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Starting Graphic Design Business

Updated on December 14, 2010

If you have been well trained in graphic design and possess extensive experience in the industry, starting your own company can be a lot of fun. Once you make that decision, there are several things you need to do.

First, you have to complete the appropriate paperwork with the state or your local DIC (District Industries Centre) in which you want to conduct business, which will include registering the name of the graphic design business and incorporating it. You will need to establish a tax identification number, a director identification number and establish the appropriate accounts. You should also get it registered under the commercial establishment rules. You can contact your local/regional industries officer, and you'll receive information on licensing requirements, permits, tax documentation, etc. If you already possess all these, check the possibility of transferring it into a new company name. Once you've completed the legal aspect of things, you will be able to come up with a personality for your company.

As a graphic design professional, you will have the good fortune of being able to design your own logo and collateral material. While there are some startup costs, a design business can be one with relatively low overhead. Since you already own a computer centre with few computers and probably few employees that will do to start with. Set up a dedicated office space in your computer centre. Make sure you have few employees or partners who have knowledge in a variety of fields including print design, website design, advertising, product development, logo design, sign-making, scripting languages, etc. Graphic designing is a very competitive field.

There are lot of equipments and software to purchase to help in your design work. However, a lot of it isn’t completely necessary from the start. Start with the most crucial design software, which may vary depending on what you do. Don’t buy everything at once. Find clients and do what it takes to start making money. Always see that the overhead cost is maintained low wherever and whenever possible, till your business flourish and make good profits. In order to make money you have to charge for your time, your expertise, and your supplies. You will need to come up with the right pricing for your desktop publishing or graphic design business. Simultaneously do marketing, serve your existing clients well, get reference from them, and ask them for leads or to recommend.

Spend time interviewing the client about the job. Put together a work order based on what was discussed in the interview. This will be your proposal to the client to begin working on their project. You will need to spell out all of the terms, delivery dates, number of pages, editing guidelines, deposits and payment terms. You also need to include all of the options discussed in your interview with the client. A formal proposal says that you are a professional. If you have a broad offering, it is advisable to focus on one or two key services that are most in demand. Highlight these as your specialties or niche areas. This should be your USP.

Simple webpage composition, maintenance or revision of existing pages usually demands an entry level salary. The ability to write original text and work with complex layouts and scripting or programming needs to be given a higher salary. Good record keeping means keeping track of customer invoicing, having a system to monitor day-to-day expenses, and protecting your electronic records with backups and file recovery tools. It is ideal to start it as early as possible as it will also help you while filing your taxes. Take deductions wherever possible.  

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