How to start a graphic design business with no money of your own is where our focus lies.
Anyone passionate about graphic design and wishing to unplug from their daily 9-to-5 will find this guide helpful in attaining such an objective.
Starting a Graphic Design Business with No Money
Are you into graphic design and would like to establish your own business? This is an excellent idea to scale up by establishing a system that attracts more significant sales.
In discussing the topic, we’ve covered details like finding a suitable niche, planning, writing a cost analysis, and using free software versions.
Persons with cash constraints can also use free online graphic design platforms, rent their software and equipment, utilize collaborative tools and plugins, build a website, and price their service.
Let’s discuss each of these for better understanding.
Finding a Suitable Niche
It’s common knowledge that graphic design is vast and has lots of applicability. Rather than trying to do everything at once, you’re better off finding a niche you’re most skilled in.
This gives you tunnel vision and helps make you better at what you do. In graphic design, you’ll find several niches that all have the potential to make your business grow.
Some of these include magazine design and website design.
With your skills, you can focus on any industry you find interesting, like the fashion, medical, print, or gaming industries. Other niches you might find interesting include mobile website design and business card design.
There’s so much possibility when you know what you want and focus on achieving it. Having decided on the niche area to go with, you can write your business plan.
Have a Business Plan
Your graphic design business plan reflects your level of preparedness. It’s the roadmap to a sound and viable business. However, this is only possible when carefully written.
When applying for funding or loans, most lenders want to review the plan to know how detailed and viable the business is. They’ll also want to assess the investment return to see if it’s possible.
A good plan should have an executive summary and a company description.
Other vital sections to include in your graphic design business plan are the products and services, market analysis, strategy and implementation, organization and management team, and the financial plan and projections.
Write a Cost Analysis
Here, you’ll need to prepare a cost analysis that matches your budget. This typically includes expenses like internet connectivity, incorporation fees, and printers.
Other basics to be covered in your cost analysis are liability insurance policy, essential design software, phones, and utilities; office space (not necessary when starting from home); computers; advertisement fees; and miscellaneous.
Use Free Software Versions
Anyone starting a graphics design business with no money can use free software versions. These are provided for such purposes and offer basic features.
There are also trial versions that will give you full features but may last for a week or a month. Free software versions aren’t useless for software design as they can handle low-intensity design projections.
However, when you need to do some serious work, you might face limitations.
Under such circumstances, you might want to consider other options, like upgrading your subscription or considering other options discussed below.
Try Out Free Online Graphic Design Platforms
Like trial or free graphic design software, there are online platforms that can handle all kinds of graphic design projects. One of those is Canva.
They offer pretty much all the essential features needed for simple projects.
This would be best for beginner-level use, as you won’t need to unleash the platform’s full potential. This is quite different for advanced users.
Here, you can proceed to upgrade your subscription.
Rent Your Software
If you’ve already subscribed to a graphic design software or platform and are faced with a pressing financial need, you can decide to rent your software or equipment for a set duration.
Here, you get to choose who to share your subscription with. This helps you settle your other business needs that need attention. Another creative way to address a pressing issue is sharing or swapping tools.
In other words, other users can use your tools in exchange for you doing the same. This is a mutually beneficial collaboration where everyone gets what they want.
The graphics design community has lots of such collaboration. You only need to voice your needs or make suggestions.
Utilize Collaborative Tools and Plugins
In graphics design, a lot of collaboration happens when people share files and projects using various tools and plugins. You can have an agreement to send work to be finished or completed remotely by a team member.
Here, you’re able to maximize opportunities. This type of collaboration is cost-effective and helpful to everyone involved in the project.
Not only are expenses cut to a minimum, but work is done faster, thus leading to greater productivity and profitability. You can start by researching such tools and plugins and trying them out.
There are lots of these that offer tons of benefits.
Build a Website
Your graphic design business will need to have a functional website.
A good design job has to be done on the site, as client perception matters. Take your time to build a website for your business. You can also outsource such work to a more experienced professional.
Explore Funding Opportunities
Lastly, starting a graphic design business with no money is possible when you explore funding opportunities.
Thankfully, several options include getting a loan from your bank, using your savings, small business administration (SBA) loans, crowdfunding, and soft loans from friends.
For any of these funding options, your business plan will be required to determine the idea’s viability.
Whichever loan type you seek to apply for, research the requirements.
You can also apply to grant programs for funding. However, understanding that these are highly competitive helps you prepare adequately and apply beforehand.
So far, we’ve shown you the different ways to start a graphics design business without money. You’ll have to surmount several challenges that are achievable and within your capacity.
Your passion should help drive you towards your goal.