Going it alone


New Member
Hi there,

I am new to this forum. I am looking for some advice. I came out of good graphic design course a few years back. I enjoy graphic design, but I think there has been too a big gap between my last job and getting full time employment within this sector. So I think its time to go it alone. My only problem, I have worked more in the public design sector, so have a lacked that awareness working in a design agency. Whats should you consider when putting your studio together. I will being going down Mac and Adobe design software. What other bits of software should you consider? Fonts Collection for Logos / istock libraries etc. Any feed back would be grateful.
If you're just starting out, then a lot of that sort of stuff can be picked up for free if you search around enough. The Adobe package is what you need and if you have that then your pretty much set.

If you have to pay for stuff, then check out the envato market places like Graphic River, Photo Dune and Theme Forest. Also- the Go Media Arsenal has some fantastic gear.

My real advice would be to spend a bit of time getting your head around the boring business stuff so you have an invoice system and a spreadsheet to work out your credit/debit at the end of the month. You don't want to be doing a professional job for a client and then get stumped on how to actually bill them.
Thanks for your response, was useful. I agree, I need to look more into a system to manage my work for invoicing and payment.
As said, the Adobe package is pretty all you need to get set up. The other stuff can be done for free or on the cheap. You need to keep your start up costs as low as possible, so buying anything that's not absolutely essential to running your business should be forgotten about until you actually need it.

If you're using a Mac, you might want to look into Billings for time-tracking and invoicing (though I create my invoices in InDesign and email them manually). It's just under £30 last time I checked, though there are plenty of free time-tracking programs out there.

When it comes to managing my finances, I simply have two Google docs spreadsheets: one that tracks my income (from jobs, advertising, etc) and another that tracks my outgoings. These don't need to be complicated, just a description of the income/outgoings and the amount should do. Then I just add up all the incomings and compare them to my outgoings to see how I'm doing.

I put together a blog post a while ago that outlines very briefly some of the tools I use that might be of some use What tools do you need to run a freelance graphic design business?
Thanks for the link on Billings, I had been looking into some time tracking software and this seems to fit!
Ah what a thread. Thanks guys, i am also just starting up and really appreciate the tips.

My one tip would be social media, i get 90% of my work from there.
Free Agent for billing, quotes, expenses, tax and contacts. Try the demo.
Don't spend huge amounts of money and expect the money to come rolling in to cover it. Don't rack up debt and end up spending large sums each month paying it off. Good customer service is your most effective form of advertising. Work hard and expect little money initially. Use the web to generate enquiries by creating good quality content on a regular basis bth on and off your website.
If you don't want to spend any money on any of these accounts software, just do it yourself. Design your own quotes/invoices/receipts, and keep record of all your income and outgoings in a spreadsheet. It's easy to do and you save money for other things.