to reach your audience and start taking those orders.

Here are some marketing tips:

  • Connect with a firm that specializes in marketing. This will be an added expense to your start-up costs, but it is a worthy expense. The marketing professionals will help to establish your business.
  • You need a web site ASAP. A high percentage of your audience is searching for graphic design services online. You need an online presence to reach your target audience. A website is a must.
  • Use your social media accounts to the fullest. Announce the start of your business via social media, ask friends and family members to share the post.

If your budget is tight put hiring a marketing agency at the top of the list and make sure you have the funds to pay them. Marketing is important to your business that it needs a spot of priority in your budget.

The ROI (return on investment) that you get for a well thought out marketing strategy will ensure that the marketing pays for itself. Of course, you do have to be able to cover that upfront cost. Most marketing agencies offer a turn-key approach to marketing that includes things like building your website, social media marketing, SEO (search engine optimization), analytics to see what is working, and more.

Take advantage of all the benefits of a professional marketing team, and your business will grow. Gifted marketing agencies use magical realism and other techniques to brand your business and get it noticed.

Graphic Design Business Tips: Research

Many new business owners find themselves in business litigation situations that can largely be avoided. One of the driving forces behind new business owners finding themselves in some sort of legal challenge is ignorance.

You may be a gifted graphic design artist but that does not make you a well-heeled business person, and you need to be both to take your business to the next level. If you have zero knowledge about how to run a business you are faced with one of two options. You can learn all you need to know, or you can hire someone to help you.

There are business rules that every business owner should at least be aware of including:

  • Tax laws and requirements.
  • Contract laws affecting business agreements.
  • Human resource rules in your state.

If you want to run things on your own you will need to make sure you educate yourself on how to legally run your business. You can take classes at your community college, do some online classes, or even do the research on your own, but you do have to be sure that you have some understanding of how things work to avoid problems.

Regardless of how good of a graphic design artist you are, if you do not have the knowledge to run a business, you are in risky territory. All your hard work can be lost if you do not effectively run your business. Taxes must be paid, employees need to be treated fairly and within the scope of your state’s laws, and other business details must be addressed.

Eventually your business will grow to the point where you will need to hire employees to help you manage it. Having the information you need to manage human resources is vital to keeping the workflow moving along. Solving conflicts in the workplace by using the skillset that you have developed can bring added value to your business.

Of course, making sure that you understand your tax responsibility, business licensing responsibilities, and other legal requirements for your business is a must. Even if you are fortunate enough to hire a team to look out for your business, you still want to be sure that you have some knowledge of these subjects.

Running a business is not easy but you never want to turn over all the responsibilities to other people. You have to have at least some basic knowledge of how things should be done to ensure you are protecting your own interests.

It certainly does not hurt to take some HR classes, look into business tax management, or even learning about bookkeeping. There is no downside to further educating yourself on how a business should be run.

Graphic Design business Tips: Getting Free Support

You are a small business owner which means there are resources out there that you can tap into that are free of charge. The Small Business Administration is a wealth of small business information. You can find articles written by successful business owners with tips and tricks for running your own business, you can find out more about generating cash flow, grants, loan options, and much more.

Every state has SCORE offices, which consists of retired successful business people that will assist you with everything from drawing up an actionable business plan to mentoring you through rough patches. Tapping into other’s experiences can help you to avoid some of the most common mistakes early in your business formation.

Many community colleges offer free workshops for small business owners. You can also find help at your local commerce society or group. Take advantage of these free resource to educate yourself and get some graphic design business tips from people that have built that type of business and succeeded.

The more prepared you are the better off your business will be. Of course, taking advantage of these resources is also a great way to network and meet like-minded people. Good luck with your business, hopefully, these graphic design business tips will help you build a strong successful business.


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