5 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before You Quit Your Design Job & Start Your Own Business Will you look before you leap?

 

I was the Creative Director at a busy communications business in the city of Melbourne before I became a graphic design boss. I was working long hours and was reasonably well paid for what I did. My wife was running a graphic design business for someone else. It was a thriving business.

 

She did really well and grew it from one to a team of eight people in the space of four years.Then something in both of us changed.We both had a desire to go out and start our own graphic design business (For all the right reasons, thankfully we didn’t have any bad reasons).

 

My wife is an account director extraordinaire. She knows how to take new potential business opportunities and turn them into big earners. I’m the creative half. The guy with the fuzzy mind. The guy who loves to create. We both knew we were a perfect match business match as well as a personal match.We talked and planned for months before going out on our own. Countless nights were spent talking through why we should stay in our current job or start out on our own.

 

Here are a few of the questions we asked ourselves before we started our own graphic design business:

1. Have you got a business name?

Your business name is very important in how your future clients will perceive you. Take your time and brainstorm as many names as you can. Ask people you trust what they think and ask for honest answers.

 

2. Decide where you will work from

Like us you’ll probably start working from home. Check with your accountant and tax advisor who can help maximise your tax effectiveness. It sounds weird, I know but we were told where we set your business up can have tax implications.

Check with your tax advisor to see if it impacts you.Choose a room that you feel comfortable in and that is away from any distractions like the TV. We set up our business in an external bungalow at the bottom of our garden. This gave us enough separation from home life that it felt like we were at work and not at home.

A big plus for me was that the bungalow had large windows which meant I could be inspired by my own back yard. It also helped me not feel confined in the small space we were in.

 

3. Do you have the right equipment ready and waiting?

Here is a list of bare essentials that you will need on day one:

Computer – Mac or PC

Software: Adobe Creative Suite, Quarkxpress, FontsExternal hard drive to back up your workPrinter

Fast internet access with large allowance per month

I would also add espresso machine to help with your productivity

Desk and very comfy office chair

Power board with surge protection

 

4. Do you have any clients?

You’ll need to pay the bills. The more clients you can bring with you (ethically) the better you’ll be. If you don’t have any clients that come with you then start looking for freelance clients before your leave your current employment.

 

5. If you left tomorrow would you have enough money to support yourself on?

If possible, start saving at least a year before you leave your current job. You will need all of the cash flow you can get in the first six months to tide you over while you start looking for prospective clients. Work out what you need to survive on for six months and budget that into your savings.Over to you: What questions do you think people need to think of before they go out on their own?

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