Small-business owners, what are you doing to stand out from the crowd? Each week, we focus on an entrepreneur who has lessons to share that we think will resonate with other small-business owners.
Aaron Belyea, owner of logo and branding design studio, Alphabet Arm Design, answers our questions:
What are you doing to stand out from the crowd?
We don’t just design new logos. Our clients come to us for help changing perceptions. Unlike other design studios and firms that are just “designing” as a means to an end, we’re all about taking creative risks with edgy and impactful graphic design that builds business.
What’s the best part about running your own business?
Being able to determine the personality of our studio. We’ve hired designers that do award-winning work for a strikingly diverse cross section of clients that include nationally-known recording artists and high-profile brands (CBS Records) to small entrepreneurs and nonprofits (Harvard Medical School).
What’s the biggest challenge of running your own business?
Juggling all the responsibilities that are required of a small-business owner and having no formal business education. We’re succeeding despite our “trials by fire.”
Name: Aaron Belyea
Business: Alphabet Arm Design, a logo and branding design studio.
Year founded: 2001
Number of employees: 4.5
Web address: www.alphabetarm.com
What’s the biggest hurdle you’ve overcome?
Learning how to delegate work and also trust that my employees can handle situations and clients the same way I would.
What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made?
Right after I started the company I ordered a credit card machine for clients. I made the mistake of trusting a company that claimed they were my credit card supplies vendor (they were not). They scammed me into buying six gigantic boxes of credit card roller paper. It was very expensive and we still have a box or two lying around!
What’s the best business advice you can offer?
Do what you are passionate about. Always be honest and direct. Laugh as often as you can. Never use Comic Sans [a script typeface].
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