Design-Based Entrepreneurship: Succeeding as a Business Owner

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Design has proven to be an integral aspect of business and entrepreneurship over the last few decades. Since many creative individuals tend to work independently, they are naturally seen as entrepreneurs. However, there is a difference between designing for a living and design-based entrepreneurship.

In this post, we will take a look at design-based entrepreneurship and what it entails. We will also provide tips to equip you to become successful in this field. It is not enough to possess creative competencies and skills. You need a lot more to thrive in design-based entrepreneurship.

What is Design-based Entrepreneurship?

A good place to start will be to provide a clear definition of this concept. Because of the lack of study about design entrepreneurs, not so much is known about this field. The few studies carried out focus more on the lack of administrative skills of design entrepreneurs instead.

Design-based entrepreneurship is a mix of two words “design” and “entrepreneurship.” The latter is a very popular topic that seems to sway the hearts of people from all walks of life. Let’s take a look at each word separately before we bring them together.

Design is a term that covers several fields such as graphics, architecture, engineering, landscape, fashion, software, etc. Regardless of the field, design is the visual representation of a message or idea to make interpretation easy. Several kinds of tools are instrumental in creating such visual representation.

Entrepreneurship in simple terms is the act of setting up or establishing a business. It involves engaging financial risks to make a profit. The individual that does this is an entrepreneur.

Amalgamating both terms, design-based entrepreneurship explains the scenario where a designer takes the toga of an entrepreneur. Thus, a design entrepreneur produces and markets design properties, assumes risks, and makes a profit.

Tips to Help You Thrive in Design-Based Entrepreneurship

Naturally, many people view designers as entrepreneurs. This is because of their creative competencies and skills. They are able to channel these in product development and idea-generation. However, not all designers are entrepreneurs because not all of them can bear entrepreneurial risks.

There has always been the scare of thriving in the design-based entrepreneurship industry. Before this decade, not much was known about this industry. Many designers either worked as full-time employees or freelancers. However, technology has created an avenue to change the tide.

There are more opportunities now for design entrepreneurs than ever. It doesn’t matter if you want to start a design company, work freelance, or come up with a new niche. None of these is easy but with the right tips, you will thrive and become successful.

Understand Face-to-Face Networking

Networking is an integral aspect of business regardless of the industry. We understand that technology is making it easier to reach the world through social media and other tools. Despite this fact, you still need to understand and utilize face-to-face networking.

Personal connections are very important to your credibility as an entrepreneur. If you are able to work on this, it helps to build long-lasting, meaningful relationships that influence your business. Studies show that face-to-face networking is very essential to building long-term relationships in business.

Social media and websites help you build your online presence but that’s not all that matters. You need an offline presence as well. It is very crucial to succeeding in design-based entrepreneurship.

Improve Google Ranking

While it is important to build an offline network, you cannot rule out the place of getting a digital presence. We are in a world that has become a village simply because of the internet. People conduct business across continents without meeting each other.

The easiest way to find your business is through Google. Without stamping your digital presence on Google’s map, your business will be lost in the crowd. You are not the only design-based entrepreneurship business out there. The competition is stiff so it is difficult to thrive.

This is why you need to find a way to be on Google’s first page. Appear here and you’ll have more clicks on your website. This organic position grabs about 33% of the search traffic for your business.

To achieve this feat involves serious work. While everyone dreams of it, only a few actualize this dream. However, if you put in the effort, soon it will pay off. Here are a few things to do to improve Google ranking:

  • Create SEO-optimized content.
  • Work with visually-rich content (infographics).
  • Run engaging campaigns on social media.
  • Provide what your audience wants.

Engage Your Audience Daily

Design entrepreneurship is not all about creating attractive designs, you must understand how to make your brand popular. To do this, you need to understand who your audience is and engage with them daily. Social media has made this easy but why should you engage your audience daily?

Recent studies reveal that when you engage customers, there is a 90% chance of conversions. They are more likely to pay more for your products if you engage them than if you don’t.

What many entrepreneurs (not just in design) don’t understand is that customers want to advocate on your behalf. To do this, you need to entice them to come to stand by your side. There are several ways of doing this including:

  • Reward programs.
  • VIP benefits.
  • Great customer experience, and many other ways.

Get Referrals

People are more ready to part with their money when a business comes on a recommendation. It is easier to take the word of someone you already trust rather than a stranger. This is why referrals and personal recommendations are very important in design-based entrepreneurship.

Design-based entrepreneurship is a service-based industry which makes it more sensitive. You need customers to advertise on your behalf. Of course, they wouldn’t do it for free but who said you have to pay cash?

Turn your customers into brand advocates by using any of these methods:

  • Loyalty programs.
  • Daily engagements using multiple channels.
  • Personalized customer experiences.
  • User-friendliness.
  • Create an efficient feedback mechanism.

Show Off Your Skills

No matter what people say about your brand, some prospects will never be convinced if they don’t see your skills. To thrive in design entrepreneurship, you must show off your skills to the world. This is one of the best ways to advertise your brand.

How do you sell yourself to the world? There are several ways to do this.

  • Set up a business website that shows off your portfolio: Don’t forget that after ranking high on Google, you still need to convince people to spend their money. Create a portfolio section on your website to show off past projects.
  • Use social media to attract traffic: Put up original images on your social media accounts that show your unique skills. They have to be original else your credibility will be in question.
  • Produce print materials to help you convince people in your physical network: While you are trying to build an online presence, don’t forget that a physical network matters as well.

Take your chance

Design entrepreneurship isn’t so complicated after all. It is simply setting up a design business and bearing all the risks. We have shown you how to thrive as a digital entrepreneur. Integrate these ideas to help you build brand perception and recognition.