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Last edited 08 May 2018
4 Tips for Starting Your First Design Company
Starting your own design company can be one of the most exciting endeavors of your career. Not only do you get to take the leap from freelancing, but you also get to work toward helping brands find their identity. If this has been an objective you’ve been considering, then there are a few important pieces you should look into before you get started. Check them out below:
Know How To Adjust To Your Client’s Needs
If you’re going to be starting an agency, then one of the biggest differences between freelancing that you need to be mindful of is how it impacts your client needs. While as a freelancer a lot of the gigs you most likely got were other things like logos or color schemes, the world of owning an agency is drastically different. In fact, as noted by LegalZoom, with the average marketing budget hovering around 9 to 12 percent, it goes without saying that this is one place where you’re going to see some different numbers. However, that’s not to say you still can’t make your money out of it.
A solid consideration when dealing with different marketing budgets is figuring out what aspects are going to be one most crucial to receiving a consistent ROI for your time. For example, if a client is primarily having their website designed, then creating a logo could save time and bring in the most money. Using a balanced system can help you tremendously, especially as you expand and start taking on more work. All-in-all, as long as it doesn’t compromise your brand, then working within any budget will not only maximize the most gigs you can get but help you build a network long-term.
Look For An Array Of Mentors
Another key aspect of starting any company is having a list of mentors or motivational figures that you could use to learn from. As most successful CEOs would tell you, having mentors along the way that can help guide you through what’s the right and wrong move to make can be vital to your success. In fact, as noted by Forbes, 68 percent of millennials are happier at work with a mentor than not, which goes to show how this mentality is shifting across the board. And if you’re looking to take your design business to a sustainable level, then having those you can consistently seek towards is crucial.
Start by looking at those you already admire and make it a habit to note their insights on a regular basis, taking notes on the key highlights. It’s never a bad idea to find some new mentors from different sectors; for example, Brian Jagielski works in blockchain and could offer plenty of insight into the future of that technology. Overall, having solid teachers along the way is always a good decision, so take your time in locating the best teachers you can.
Start Developing Some Outside Skills
As you’re most likely going to be bootstrapping a lot of your early efforts, it’s never a bad idea to start considering what outside factors you might need that could be clutch in not only saving money but saving time. Especially considering that a big aspect of starting a design business is how much time you’re producing on, being able to save on some quick items can make a significant difference. However, preparing yourself beforehand for these will be what sets you apart.
An excellent example of this is learning photography. As noted by Rosh Sillars, with the average professional photographer costing around $75-250 per hour, it goes without saying that you could save quite a bit on things like social posts and whatnot by cutting out the intermediary. Granted, hiring a photographer down the road would probably be your wisest move, however, as you’re just planting your foundation, taking it on yourself is a solid choice.
Stay Consistent with Sales
Finally, as you’re getting yourself rolling with your design firm, taking on the role of sales is always going to be a constant. While for some it’s unfortunate, being good selling, your web design services will be a must for your firm to take off. And if you haven’t considered a sales strategy, then it might be a good time to refresh yourself.
With sales, a big thing is stepping a little bit out of your comfort zone. For example, as noted by The Brevet Group, it takes an average of 8 cold call attempts to reach a client, which might be uncomfortable for some. However, little things like this can make a big difference and is something you should be mindful as you develop your sales strategy. Overall, as sales are how you’re going to bring in revenue, this is something you should work day-in and day-out at, ensuring you stay afloat.
What are some aspects you’re the most excited about in starting a design company? Comment with your answers below!
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