Key Steps to Starting a Design Company

The online world provides many opportunities for entrepreneurs to successfully run their own businesses. Many individual entrepreneurs focus on starting a business that's in high demand on the market. A good example is a graphics design company. Graphic design is highly sought after because many businesses today are in need of such services. Whether it's to design their company’s website or to create stunning visual content for their audience, companies will always be on the lookout for a good design company.

However, even if you possess good knowledge and skills about graphic design, those traits alone aren't enough to help you run a successful company. The main reason is that running a business requires a different skill set and a different approach. That's why it's important to prepare yourself adequately and learn what it is to run a business before you start your graphics design company. Therefore, here are a few key steps for starting a design company.

Create a portfolio

One thing that's very important for you to have is a good portfolio. When trying to convince potential clients to procure your services, they'll undoubtedly want to familiarize themselves with your previous work. A good portfolio can showcase your design and the methods you use to give clients what they need. The more projects you can display, the better. If you don't have enough material to put in your portfolio, it's a good idea to gain additional experience by working on various projects.

This endeavor can take a lot of time and that's why you should consider doing some work for free. For instance, volunteer to create awesome graphic designs for nonprofit organizations and charities. This will get you to work fast and you'll be able to enrich your portfolio before you present it to potential clients. In addition, make sure your portfolio includes testimonials from satisfied clients. It will serve as an additional motivator for future clients and it will also encourage them to hire you.

Do your research

Conducting market research is very important for new companies. The main reason you mustn't skip this step is that market research allows you to gain valuable information on how to develop your business. In addition, since graphic design services are in high demand, this also means that there'll be fierce competition and you will need every advantage you can find. For instance, you'll be able to identify your target audience and potential clientele.

What's more, you can conduct a competitive analysis to determine which methods your competition uses. That way, you can identify gaps in the market you can exploit to get ahead of your competitors. Moreover, you can search through the market to find a niche more suitable for your design company. That way, you can establish a consumer base by addressing their specific needs.

Hire your staff

It's important to understand that running a business is never easy. When you're about to start your graphic design company, you must understand that you won't be able to do it on your own. Eventually, you'll need efficient staff members to help you out. It's best that you start considering this option early on. For instance, analyze your budget and determine whether you can hire employees full-time or part-time. Also, consider if hiring freelancers is currently the best option for your company. What's more, you can outsource some required skills your company requires.

As an example, if your company is based in Australia, you can work with a tax accountant from Sydney who can help you manage your taxes and other financial aspects for your design company. You can also outsource other skills, such as IT support, legal support and so on. Nevertheless, you'll need employees to help drive your company forward. However, will you hire a permanent team or manage with part-time employees for the time being is up to you and your budget.

Focus on legalities

Every business needs to abide by the government regulations to operate legally. Unfortunately, you cannot neglect this important step. If you do, however, decide to avoid your legal responsibilities, you'll end up in difficulties that have the potential of ruining your entire business. That's why it's important to take care of your legalities and ensure your graphic design company can operate properly. For example, chose a proper business structure for your new company. That way, you'll know which licenses, insurances and permits are required for your business to operate legally. Also, it will help you calculate the right amount of taxes you're required to pay for the operation of your company.

For instance, many entrepreneurs opt for sole proprietorship because that business structure requires the least paperwork and fees. Conversely, this business structure carries the most liability for the owner. Therefore, if a dissatisfied client makes claims against your company, you take all the liability as the owner. A good example is the new privacy regulations for EU citizens that impact your marketing efforts. If you obtain any sensitive information without the clients consent, you'll be legally responsible for all the claims. That's why you should consider other structures, such as Corporation, Partnership, Limited Liability Company (LLC) and so on.

Graphic design is in high demand in the online world. This gives a great chance to the savvy entrepreneurs to establish lucrative design companies. However, being savvy in graphic design isn't the same as having experience in running a business. That's why it's important to be extra careful when starting your own company and ensure you understand what's needed to run a successful business.


Emma Worden is a startup funding consultant from Sydney. She enjoys reading and writing on different aspects of entrepreneurship, usually finance and marketing.

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