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From Freelancer to Design Firm Owner

How to transition from freelance jobs to creating your own firm

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This story appears in the January 2001 issue of HomeOfficeMag.com.

Question: I'm an art director currently freelancing for major firms in . I'd like to break away from that and find clients of my own and do their projects from my home. How do I find these potential clients? I work with major clients now through these agencies-AT&T, 3Com and , to name a few-but I could be doing so much better if I had my own clients because I could charge project fee vs. the daily fee I'm getting now.

Answer: Breaking away to start your own design firm means you may have to go head-to-head with the agencies you currently work for. Fortunately, you can ease into the transition and continue freelancing while getting your new company off the ground, as long as you proceed carefully. I spent the first 10 years of my career working in agencies, and there's one unbreakable rule: Never directly pitch any agency accounts, or it will cost you your livelihood and reputation.

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