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How to Start a Graphic Design Agency in 4 Steps

If you have a natural love and talent for graphic design and a formal background, you should consider running your agency. Even if you have a job and feel secure in it, you never know what could happen in the future, and there's nothing quite like working for yourself. Graphic design agencies don't need to be huge and can be operated from home with nothing but a computer. You can start as a one-person operation or hire staff if you want. It's all about your vision and what you want to accomplish. Let's look at how you can start a graphic design agency in four steps.

Graphic Design Agency

1. Choose Your Model

There are many ways that you can run an agency. For example, you could decide to do everything yourself and work as a freelance designer, hire an entire team, get an office, or go with a white label model.

The white label option is the best if you have no or limited graphic design expertise, but it can work if you have experience and want to do as little work as possible. You'll be gathering contracts using various marketing techniques, taking the client's instructions, and handing them over to a third-party designer or agency so they can get the work done. You can mark up your services as much as you want as long as it's reasonable and competitive, but you'll have to keep a close eye on your margins.

If you decide to handle the work in-house, you will need to look at office spaces and recruitment. If you want to work alone, you could take a limited number of contracts or send some of your contracts to a third party. 

2. Look at Insurance

Many people assume that graphic designers don't need insurance, but you must protect yourself. This goes even if you operate your business from your basement. You never know when a client might file a complaint because they felt like you didn't follow their instructions or that your design caused damage to their brand. You'll need to look at graphic designers professional liability insurance and see how much you can expect to pay before you even get started. Graphic designers' professional liability insurance can protect you against copyright infringement and professional negligence.

3. Choose a Structure and Make Your Business Official

The next thing you have to do is choose the business structure for your agency. Here, the best option would be to get an LLC, but a sole proprietorship could be enough at the beginning if you only have a few clients and work alone. Next, you will need to have a professional website made with a few of your samples, a bank account, and choose a payment processor so you can start taking orders.

4. Start Getting Clients

Once you have established an online presence, you can start looking for clients. The best strategy in the long term is to build your brand and start disseminating content. Have an excellent-looking blog full of information that would be relevant to your core audience. Have a profile on LinkedIn and write content on there too. Try to get in touch with bloggers in a niche that is related to graphic design but not directly so they won't see you as competition and ask if you can create content as a guest for them. If you are willing to spend a bit of money, we suggest you start looking at banner ads, Facebook ads, Google and Bing PPC, and SEO.

This is all you need to know if you want to start your graphic design agency. It's not that complicated, but you have to take the steps necessary to protect yourself, your brand, and your assets.

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