Nowadays, many graphic designers run their businesses from home. Working from home allows you to be your own boss. You can choose what kind of projects to work on and create a schedule which suits you. In addition, it saves you the hassle of having to commute to work. However, you will require a lot of discipline and resilience to succeed while working from home.
Here are some steps for setting up a graphic design business at home.
1. Create a dedicated workstation
As a graphic designer, your work environment is very important for your success. If you have an extra room in your house, you can use it as your home office. Alternatively, you could use one corner of your living room or even garage. Whatever you choose, make sure the space gives you enough privacy to concentrate on your work. In addition, it should be well aerated and well lit. After selecting a dedicated space, you will need to find furniture such as an office chair, desk and storage cabinets.
2. Find a reliable computer
Depending on your preference and budget, you could use a Windows PC or an Apple Mac for your graphic design business. Since graphic design involves working with large files, make sure the computer chosen has sufficient RAM (preferably 1GB or more). In addition, it needs to have a fast processing speed and a sizeable screen. If you already have a computer, you could upgrade it to meet these requirements.
3. Select graphic design software
The Adobe Creative Suite is the best software for graphic designers. It comes with tools such as Photoshop for image editing, Acrobat for collaboration, Indesign for layouts and Illustrator for vector drawing. However, if you can’t afford Adobe Creative Suite, you could opt for open source programs. For instance, you could use Scribus for layouts, Gimp for image editing and Inkscape for vector drawing.
4. Prepare your marketing materials
Here are some of the materials you will need to market your business:
- A website/blog – The internet has become a very convenient source of information for most people. It is therefore very important to have a website or blog for marketing your business. Remember to include a portfolio of your work, as well as testimonials from satisfied clients
- Business cards – This is a must for every graphic designer. Having a business card comes in handy when networking and meeting new people. Make sure your card has your name, business name, email address, website URL and a short description of your services
- Letterheads – Having branded letterheads gives your business a sense of professionalism
- Printed portfolio – Besides an online portfolio, it would also be advisable to have a printed portfolio showing your best work
5. Set your prices
How much will you charge for your work? This is a very important consideration when setting up your graphic design business. You could choose to price your work per project or per hour. Find out what other graphic designers are charging before making a decision.
With constantly changing trends and technologies in graphic design, it is very important to keep yourself updated. Read trade publications regularly and join forums for graphic design professionals.