Thesis Project



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Business Plan Guide for New Freelance Graphic Designers

May 8, 2020
Bethany Anzalone

The Problem

Going into this project I knew I wanted to do something personal and beneficial to future me. I have always known that I wanted to start my own freelance business but I didn’t know the steps to take. Which leads me into my research question.Place your problem statement here.

How can relevant and meaningful business skill training be packaged for starting out freelance graphic designers?

Success Statement

This site is designed to be a road map to get new freelance graphic designers started in their business. It also allows them to have all the necessary information laid out in an easy to understand, concise way. 

Target Audience

I wanted to focus on upcoming graphic design seniors to graphic designers who are 5 years post graduation because I felt the information would be most relevant to this group


In order to find out what solutions would be best I started out with developing interview questions. This included questions involving business plans, determining pricing, how they handled taxes, how to network and find work/clients how to market yourself etc. Although all this information is relevant, one thing stuck out as the most untouched territory. That being the usage and knowledge about business plans.

Design Process + Testing

I surveyed about 70 designers and only 12% actually had a business plan. 70% didn’t have one and 18% didn’t even know what they were. So I wanted to create some form of business plan guide for new freelance graphic designers. The ones out there now are too wordy and are endless pages of scrolling information. So how can I make it easier to understand and straight to the point?

Design Solution

This is a road map website that allows new freelance graphic designers to walk through the steps of building out their own business plan. You can create an account at the beginning so you can save your progress as you go.

Engage with the Business Plan Guide app mock-up

On the home page it explains in a short sentence what a business plan is. It also shows you in order how you can build your plan and you have a few options to do so. You can clicking on each icon to go to the desired page for a quick summary, you can “get started” with creating your plan or you can start where you left off. In the video I show how someone can get started with a new form.

The first step is “services”, although some steps may be self explanatory I designed it in a way that allows the user to understand exactly what to include in their services. This includes an example paragraph putting all the point into context allowing the user to understand exactly how to explain their services. You can then type your own response and save it as you go. Proceed through the next steps until you finish.

Once you finish up it will take you to “your plan” page where all of your responses will be under the corresponding subject.  This can be changed and edited whenever you like. 

Now I thought about allowing the site to create a nicely designed formatted business plan but I remembered who my target audience was. We are graphic designers meaning we all have our own unique brands. Being part of my target audience I know I would rather be able to take my responses and just plug them into my own designed document, rather than having something I can’t customize. 

Again, as a wrap up, the main purpose of this site is to be a road map to get new freelance graphic designers started on their way to success. This sites allows them to have all the necessary information laid out in an easy to understand, concise way. 

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