I know its bit hard thing to decide if you are reading this blog post to decide that whether to join a company or start a new business. I have experience of setting up three companies myself so far and what i learnt so far is going to be mentioned in this blog post.
1) Do not work for free. Learn how to bill. If you don’t respect your time, no one will.
2) Trust that you can succeed. I had a few careers before this and had all the background, but not all the necessary skills, so I read everything I could get my hands on and took classes.
3) Ask for help. I started slowly and learned as I went along. When I needed help, I asked people for it. This doesn’t have to come from people in the field, but that can be great, too.
4) Get a deposit and a retainer– That way you will get paid every time.
5) Meet with everyone you can and ask their advice about running a design business. Parallel businesses are often very similar and can offer good insight. If your friend is good friends with a business lawyer, talk to her. A florist? Arrange for a luncheon. Free advice from professional contacts is great and some of the best advice. That being said, ignore all dumb things that people tell you.
6) Don’t pretend to know what you are doing if you don’t. It’s OK to say, I have to check into that and get back to you. Say it with confidence. Vendors know when you don’t know what you are doing. So do clients, but no one is expected to know everything. I often say, I have to mull that over a bit or call some contacts to make sure it’s the best way to proceed.
7) Plan for a rainy day. Or a sick day. Or a vacation day. You will need all of these.
8) Starting a business often means you get to pick the 70 hours a week you want to work.
9) The business of design is NOT mostly about design. It’s a business. A creative business, but if you cannot handle the business side, or hire someone who can do the business side, you will not succeed.
10) What you do has very little to do with what you see on any of the design shows on HGTV.