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How To Start A Graphic Design Business in Uganda

How To Start a Graphic Design Business in Uganda.

Starting a graphic design business in Uganda can be an exciting adventure whether you’re hoping to work for yourself full-time or just make it a side business.

Starting a graphic design business is not hard if you are willing to put in the work.

How To Start A Graphic Design Business in Uganda

If you are a graphic designer and looking for a way to earn a living from your skills, this post is yours.

Today, I want to show you exactly how to start a graphic design business in Uganda. So let’s get started.

1. Search for the market for your designs

You might be surprised to see that my first recommendation in learning how to start a graphic design business in Uganda is to search for a market for your designs.

What about your design portfolio!? Your business name? What about a business license?

Yes, that’s all-important.

But far too often, I’ve seen designers who want to start a graphic design business do all the business plans, get a licence and all the other processes of starting a business only to find out that they have no customers.

Any business is overwhelming when started without first establishing customers. Unlike other business types, graphic design businesses are specific and they have specific customers.

So, instead of first setting up a business portfolio, getting a business plan and even rising capital only to find out you have no customers, start with finding out clients first.

Once you’ve got a few people who are actually willing to pay you for your work, you won’t believe the excitement, energy, and passion you find within yourself.

And from there, you’ll be able to tackle all the other tasks.

Where do you find graphic design clients?

You can find clients for your designs both offline and online if you are just starting out. Offline, you have to contact the people you know are in need of your services. They include;

  • Business Owners
  • Hospitals
  • Schools
  • Even Artists

Almost everyone needs a graphic designer. When you decide to use online platforms, it becomes easy for you to build a brand for yourself.

Finding graphic design clients on the internet has literally never been easier.

There are hundreds of freelance job sites around the web to help you find exactly the kinds of clients you’re looking for.

For example, sites like Fiverr offer a huge marketplace of entry-level clients that can get you started when learning how to start a graphic design business.

2. Price Your Services

Next, after establishing your customers, you need to set a price for your graphic design services.

Will you charge clients by the hour? By the project? Or by the value you deliver them?

Certainly charging hourly is probably the easiest and most common for anyone starting a graphic design business from scratch, but you can change your pricing options more as you establish your business.

Since graphic design services don’t have a fixed price, you charge according to how much time you have invested in a project, the materials you have used and the quality of the project you have made or are going to make.

If you’re completely unsure of how much to charge, just pick a number. When the client baulk at the price, reduce it a little.

3. Raise Capital

After that, you need to Raise Capital for your graphic design business.

The capital required to start a graphic design business in Uganda is between 1M UGX to 10M UGX depending on the type of graphics you are going to Make.

Other costs go into purchasing the tools you are going to use in your graphic design business.

These include laptops, markers, colours, canvas, printers and many more.

You can raise capital from your savings, bank loans, friends and family and many more sources.

Read: How To Raise Capital For Your Business in Uganda

4. Find the Tools To Use

Just like how any business requires tools and equipment so does graphic design. The tools used mostly are computers and software.

As a graphic designer, the tool you should not leave off your shelf is Canva. Canva is a free software used to design everything you need as a graphic designer.

It can make Youtube videosPinterest pins, Ads, Banners and many more.

Canva is easy to use and it can be used on all devices be it mobile phones or computers.

Canva also has a premium version where that gives access to all the tools they have. These include more videos, more fonts, more graphics and much more.

Try Canva for FREE NOW!

5. Name your graphic design business

Now that you’ve got a few clients and you’ve got the confidence you need to start a graphic design business for the long haul, it’s time to start laying the framework of a solid business.

That starts with a well-thought-out business name.

The first question anyone naming a business will ask themselves is:

“Should I use my own name or should I create a business name?”

The short answer is; it doesn’t really matter that much. Just pick something you like. You can always change it later.

While I recommend just picking something and running with it you need to do some thinking because the name you ultimately pick for your graphic design business will impact many facets of your design business including:

  • How much you’re able to charge for your design work?
  • How easily do people remember your design business?
  • The kinds of design projects you’ll be hired for (including industry, calibre, and scale).
  • Whether or not people are likely to recommend your design work to friends and colleagues.
  • Whether you can do business legally without infringing on copyright or trademarks.
  • And lots more…

So keep your name simple, easy to recall and remember. It should have meaning in the ears of your clients and it should be easy to spell.

6. Build a website

The next step in how to start a graphic design business in Uganda is to build a website.

For your graphic business to stand a chance of being successful, you need an online presence. This is where building a website comes in.

If you are just starting out on building a website, I recommend using WordPress and Host Your Website on Bluehost.

You don’t need a lot of information on your website. A website to showcase your graphic design work, your address and how people can reach you is all you need.

You can either build the website yourself or get a professional who will help you build the website.

There are many professionals on Fiverr who can help you build a website, but if you want to do it yourself, then this guide will be of help.

I recommend you use WordPress and BlueHost for your website because they are both fast and reliable.

Read: How To Build A Simple Website in Uganda

7. Design a business plan

Once you’ve got a few clients in the door, you’ve named your graphic design business, and you’ve got a site to showcase your designs, you can now start planning a business plan.

For a graphic design business plan, grab a piece of paper or a computer and answer the following questions:

  • What services will my design business provide?
  • Who is the ideal client for my graphic design business?
  • How much will my design business charge for the work I do?
  • What are your monthly design business revenue goals?
  • How many clients do I need each month to hit my revenue goals?
  • Where/how will I find new design clients? Or how will I retain current design clients?

Answering these questions will give you a picture of how your graphic business will be.

8. Talk to your potential customers

One thing you find out extremely quickly as you learn how to start a graphic design business is you have to wear a lot of different hats.

You need your clients to be aware of your services so you have to engage them first. You can use many tactics to talk to them.

Methods like talking to them directly, using adverts on radio and tv, and using social media can all work.

You need to treat clients like normal people who need services and you have to show them that.

Any person can be your customer so don’t be shy to show your services to anyone you meet.

9. Register Your Graphic Design Business

As your business keeps on getting traction, you need to legalize it so that you can attract more big companies to deal with you.

If you are offering graphic design services offline(you have a physical store), you need to register your business.

Registration enables you to get a licence and also build your brand. Big companies trust legit businesses. And legit businesses are registered businesses.

So you need to go to your nearest URA offices and get your business registered. If you want more on getting registered see this guide below.

Read: How To Register A Graphic Design Business in Uganda

Your Turn…

That is all that is required to start a graphic design business in Uganda. Tell me what you have picked for yourself in the comments section below.

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