You’ve worked hard to get your skills to where they are.
The one thing that could take you from being good to great…is a business, website, or side hustle.
I’m not talking about the normal design job you have where you work for some higher-up guy who sets your dreams of owning your own company back another year.
I’m talking about the three businesses most designers should launch in their lifetime: a quality website, a freelance business, and a side hustle.
These businesses have solid income potential and are all achievable by anyone.
The 12 BEST Business Ideas for Designers
1) Blogging about Design
If you're a designer, but feel distant from your peers, blogging about design might be the place for you. It's not hard to get started writing and publishing online. The key is not focusing on what others think of your work, but writing about what you think about your work.
2) Web Designer
If you want to be a web designer, you need only two things. You need your brain--specifically, the ability to learn on your own--and you need the motivation to build a portfolio site. Becoming a web designer is not easy. The fact that becoming one of the best is hard is usually not enough to deter the curious. What has changed in more recent years are the resources available to help overcome the difficulties.
3) Design & Sell T-Shirts
Are you thinking about starting your own business online? If so, a great way to enter the market is by selling t-shirts. T-shirt sales are something you can start any time of year, they're fun to design and easy to create. You don't need to worry about shipping or returns and there's not too much competition in this niche.
4) Company Newsletters
If you have been following the startup scene across the world in recent times, you must be aware of the role newsletters have to play. Everyone is using this medium to spread their message. Newsletters play a huge role in increasing brand recall and keeping users/prospects engaged with your startup.
One way to set yourself apart from the crowd is to publish a newsletter about design. What you write about will depend on your interests but many people choose to focus on either business use of design or web technology. Design has many facets and this is one way of staying up-to-date with all of them.
6) Create Marketing Brochures
Marketing brochures are a great way to make a lasting impression on potential clients. They can contain almost any type of information, and be designed in just about any format. The most important thing is for you to customize the content and design it to represent your own work. Creating brochures also gives you the chance to practice your creative skills while working on something tangible that will be useful to your career.
7) Start an Advertising Agency
An advertising agency is the term given to companies that specialize in creating and placing advertising campaigns of various kinds. Agencies exist to help others spread a message, build a brand, or sell products. In return for their services, agencies charge either a lot of money, by working on a retainer; or very little money, by trading their services for media space.
8) Unlimited Design Service
If you've got a great company or product, the "next step" often seems obvious: hire a professional designer to make it look awesome. But there are other ways to approach design for a product. What if you could offer unlimited design services? Unlimited, in the sense that they are always optional, but not billed by the hour. Free to use. No strings attached.
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9) Design Menu Cards for Restaurants
Design menus, to be sold as a product. The front of the card should contain the name of the restaurant and the number of that particular dish/appetizer on its menu. On the back, you can put additional information such as ingredients, nutritional facts, and/or any ideas about pairings with wine, cocktails, etc. You may include other relevant information you feel is necessary.
10) Video Editing
For those of you with some free time, here's an idea: start a video editing business. People need videos edited. And if they don't need them now, they will very soon. A single great video can make your startup go viral and reach millions of viewers. You can charge $5-10 per video. All the software you need is available for free online (there are even free tutorials on how to make basic edits).
11) Design Characters for Children Books
Children books are a field of their own in which cartoon figures have unique identities and personalities. Whether you're writing your first book for kids or the sixteenth, it's important to design your characters carefully. If you're not careful, your characters will seem flat and lifeless. You have to make sure kids will love them!
12) Make Greeting Cards
If you're a designer this is a great business to get into. Greeting cards are the most common way people celebrate different occasions. If you go to any store at any time of year there will be greeting cards of all kinds and they'll always be selling.