Starting a Business

How to Start an Advertising Layout, Design & Printing Business

Starting an advertising layout and design business is an excellent entrepreneurial opportunity if you have the creativity and tenacity necessary to be a successful entrepreneur. Here is a friendly, comprehensive guide that demystifies what it takes to be successful.

This article includes a few valuable informational tidbits on starting an advertising layout and design business.

Advertising Layout & Design Business

Advertising Industry Overview

Each year, American businesses spend more than $173 billion on advertising. That makes advertising one of the nation's largest industries. With demand for qualified advertising professionals at an all-time high, now is a good time for advertising design entrepreneurs to turn their small business dreams into reality.

Most advertising layout, design and printing agencies are full service businesses, capable of handling client ad campaigns from start to finish. As a startup entrepreneur, it's important to understand the dynamics of marketing and PR since your clients will expect you to offer guidance beyond basic layout and design services.

Likewise, with online advertising consuming a larger portion of the industry's attention than ever before, you should become proficient in the creation of multichannel ad design. Traditional print advertising still has a place, but to capture your share of the marketplace you should expand your focus to include the creation of email promotions, web-based ads and other forms of online content.

Three Challenges for New Ad Design Agencies

New ad design agencies face several significant hurdles and obstacles. To launch on the right foot, there are a handful of startup requirements you'll need to get right the first time, including the following:

  • Leased Space. Finding affordable office space can be tricky, especially for startups trying to make every dollar count. Allow yourself enough time to shop the marketplace and target locations that are convenient to your target market. Although many client meetings will take place offsite, some prospective clients may prefer to come to you -- and a convenient, well-equipped space can sway them in your favor.
  • Hiring. Hiring can also be problematic for startup ad design agencies. On the one hand, you want your agency to be staffed with the best possible ad designers. But since your ability to attract experienced designers may be limited, you may have to settle for younger, less experienced agency personnel. If possible, attempt to staff your agency with a mix of experienced veterans and talented young people.
  • Marketing. Your ability to market your agency to other businesses is more important than you realize. In addition to bringing new clients into your company, your marketing campaign is a demonstration of your skills. If you field mediocre ads, logos, branding elements and other marketing materials, it's unlikely that prospective clients will trust your company with their ad design requirements.

Creating a Business Plan for an Advertising Layout & Design Business

A common mistake for a new business owner is to launch your company without having written a business plan.

A good business plan establishes both a framework and a roadmap for your business. The absence of an effective business plan inevitably results in impulsive leadership, limiting your advertising layout and design business's ability to succeed long-term.

Start by defining your business mission. The process of writing a mission statement doesn't have to be complicated. From there, the other piece of the business plan puzzle will begin to fall in place.

Evaluate Competitors

Long before you open an advertising layout and design business within your community, it's a good idea to determine how strong the competition is. Try our link below to find competitors in your area. Simply enter your city, state and zip code to get a list of advertising design and printing businesses in your town.

Before you open up shop, make sure you know what you will offer to your customers that provides a significant advantage over your competition's offering.

Learning More About the Industry

As part of your due diligence on opening an advertising layout and design business, it's a smart move to have a conversation with someone who is in the business. If you think your local competitors will give you advice, you're being overoptimistic. The last thing they want to do is help you to be a better competitor.

However, an entrepreneur who owns an advertising layout and design business in another town will be much more likely to talk with you, provided that you won't be directly competing with them. Indeed, many experienced entrepreneurs enjoy offering advice to startup entrepreneurs. Our estimate is that you may have to contact many business owners to find one who is willing to share his wisdom with you.

Where do you find an advertising layout and design business founder in another city who you can speak with?

No problem! Just use the link below and try a random city/state or zipcode. Then start dialing for advice until you are successful.

Benefits of Buying an Advertising Layout & Design Business

On a percentage basis, more entrepreneurs intend to enter advertising layout and design business ownership through a startup than through a business purchase. However, many new entrepreneurs aren't experienced for the rigors of a startup operation.

There are a lot of factors that need to be considered in buying vs. starting a business. Although startup owners may have greater control over the shape and scope of their companies, they lack the advantage of a proven business model. Along the same lines, it can take years for a startup company to achieve brand recognition while an existing business may already be a trusted name in your target market.

Don't Forget About Franchising As an Option

Would you risk your startup investment on a coin toss? Probably not. But if you're launching a traditional startup, that's essentially what you're doing - gambling your future on a 50/50 shot at success.

To protect your investment, it's worth considering the possibility of starting a franchise. Leading franchisors offer the support and resources that are often lacking in startups. Some of the most successful entrepreneurs rely exclusively on franchise business models.

Our printing franchise directory is full of valuable information to help you determine whether a franchise opportunity may be a wise first step for your business.

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