November 30, 2017

Every day is a challenge and the potential of making way more money is definitely there.

Starting your own design business is an adventure.

Being your own boss is something that many people in the design industry dream of.

The ability to peruse your own creative vision without being hindered by a boss’ decision is definitely a liberating feeling.

Every day is a challenge and the potential of making way more money is definitely there.

When you work for yourself you reap all the benefits and take all the risk as well.

Despite what many creative professionals might think, running your own design business is no easy task and the challenges are far more than taking care of the design-related aspects.

Instead, you are required to handle your tasks as a designer and handle the business side as well.

If you are one of those people who just aren’t made for the salaried employee’s lifestyle and want to start your own business, this is definitely the place to start.


How to start your own design business - strategy

Photo by Crown Agency on Unsplash


These are the five key things to know before you start your design business.

1- Know what you’re in for

Before you start your own business, you should be fully aware of the ups and downs.

Being the best designer in the world doesn’t necessarily mean that you will enjoy running your own company.

When you work in an agency, there are other people taking care of the “business issues”.

Following up with clients, getting new contracts, managing finances are just some of many details that you didn’t have to worry about in your agency job.

The reason is quite simple: your work was simply a “designer”. All you have to do there is design.

When you run your own design business, you are a “business owner”. There is a huge difference between both.

Now, I’m not saying that going your own way isn’t worth.

I have done it myself and I wouldn’t trade it for anything else.

All that I’m saying is that in order to succeed at running your business company, you must be aware of both the upside and the downside of it.

Understanding what it really takes to run a business is essential so you don’t feel disappointed in the long term.

You should be realistic about the effect that this step will have on your lifestyle.

Are you willing to put in the extra time an effort that is required especially when you start?

Understanding what it really takes to go from an employee to a design business owner is the first step in a successful transition process.


How to start your own design business - strategy

Photo by on Unsplash


2- Carefully evaluate your reasons

Why do you want to make this transition?

Sometimes, what you might think running your business is like can be as far as it gets from the truth.

Speaking with someone who has gone down this path before is a smart way to understand what it is really like to run your own design business.


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Photo by Stefan Cosma on Unsplash


3- Understand the market

Knowing the market that you are about to enter is necessary for success.

Understanding the market’s financial aspects is very important.

How much do similar agencies charge for their services? How much can you realistically charge to compete with them?

Knowing the answers to those questions can help you position your business and offer a competitive service, especially in the beginning.

Another thing you should do is keeping an eye on your competitors.

If you want to offer a service that truly stands out and provides value to your customers, you should understand what your competitors are offering.

Since they are already in the market, there are more than a few lessons that you can learn from them. If you don’t do this, you will learn those lessons the hard way, which costs lots of time and money.


how to start a design business - strategy


4- Be Financially Prepared

When you start a new business, there are two financial tips to keep in mind:

  1. You won’t start making money overnight
  2. There are starting and running costs

Before leaving your job behind to start your own business, you should have a financial cushion to cover for the expenses.

New business don’t start generating money instantly, there is a time and money investment that has to be made.

If you won’t be able to pay rent next month because your new business won’t generate income instantly, you should first save some money to keep you afloat during this transitional period.

Remember: not having enough money to support yourself can leave you under an enormous pressure that you might not be able to handle, especially if you support others.

Aside from your own living expenses, your business has expenses as well.

Setting up a website, renting a space and hiring people cost money that is necessary to keep your business running.

Since your business’ revenues won’t cover all of this plus your living expenses from day one, you should be ready to do so until your business becomes profitable.

Cutting down on all of the unnecessary expenses is something that you should really consider.

You don’t have to rent the fanciest office space or hire as many people from the start.

Start with the basic necessities and develop from there.


How to start your own design business - Photo by Rawpixel on Unsplash

5- The last thing to remember is to have fun!

You are starting your own design business to enjoy doing what you love, not make your life miserable.

Keep it positive and always keep your goal ahead of you.


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