Beginning a freelance career can unleash a wide variety of emotions, from the absolutely terrifying to the empowering. While it may not be the simplest of professional paths, running your own graphic design business does ensure a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment, knowing your that every cent was earned via your own hard work and skills. In order to help you on your journey to self-employment, we’ve put together a list of the most crucial things to remember when becoming your own boss.
Find Your First Clients
If you would like to learn how to become a freelance graphic designer who actually does stay in business — rather than going back to your day job — then the most important task at hand is bagging your first clients. Because If you don’t have clients you will not have a business and if you don’t have a business, you haven’t really become a freelance graphic designer. You’re merely a hobbyist.
Far too many freelance graphic designers waste a lot of time building a portfolio, developing a business name, putting together their invoices, and doing other tasks that won’t – at the end of the day – assist you with becoming a freelance graphic designer. Netting your first freelance graphic design clients will give you confidence, momentum as well as traction from which you will be able to become a freelance designer far more quickly.
Work On Your Company’s Branding
Once you’ve assembled clients, it’s high time to consider your company. Think about an attractive and unique name for your company. You have to be creative with your company’s logo, branding, and name as a designer. This will assist you in the future. Keep in mind that this company name will remain with you forever so make sure that you invest time working on your own company.
Many individuals use their personal names. This is not really a bad idea if you have made the decision to keep your business to yourself and not have a partner in it. If you decide to add someone else in the future, think about a different and unique name.
Branding is a very essential part of your business. It will represent your work, style, and attitude towards clients and be like your identity. The more attractive and sleek the name is, the more people will be attracted to it.
Consult With Experts
You’re an expert designer. However it’s not likely that you’re also a business, legal, or accounting specialist. Many provinces have free or low-cost business development centres which can connect you with expert advice for things such as how to establish your business structure or legal considerations.
You’ll want to ensure that the way you’re doing business is legal, that your bookkeeping is set up correctly, and that you have any required permits, licences, and insurance. As these things all vary by location, you’ll want to speak with local experts who know the requirements for your area.
Irrespective of where you’re doing business, there are two big considerations that you’ll want to consult with experts on:
- The first is ensuring you have a graphic design contract. While there are boilerplate contracts which are available for free, you’ll want to consult with a lawyer in order to make sure it suits your needs.
- The other thing which you’ll want to make sure you’re familiar with is how taxes work in your location: how much will you have to pay as well as when do you need to make those payments. An accountant can assist you with figuring that out.
Juggling The Perfect Work-Life Balance
Separating work from personal life is far easier when you leave the office at the end of a work day. However when home is also your office, and the success of your new business lies only in your hands, it’s more difficult to tell the two apart.
Define your limits early on so that you know when it’s perfectly fine for you to indulge in an extended late brunch as opposed to the instances in which work may overflow into the weekend.
When a client hires your services, it’s very easy to feel like you owe them the world. However luckily, you don’t. Leave room for your personal life through setting day-to-day work shifts and not extending overtime.
Work for a maximum of eight to nine hours per day however no more. Establish a routine by sticking to consistent start and end times for your day, with regular breaks (a couple of quick five to ten minute breaks and one which is significantly longer).