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8 Do’s and Don’ts of Starting a Graphic Design Business

With the entire business world now moving towards the visuals, it’s no surprise graphic design companies are doing so well.

If you’ve been thinking about entering the industry and starting your own graphic design firm, it’s extremely important to get everything right from day one. And to help you get there, we came up with eight do’s and don’ts of starting a graphic design business.


Do create a good portfolio

Creating a strong portfolio is the best possible way to attract clients in the graphic design industry. It’s a chance for you to display some of your best work and get recognized by people who need the services your business offers.

However, in order to get there, you first need to do some graphic design work and create graphics you can feature in your portfolio. It’s a good idea to do some pro-bono work or come up with your own projects that’ll allow you to showcase your skills.

In terms of graphic design, we have so much to see in the coming year. Here are a few graphic design trends you can get inspiration for 2019.

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Don’t expect instant success after starting a graphic design business

No matter how good you are when it graphic design, you can’t expect instant success. Many graphic design companies rely on clients who keep coming back and new clients who are referred to them by their current clients.

This means that until you build your client base and gain some experience, you shouldn’t expect that you’ll have as much income as you might’ve hoped for. This is exactly why many new graphic design businesses fail within their first five years.


Do get a loan

You can’t start a business without money, simple as that. Graphic designers now use expensive equipment and investing in the finest tools is a must if you want to stay ahead of the pack.

And the best way to obtain finances for your company is through a loan. You can now apply for a personal loan quick and easy, without shifting focus from your work.

So, even if you’ve already landed your first client, it’s still not too late to obtain finances and get better equipment.


Don’t say yes to every project

Starting a graphic design business sure is exciting and you’ll probably be ready to take any job that comes your way.

While this may be a good way to gain some exposure, it can cause you to miss out on a huge project because you’ve already said yes to a project you never thought you’d be tackling.

When starting out, it’s very important to figure out what you’ve set out to do and only take on projects that fit into your plans.


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Do be authentic

We live in the age of technology and it’s so easy to browse the web and find work by other graphic design businesses you can use for inspiration. Even though doing this may seem like a good idea, it can actually only hurt your chances of succeeding.

According to the article of Ana Jesus on Frank Digital‘s blog, “one size fits all” templates and standard patterns might seem like a quick solution, but remember that the “mechanic standardization” is a disturbing experience for your audience. You can read more about authenticity in design on their blog.

It’s very important that you have a say in the projects you take and you just can’t do that unless you establish your own design aesthetic as soon as you get underway. Make sure your work is authentic and you’ll have nothing to worry about.


Don’t do any work without a contract

The last thing you want to happen is someone to take advantage of your lack of experience. According to the pros, some clients take work and don’t pay the graphic designer who did it. This happens even more now since the most or all communication with your clients is done through the web.

With that said, make sure you design a contract that includes all variables, key dates, and payment terms before you even start doing any work, especially if it includes using expensive equipment.


Don’t ignore social media

Social media is the perfect place for graphic designers to showcase their work. After you’ve done creating your website, we recommend creating pages on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, and using them to attract new clients.

Just don’t forget to ask every client whether they’re fine with you sharing the work you did for them on social media. Also, it’s a good idea to share the same pictures across all platforms as there’s nothing that can replace consistency when it comes to social media.

In the video below graphic designer Charlie Lewis gives some tips about graphic design for Instagram:


Do have a mentor

Whether you lack the skill or you’re struggling to run your business, finding a mentor can turn out to be an amazing idea. Your mentor can also give you legal advice and provide you with a sense of security when it comes to running a business. According to experts, the best way to connect with people who can help you is through social media platforms such as LinkedIn. Just make sure you connect with an expert who’s been in the graphic design industry for some time and you’ll do fine.


With these tips in mind, you should be able to get your graphic design business off to a good start even if you never worked in a graphic design agency before. Put enough time and effort into it, and you’ll give your business a proper chance to succeed.

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