How to Start a Desktop Publishing Business - Setting Expectations and Testing the Market

How to Start a Desktop Publishing Business - Setting Expectations and Testing the Market
Part 1 of 5 in the series: Starting a Desktop Publishing Business
Article by Joe Taylor Jr. (3,716 pts)
Published on Oct 31, 2008
Bright Hub

It's easier than ever to start a desktop publishing business, as long as you have the right ideas and a strong plan.

Discover How a DTP Business Fits Your Career and Your Lifestyle
Thanks to new technology, it’s easier than ever to launch your own desktop publishing business. However, any new business is a balance of risk and reward. Setting the right expectations for your new desktop publishing business can help avoid some of the most common causes of small business failure. Following through on the right plan can lead to financial stability and professional achievement.

Writing a DTP Business Plan
According to successful small business owners, planning your business and working your plan is the best way to avoid many of the common pitfalls of self-employment. Some new business owners launch their enterprises based on sudden external factors, like a job loss in the family, a desire to work from home, or a need to retain more control of one’s time. Writing a business plan for your desktop publishing business can help you set realistic goals and milestones.

Identifying Prospective Clients
A major part of your business plan should be a realistic assessment of the clients you believe you can attract to your new desktop publishing business. Although Internet bidding sites and online classifieds may offer a handful of entry-level projects to help you get started, a long term plan for success requires cultivating leads from eager business customers.

Personal relationships tend to make the biggest difference in establishing strong client connections. Although some small business experts recommend networking through family and friends, most successful business owners make clients out of their current vendors. Companies are far more eager to do business with providers that already do business with them. Therefore, you can start your list by examining the printed collateral at businesses you shop at every week. Restaurants needing help with menus and local service providers that need brochures are just two of the businesses you should include in your prospect list.

Setting an Hourly Rate
Choosing an hourly rate for your new desktop publishing business can be challenging, especially because customers tend to drive DTP pricing in a particular region or niche. If you have an extensive skill set and experience as a desktop publishing professional in an agency or educational setting, you can often command a high hourly rate. Professionals that charge more money per hour tend to complete assignments using fewer hours, and clients are often happy to pay for quick turnaround. On the other hand, a newcomer to DTP may require more time to finish routine tasks, resulting in a lower rate.

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