Starting a Desktop Publishing Business Part 3– Setting Up Your Business

by Kim G on November 21, 2010

desktop publishing business checklistWelcome to the third post on how to start a desktop publishing business.  In the first post, we evaluated the technical skills needed for desktop publishing.  The second post examined what computer and peripheral equipment and software you will need  to run your business.  This post will focus on the business side of your Desktop Publishing Business.  We will discuss  information that you will need to think about in order to get your business up and running. Let’s look at some of the decisions that you will need to make for your business before you start.

1. Select a name for your business. Yes, it seems pretty basic, but you should really give your business name some thought.  If you freelance or consult, you may choose to just go by your own name.  If you will be setting up a business entity, you will need to come up with a suitable business name.  Keep in mind that your business name is the beginning of establishing your brand.  Try and select something suitable, profession, and a name that you won’t outgrow.

2.  Decide how your business will be structured. Will you business be full or part time?  Will you set it up your business as a sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation.  Will you freelance, temp or consult under your own name?  Spend some time researching these options.  If you have the money, consider hiring a professional attorney or accountant help you understand your options and get things set up.

3.  Determine what products and services will you offer. In the first post on starting a desktop publishing business, you examined your desktop publishing skill set.  Now, review your skills  and note where your strengths are.  Use this information to determine what products and service your business will offer.  Consider what your “niche” might be.  A niche is  a unique product or service that your offer to a specialize group of companies or organizations.  Finding an untapped niche may help you get business quicker that trying to compete with other established printers and desktop publishers.

4. List potential clients. Think about who your target customers is.  Leverage existing relationships you already have with people in your network.   List out the types of industries you have worked such as health care, government, or corporate.   Consider marketing to previous employers or to  members of groups or organizations that you belong to.  Use your social media friends and contacts on  Facebook, LinkedIn or other social networking platforms to find new markets, clients and customers.

5. Plan how you will finance your business. Here is a quick list potential finance sources to get you thinking about where may be able to get money to finance your business.

  • Keep your permanent job and work you business part time
  • Invest your personal savings
  • Get monetary gifts or loans from friends and family
  • Find Angel Investors
  • Apply for loans at banks or credit unions
  • Investigate government sponsored programs for small businesses

6.  Develop a  pricing structure for  your services. How much will you charge for your services?  You’ll need to understand how much money will  you need to make in order to pay yourself and stay in business.  Make a list of your personal expenses and the expenses associated with your business.  Do a little research and find out how much other publishing  businesses charge for their services.  You’ll need to strike a balance between setting prices that will cover your expenses and still be competitive in the market, especially if you are new business.   Also, think about how you will charge…by the hour or by the project.

7.  Advertise your business. You must let people know that you are in business.  Of course, there are traditional ways of advertising, such as distributing business cards, making flyers, designing brochures, sales letters and other advertising literature.

In addition to printed advertising and word or mouth, the Internet is a great way to get the word out about your business.  There are so many affordable options for advertising and promoting you business.  Of course, creating a business website lets the entire world know about your business.  Search engine optimization can help your website get found in search engines both locally and globally.  You can also leverage social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, just to attract potential clients.  You can publish content to blog, article and video platforms such as WordPress.com, EzineArticles and YouTube.  Publishing useful content can help establish you as an expert in your field, and can build potential client relationships.  Take some time to understand how you can leverage the Internet to advertise your business.

This is by no means a comprehensive list of tasks for starting your business.  Each point we discussed requires significant thought and research.  This post is just intended to get you moving in the right direction.

This concludes our series of posts on starting your desktop publishing business.  We’ve discussed how you assess your technical skills, reviewed equipment and software needed for desktop publishing and reviewed information need to get your business up and running. These posts are meant to be a starting point for you.  Use the information in these posts to help you get started with a plan of action for getting started.  Starting your desktop publishing business will be hard work, but if you want it bad enough, you can achieve financial success and independence.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post:

Web Analytics