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If you think you have what it takes to own your own graphic design business, then you need to start assessing your talent, abilities, and knowledge, and begin filling in the gaps. Start by learning to use professional programs for web design, graphic design, and photo editing if you don’t already know how to use them.

Once you feel you are fairly proficient, get some experience in the field. It’s always better if you can get paid while you’re getting experience, but this isn’t always possible. If you can’t find a paying job in the field, then you must ply your trade for free for friends, family, or charity. (Even “free” work can be parlayed into a barter of services or perhaps a tax deduction.)

Once you have enough experience in the field, you are ready to take the “big step.” In my next article, I’ll discuss what is involved in getting your business up and running.

Read part 2, How to Get Started.

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