How to start your creative design agency after freelancing for a while. Done conquering the freelancing world and ready to take the next step? Well, there’s nothing better than starting a creative design agency. This may seem like the most logical proposition but it’s not easy if you have no idea about how you can start an agency. The very first thing you need to learn is that running a creative design agency and working as a freelancer are two very different things. Let’s learn more.
What’s the difference between the two?
There will be several adjustments you will have to make. As a freelancer, you’ll have complete control over who you want to work alongside and the clients you want to avoid. You also make your schedule and your business will be supporting just one person instead of a team. If you decide to call sick once a month and take on less work than usual then it’s only you who’s getting impacted.
However, running a creative design agency/graphic design agency is a different ballgame altogether. You need more clients. Also you need more people to be a part of your team to help you take on additional clients. You can have a team that works part-time or full-time, depending on their skills and the risk they’re willing to take with you. When you own a creative agency, you’re responsible for more than just your future and stability. Every decision you make impacts the people you hire.
What does a creative design agency do?
A creative agency is a business composed of multiple people that will provide creative services to other businesses. Their offerings can be limited to one service, or it can be a bunch of other things like branding, graphics, website design, content creation, video production etc. Most creative design agencies also provide consulting in advertising, marketing, design, technical fields and SEO. While your day to day work may change depending on the agency’s specialization, the process of starting an agency in any of these disciplines is the same.
Step by step guide to starting your agency
This guide will help you to both start and determine whether launching an agency is the correct decision for you or not. It will help you learn a lot about the transition process, make big decisions, take helpful advice from other people who’ve grown big agencies from bottom up.
Determine the services your agency will be offering
Before you launch your creative agency it is of utmost importance that you decide the kind of services you want to be offering. You need to decide the type of industries and businesses you want to serve. An effective yet simple tip is to offer the very same services you were providing as a freelancer. When you focus on your area of expertise, you can slowly broaden your offerings and grow the revenue for your team. For example, a freelance content writer can start a content marketing agency, where as a designer can start a branding/ web design agency.
Decide whether you want to focus on a niche
Choosing whether or not you want to focus on a niche is another very important decision to make. You could be a generalist agency providing services as a B2C company (business to consumer) or as a B2B company (business to business).
However, your business may do better by specializing in a single niche. Way too many design and marketing agencies have no USP beyond the ‘we do good work’ tag and neither do they target any particular industry or serve a vertical market. This is a mistake. To get good clients who pay well, you need to target a specialized niche so that you don’t have to compete in the market as a generalist.
When you choose a specialization, there are benefits galore.
● It creates instant authority. With a specialization, you build credibility and trust with potential clients. Say you build websites only for hospitals then you’re familiar with the entirety of the healthcare industry.
● It reduces learning curves. Whenever you need to know a new industry/business you have to spend. A whole lot of time and money on education/training to get your staff ramped up. By focusing on just one thing you will be able to learn about your chosen niche faster and. This will help you attract better future clients.
● This also serves a differentiator. If your prospect is considering ten different agencies-nine generalist agencies and. One specialist agency, serving the same rates, then a natural choice would be to go with the latter.
● As a creative design agency, if you decide to focus on a particular niche you’ll see several advantages and your business ell ultimately do very well. However, stick to something you’re comfortable with. Make sure that the industry is in demand so that you can grow your agency over time.