Are you a Creative Entrepreneur? Then this blog is the right place for you to get tips and advice on how to start, manage and make a small creative business work.
Over the coming days, weeks and months I will be posting a series of tips that you might find useful as you go about trying to make your creative business a success.
How am I qualified to do that? Well, I have started, along with my business partner, and have successfully built an online corporate identity and graphic/web design business. Starting with 2 people back in 1999, today we are over 40 people and growing with 4 offices around the world.
So today I will be talking about a little bit of history. Just to give you some background on our company and how our advice might help you on your own journey into the tricky world of online creative business.
In the Begining…
The year was 1999. I was working for a creative and advertising firm in Sarasota, Florida called MediaX Inc. I had joined the company in 1996 right after I graduated from uni. The company was big (had around 200 staff) and business was good. I was in the branding section and was dealing with logo designs, corporate identity and other branding related stuff.
The work was good and I loved creating logos and corporate identities. However, the company was strictly offline and did things in a very traditional and slow manner.
One of my colleagues, MB, working in the software section of the company and I decided to start a corporate identity and logo design company that would offer to brand to small companies that could not afford expensive design firms and in fact did not need the hu-ha offered by such companies.
In MediaX, typically when a client came for some corporate identity work, our business analysts would spend at least week in meetings and phone calls for the fact-finding part of the process. They would ask the client many questions (many of them irrelevant, really) and build up notes.
They would then have more meetings in-house with the designers to describe what they believe the company does, stands for, who the target audience is etc. The designers then go away and do independent research on the industry etc and try and come up with sketches of logo design concepts.
More days pass as our project manager then interfaces with the client and shows them the concepts and gathers feedback from them. They then come back to the designers either for re-draws or revisions.
The client would be charged $2,500 to $4,000 for this process and it would take anywhere from a month to 4 months before a logo is finalized.
I and MB felt that this process could be simplified and made more accessible to small business if the service was offered on the web. There were already a very small number of companies doing this online.
We decided to give up our jobs and started SpellBrand (SpellBrand). Over the past few years, we have created 1000s of corporate identities and logos for companies across the world. We have grown from a 2 man company in 1999 to more than 40 people. We have also opened offices in the UK, France, Singapore and India. We worked with many clients from these regions including Peking Tales.
We pride ourselves in offering high-quality corporate identity solutions at very affordable rates. And best of all we try and provide resources to help the creative entrepreneur setting up and running a design business online.
Self Promotion Tips for the Creative Entrepreneur
On this blog I will be posting a series of tips for the creative person including tips of self-promotion both offline and online, setup and run an online business, getting and retaining customers, dealing with the easy and difficult customers and more. I will use case studies of our own projects where possible and try and offer advice based on our experience in the online design business.
I would welcome any comments you might about the tips and advice that I post and suggest you subscribe to this blog via RSS or via email updates.