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Before starting your home based graphic design business.It sounds easy, doesn't it? You have your skills and a computer, so why not start a graphic design business from your home? Go for it I say. However, there are certain things you need to do before starting on your new journey.
In this episode of the Resourceful Designer podcast, I go into detail on what you should do before starting your own home based graphic design business. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast so you never miss an episode.
Required research before starting your business.
The first thing you need to do before starting your home based graphic design business is research. Being prepared for what's to come is the key to success. Here are a few things you should look into.
Choose your type of business
You have the options of operating as a sole proprietor, a partnership with someone, or one of the many forms of corporations. Choosing your business structure lays the groundwork for what you will do next.
Study up on tax laws
It's a good idea to learn what you can about the tax laws where you live. What can or can't you claim as business expenses? What tax loopholes can you take advantage of? Do you need to collect taxes from your clients when you invoice them?
Be aware of zoning laws
Zoning laws differ depending on where you live. Check with your city or county to see what affects you. Depending on where you live you may be limited to how you can run your graphic design business.
Size up your competitions
It's always a good idea to know who you're up against. Find out who is offering similar services in your area and figure out how you plan on carving out your own corner of the market.
What you need to get before starting your business.
Write a business plan
A business plan will help you stay focused and keep you on track to succeeding as a business owner. Not to mention they are a requirement if you plan on incorporating your business.
Register your business name
Find out the requirements in your area and register your business name. This will protect you in the future should someone else try to operate under the same name as you.
Obtain a business permit
Even home-based businesses require a business permit to operate legally. Contact your municipal government for instructions on obtaining your business permit.
Get business insurance
Just because you're working from home doesn't mean you're covered. Homeowner's insurance doesn't cover your business. Contact your insurance company to find out what options are available to you.
Get help before starting your business.
Where to look
Search your local or nearby communities and contact the Chamber of Commerce, the Economic Development Board and the Business Education Centre. These organisations often offer free advice to help you start your business.
Look for business incubators in your area. They may offer classes and/or resources to help start your business.
Visit your local library. Most libraries offer resources to help small business owners.
Find professional help
Hire a business lawyer to help with things like contracts and incorporating your business.
Hire an accountant for financial advice and to help with your bookkeeping and tax returns.
Visit your bank manager to discuss your best options for a business account and other ways the bank can help you.
Take business courses or workshops at a local college to improve your business knowledge.
Contact your local college or university for interns to assist you with writing your business plan.
Visit the US Small Business Administration website for podcasts, webinars, and basic information about starting and growing a business.
Are you ready to start your graphic design business?
What research and prep work are you doing before starting your business? Let me know by leaving a comment for this episode.
Questions of the Week
Submit your question to be featured in a future episode of the podcast by visiting the feedback page.
This week’s question comes from Daniele
I have a recurring issue that I need to solve as I do not want to face it anymore.
The issue is how to properly store bookmarks of helpful websites, web aps, articles and so on. We spend most of our time online and we use some great resources. We need to keep a track of them and store safely for a later use. I have hundreds of bookmarks on Google chrome divided in folders, whilst Chrome does a good job on offering a search bar for a quick lookup, I have found myself looking for an extended length of time as I would not remember how I called that folder or link.
So, I wonder if there is a better way than just saving bookmarks on Chrome?
To find out what I told Daniele you’ll have to listen to the podcast. But I'll give you a hint. I recommended she get the book Evernote Essentials.
Resource of the week is Have i been pwned?
Have i been pwned? is a free resource for anyone to quickly assess if they may have been put at risk due to an online account of theirs having been compromised or “pwned” in a data breach. A “breach” is an incident where a hacker illegally obtains data from a vulnerable system, usually by exploiting weaknesses in the software. All the data in the site comes from website breaches which have been made publicly available.
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Running a graphic design or web design business all by yourself isn't easy. If there are any struggles you face running your design business please reach out to me. I'll do my best to help you by addressing your issues in a future blog post or podcast episode here at Resourceful Designer. You can reach me at email@example.com