Even a freelance business needs proper business planning in order for you to be successful. Freelancing is of great advantage to many for it provides flexibility for the workers. A freelancer can have control over how much he or she wants to earn and on what particular time of the day he or she wants to work. There are various fields or discipline included in freelancing and one of them in graphic designing. There are thousands of freelance jobs that one can choose from. It is indeed amazing how the internet gave jobs to millions of people around the globe. Many people choose freelancing over other types of job.

Well, like every business, there are some things that you need to put into consideration before you start freelancing. Even building your own identity could be a challenge for you. Hence, to help you make your venture into the freelance business world successful, we have given you some tips that could help you. This might answer some of your questions on how to have an effective freelance business planning.

1. Permits and licenses.

Permits and licenses
Image: Eduard Titov

In a business, it would always be a question if you need a permit or not. The answer is no for a freelance business. You do not have to acquire a business permit in your area unless you really will have a business name and have an office in your area. But if everything is online, there is no need to get a business license.

2. Branding.

Image: ahmedbakir

Before starting a business, you should always have your own identity or brand. This is a manner of introducing yourself to the people. You will include a good name for it, a logo and other important stuff for self-branding. Come up with stuff that are interesting and unique. You could read 10 Tips for Effective Self Branding.

3. Marketing.

Image: mohddeeb

Your business won’t run if you do not know how to market your services. You have to know how to make money. When a client comes to you or when you present something to your client, make sure that you know what to say. You should always be prepared especially with brief moments with someone. If you see a friend or a colleague you can chat with him or her for a little while and hand over your business card. This will be the beginning of marketing your site. You can also use social network marketing through Twitter and Facebook.

4. Complete your equipments.

Complete your equipments
Image: Boss429

You won’t be able to perform well if you do not have the complete supplies and equipments for your business. Of course, you need to have a computer or laptop and a stable internet connection. Also, you could purchase CDs or DVDs for file storage. You might need to get a separate telephone line for business and a fax machine as well. Do not forget to have a printer so that you could see how your designs will look like in print. It actually depends on you on what is really necessary for you to start your business.

5. Know your strengths and weaknesses.

Know your strengths and weaknesses
Image: Luxe List Home

Before you go into business, you need to know your strengths; this is where you are good at and which could be your capital for your business. You could be a great business card designer or a website designer. Also, know your weakness and try to work on them. Do not let your weakness be a weakness for a lifetime. Try to overcome them. If you are not really good in brochure lay-outing, then practice. Nothing is impossible if you give it a try.

6. Learn time-tracking.

Learn time-tracking
Image: indiathink

Time is very important. Time is money. Be sure that you wouldn’t waste your time even in preparing for your business and most especially if you have started your business. Learn time tracking. Track the time that you spend on a project so that you can adjust the next time and you’ll be able to adjust the pricing, too. Just remember that time is so important and you should not waste any of it.

7. Create a contract.

Create a contract
Image: Viorika

Have a contract drafted where you can state your services and other important things necessary for a business transaction. You can have this prepared so that all you have to do is edit this for every client. This is very important to protect your business and to avoid trouble with clients.

8. Know your rates.

Know your rates
Image: falltype08

Of course, it is always important that you know your rates so that when a client ask for it, you can tell him or her how much. It is also important that you know how much you need. You can read more about this in an article on How to Determine Your Rates as a Graphic Designer.

9. Determine your numbers.

Determine your numbers
Image: OrMuNzEvsArImAn

Aside from knowing your rates, you need to know other numbers you will need in your business. This includes how long it would take for you to finish a project, how many projects you can do in a day, how much money you need to earn in a day and many others.

10. Ask advice from the experts.

Ask advice from the experts
Image: Kiva.Dang
Since you are not Megamind, there are some things that you are not good at. It would be intelligent for you to ask advice from the experts to be sure that things wouldn’t go wrong. You might need help from an accountant or a lawyer sometimes. Do not do all the things on your own. Just look for affordable experts so that you won’t run out of budget.

As you aim for a successful freelance career, we hope that the aforementioned tips could be of help to you. Freelancing is a tough business even if it looks easy for some. It is actually a challenge to maintain one’s good image and reputation in order to have a continuous outpour of clients. We hope that your freelance business endeavour will be a great success. Feel free to share other tips if you have something to add in our list.

Ronald Bien

About the author: A Graphic Designer and the founder of Naldz Graphics. He launched Naldz Graphics to help the Design Community in providing quality design resources and tutorials.


  1. It’s always good to read tips like this to back track and see if you have accomplished some of these preparations before launching your freelance brand. Thanks for the refresher! I still have to jump in and practice a couple of these a little more, but I’m on my way.

  2. Ha. Well, I just asked one person from Guru.com about winning bid proposals. She apparently was making over 80K, and it hadn’t been a year yet. So, I’m hoping she’ll reply back.

    If this works, I’ll let you know Ronald.

  3. Great article. Although I am missing some more links in these tips like when you linked the viewers on the tip ” How to determine your rates” witch a more complex and in detail article. Other than that, these are good tips.

  4. Hey its simply superb and detailed article. effective tips as well. Thanks

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