The Business of Design

How to Start Your Own Design Company
Free tutorial
Rating: 4.2 out of 5 (97 ratings)
9,530 students
2hr 1min of on-demand video
English [Auto]

Develop a business plan for their own business.
Analyze your company by completing an industry profile, customer profile, and SWOT analysis.
Determine what type of legal entity best suits your business.
Choose the right intellectual property protections for their own business.
Outline a marketing strategy using the 4 P's of marketing.
Calculate the break-even analysis and cash requirements for your business.


  • Although not required, it helps if you already have a product or service you are interested in selling in mind.


The Business of Design has been specifically designed for Creatives interested in starting their own business. After completing the Business of Design course, you will have a completed business plan, using a provided template, to help you get your business up and running. To help you complete your business plan you will explore four sections. In the first section, we will complete an industry profile, customer profile, and SWOT analysis. You will be able to determine what type of legal entity best suits your business and we will look at how to choose the right intellectual property protections for your own business after the second section. And in the third and fourth section, we will explore marketing strategies and take you through step-by-step videos on the financial aspects of starting your business.

The course content should take you about three hours to review and then some additional hours as you take time between lectures to fill in your business plan template. You will find a number of templates, worksheets, and examples as you work through the course. There will also be a knowledge check at the beginning and end of the course to see what you know before you get started and after you finish. 

You should take this course if you are interested in taking your talents to the next level by starting your own business.

Who this course is for:

  • This business course is meant for Creatives who are interested in starting their own business. No prior business knowledge is required. Although most of the guidance is specific to Creatives in the design industry, there is information about starting a business. This course is probably not for you if you have a well established business.


Jennifer Markas
  • 4.2 Instructor Rating
  • 97 Reviews
  • 9,530 Students
  • 1 Course

Jennifer Markas is an ideator, connector and dynamic thinker who has worked in both non-profit and for-profit creative organizations including her time with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. She built Damsels in Design in 2010, an organization dedicated to training creative women how to launch their own businesses, and is the founder of Designers Education League, a non-profit that places underserved student populations in paid apprenticeship rotations at leading design companies. Jennifer is a graduate from Boston University's School of Management and holds a master's degree from Parsons School of Design in the History of Decorative Arts & Design. She was recently nominated for New York Business Journal's 2016 Women of Influence Award.

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