The Essential Guide to Starting A New Design Business

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Updated: September 19, 2014

Starting a new business can be massively daunting, especially if you’ve never done it before. Thinking about everything that can go wrong can be massively scary – but rather than focus on potential negatives you need to focus on the huge potential that is out there for you if you get it right.

A lot of people have great ideas but are put off by the logistics of getting their business set up. You might be a great designer, but sadly, this often isn’t enough. In this post I’ll go through a few top tips to starting your business so that you can see how simple it can be to get it off the ground.

Getting the Fear

The first thing to do is to get the fear. Not everyone can do this, but in my view, making the leap from your old jump before you set up gives you the drive you require and the time you need to make your business a success. Make sure your idea is solid first by all means, and only make the leap if you have some money saved or a backup.  You may also consider tapping into your home equity line of credit for a low-cost means of financing. Regardless of if you obtain financing or if you need to save first, consider a budget planner. If you can save and safeguard your position, this is a great approach.

If you do this, another great tip is to get a small office sorted so that you get away from home and get into the work mentality. You can get short term, low risk lets from companies like Priestgate Offices, or you can look at sharing with other companies.

Essential Guide to Starting A New Design Business

Develop a USP

To succeed you ideally want to have a unique selling position (USP). Consider working with a business coach or someone whose an expert in the design field to refine this if you need to, but really focus on what it is that you sell or do that makes you stand out. Why would someone pay you money for what you do? Would you pay for it? Once you ask yourself some difficult questions you’ll learn a lot more about your potential business!

Get Yourself Out There

Once you have your product or service refined, you’ve made the leap and you’ve gone public, you need to get your message out to find new customers. A great way to do this is by using video and promoting it on YouTube. If you’re offering a service, people are buying based on their faith in you rather than what you do – but how can they do that if they don’t know who you are? Consider using a company like Posh Gecko to get a personalised video or animated promotional clip created to help sell what you do in a professional and approachable way.

It all depends on what you do as to how you can promote yourself. If you’re selling products then attend trade shows, send out samples, and talk to buyers. If you’re selling a service, attend relevant networking events, get active on Twitter and make a name for yourself. Either way the key is to make a noise and get your new business talked about!

It’s tough out there, but not as tough as many would have you believe. Have faith in yourself and you can succeed in setting up your own business!