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    4 Replies Latest reply on May 30, 2008 5:24 PM by amspcs

    Starting a Buisness in an uncertain economy / recession

    trademarkGFX Newbie
      I am a budding Graphics Designer at the ripe old age of 19, and I would love to take my trade to the masses and start my own buisness. However I am concerned by the way economy is fluxuating. Is it worth me going into buisness as an individual with no experience and little money? Or should I find an established Graphics Design company and either go in as an employee or perhaps seek a partnership?

      Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

      Brian Hall
      trademark Design
        • Re: Starting a Buisness in an uncertain economy / recession
          NatOnline Tracker

          The only advise I can give you is offering graphic design and web design to start. Then if you've got more money to buy photo equipment, try offering the photography service, often customers ask you to take care of their photo products for brochure, flyer, catalog, and portrait for business cards.

          Good luck
          1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • Re: Starting a Buisness in an uncertain economy / recession

            Hi Brian,

            Starting a business even in a strong economy requires determination and proper planning.



            In an uncertain economy or recession ... those two things are even more important.


            First things first; do you know that there is a market for your service?


            Next question; are your skills good enough where you can do the work well?


            If there is a market and you are good at what you do; then I would say give it a shot solo. Keep all your costs to a minimum and get out there and plug away; here is how I suggest doing that:

            1. Work with what you have. In other words, use the computer and software that you currently have. Even if it means not taking on more complex jobs (that may pay more) ... stick to jobs that you can do well working with the equipment you have now. Don't go out and spend any money that you don't have to. Later on once you have some jobs done, can ask for referrals and testimonials from clients you've done a good job for and have some cash built up; then you can consider upgrading equipment to go after more complex and/or better paying jobs.
            2. Do spend money on simple business cards. Inexpensive business cards can be ordered for less than $30. As a graphics designer you can probably do a good job on your own cards but I recommend keeping them simple and to the point. Don't dress them up with a bunch of graphics or illustrations. Keep it business like and, again, to the point.
            3. Do not spend money on advertising. Market your self directly by contacting business owners, churches, any other organization that comes to mind that has a routine need for sending out materials to their customers or members. If they don't need your services always ask for referrals for any work that you can do to get you started.
            4. Contact larger graphic design firms and see if you can help them with any over-flow (jobs too small for them or that they can't get to because they are booked up). It helps if you have a portfolio of work (does not need to be jobs you've done for others ... if need be create your portfolio using work that you have done for your own training or pleasure ... just make sure that it is work that would show your commercial capabilities).
            5. Never work on spec (that means doing the work without getting paid anything up front and expecting to get paid on completion). Always charge at least 1/3 of the total as the initial payment in order to start the project; then 1/3 at the preliminary draft and 1/3 balance on completion.

            If you are unsure about market demand and/or need to refine your skills further; then contact graphic firms and see if they hire freelancers ... or at least have an opening that you could work into. That would give you some experience and opportunity to hone your craft.


            Whichever way you go, good luck and best wishes to you.


            Dennis Lowery


            Adducent, Inc.

            • Re: Starting a Buisness in an uncertain economy / recession
              LUCKIEST Guide
              Starting a Busness, Welcome to this web site.

              It is always worth going into busness, regardless of the economy (and your age).
              Planning is MOST important. Develop a Business Plan,
              Talk to SCORE. SCORE is FREE and can help you succeed.


              Good luck and best wishes LUCKIEST
              1 of 1 people found this helpful
              • Re: Starting a Buisness in an uncertain economy / recession
                amspcs Ranger
                Bottom line advise: Regardless of what type of business you anticipate going into:

                Do your homework. Have a plan. Make sure your finances are in order. Make sure you know everything there is to know about your business before you open your doors. Hone your management and people skills Utilize the services of professionals such as attorneys, CPA,s , bankers, financial consultants, etc; in other words, people who know what they are doing, instead of making uneducated blind guesses yourself on important business decisions.

                In my line of business (merchant credit card processing) I've seen hundreds of businesses fail. The vast majority of these failures can be traced back to negligence on the part of the operator in many of the above stated categories. No plan. Iffy skills. Undercapitalized. Terrible decisions because they had no clue what they were doing. You get the picture.

                Some people view recession as a deterrent. Others view it as opportunity. Look at it this way: Because of the 'tough times" many of your competitors who aren't smart enough to do things the right way as described above will fall by the wayside, leaving the market all to you, assuming you ARE smart enough to do things correctly. It all depends on your expertise, business philosophy, and willingness to 'pay the price' in terms of lots of hard prep work .