Small business

How to Create a Successful Design Business in 2017

“There are three responses to a piece of design—yes, no, and WOW! Wow is the one to aim for.”

Milton Glaser

The world of design is becoming so fast-paced and fierce that if your output isn’t “wow”, you don’t stand a chance of running a successful design business. But apart from natural talent, what does it take to succeed in the business of visual design?

Here is an overview of everything you’re going to need to create a successful design business this year, one that always delivers the “wow”.


A talented team

As any successful design business owner will tell you, growing a business is only possible when you work with the very best.

Although the lines between traditional and interactive design are blurring, there are still a few key things to look for when you’re hiring, including:

  • Diversity: Modern designers can and should be able to design for any medium
  • An eye: Talent and training are nothing without artistic vision
  • Work ethic: Remember, you’re running a business, so hire people who want to work
  • A desire to grow: Artistic types tend to get distracted, so ensure you hire people you can build and keep hungry.

Great design software

Despite the endless expansion of the Adobe creative suite, more savvy business owners are looking to alternative design platforms and software to reduce costs and enhance output.

A perfect example is the rise of PCB Design Software. Although this is playing in the grey area between design and technology, the ability to build, map and create custom circuitry demonstrates the scope of design software out there.

If you’re a little lost, ask yourself three simple questions:

  • What is my business selling?
  • What is the best program to generate my product?
  • What is the best value software for my needs?

Selecting a design suite – whether it’s for microchips or billboards – is going to be critical to the overall success of your business.

Take your time and invest in the best tools to empower the crop of designers who you’re working with.

And if you select a product that isn’t mainstream, be prepared to train your team, as the differences in interface can render even the most gifted graphic genius artistically mute.

Market yourself

“I’ve said it before, and by gosh, I’ll say it again — don’t be afraid to toot your own horn.”

Emlyn Chand

Marketing design services is no longer reliant on word of mouth. The visual generation who live out their lives on social media can become a force to promote your services free of charge – all you need to do is market yourself.

Social media channels like Instagram are well suited to a promotional campaign, and best of all, you don’t need to act like you’re advertising.

Post some of your work and encourage your team to share, retweet, and blog about it. If you have some money to spare, consider contacting an influencer to get your visuals in front of the digital audience.

Then it’s a case of waiting while your work speaks for itself.

Add this organic element to a structured marketing plan and you will find that your awareness levels increase very quickly, meaning you’re reaching a broad audience of prospective customers.

Be ruthless

As much as there is an air of the artistic in the design business space, you need to remember that you are running a business. That means you are going to need to be decisive and objective despite the fact that you’re selling design.

Why not find a free business management course and make sure your business runs smoothly? That’s an art form in itself, but is essential in the modern market.

If you have any questions, please ask below!