Starting a graphic design business from home as a contractor is a great business to start. The term graphic designer is a very generic word that covers many different specialities in different niches. A graphic designer could specialize in any of the following niches, web design, print design, eBook cover designer, infographic designer, business card designer, and so forth. Each of these requires different specialist skills so you must choose your niche based on your skills.
Skills Required for Starting a Graphic Design Business
- Project management and organizational skills
- Understanding of typography design
- Website design fundamentals
- Print and layout design
- Joomla / WordPress design skills
- Basic understanding of photography
- Technical and Photoshop skills
- Video editing skills
- Understanding of color
- Deadline oriented
- Attention to detail
Niches Most in Demand for Working at Home
- WordPress website development
- PowerPoint template design
- Banner and website button design
- EBook cover design
- Logo design
- Infographic design
- Meme design
- WordPress theme design
Starting a graphic design business is just like starting any other business but, as someone who is supposed to know about layout, color, typography and so forth you’re going to be held to a much higher standard when it comes to how you represent your business online.
Decide Who You Want to Work With
There are many niches to get involved in, so don’t try to do everything for everyone. Choose your audience, and then create solutions for their needs. For instance, you might choose to work with authors. As a graphic designer for authors you will create book covers, author websites, images for social media and perhaps even layout picture books and so forth.
Set Up Your Systems
It’s much easier working with many clients if you have a system in place to help. Using a system like Basecamp.com to set up project and FreshBooks.com to invoice clients can be very useful and keep everyone on track.
Get a Business License
Depending on where you live, you may need to get a business license in order to set up a checking account just for your business. It’s important to keep your personal money separate from your business income so that you can know if you’re making a profit or not.
Get a Tax ID Number
As a contractor you don’t want to have to give up social security number to strangers. It’s better to have a tax id number to use which you can get free from the IRS website. If you live in another country than the USA, check with your local business center to find out how it works there.
Create Contracts for Customers
Don’t do any work without a contract between you and your customers. Even if you know someone, it’s better to have everything spelled out in advance of doing the work. If someone is not willing to sign a contract and pay a deposit, you don’t want to work with them. This means that sometimes you have to say no to work, because all work you should accept should be fair to all concerned and that means you get a deposit.
Create a Website as Your Portfolio
When you are ready, set up a website using the platform that you like most. If you plan to market yourself using a particular platform, use that one. Create some samples of work that you can display on your website to show customers what you are capable of and what your design aesthetic is like.
Set Up Social Media Accounts
In order to market your new business, set up business social media accounts and start sharing everything that you are doing. You want to be loud and proud of your new business, both online and offline, so get out there and get noticed.
Create Content for your Blog
Your website should have a blog as well as an email list so that you can attract people with SEO to your website, and then capture their information via the email list. Give away something to get more sign-ups such as a ten-point checklist that answers questions for your market.
A graphic design business is a varied and in-demand work-at-home field that you can earn upwards of six figures doing if you plan everything and take yourself seriously as a business owner. It all comes down to learning the necessary skills, finding your audience and then marketing yourself.