Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in design services but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Stacie Benefield, Founder of Dynamic Design Solutions, LLC., located in Hood River, OR, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I run a completely done-for-you digital design agency helping small businesses and organizations optimize their online presence and increase customer and client activity. We take care of our client's websites, marketing, branding, and SEO so they can focus on their business operations.
My first career was in interior design, so I am especially passionate about working with that industry and have first-hand knowledge of the pain points and challenges interior design business owners face, as well as what makes their target audience tick.
Tell us about yourself
I have always been the nerdy techie, creative type, and I love helping people. So, being able to do both every single day is a dream come true. I wasn't always a website designer, but I've always been a designer. I started out as an interior designer and even ran my own kitchen design firm. Then came the economic crash of 2008, and I was forced to close shop and reinvent myself.
I went back to school to learn how to be creative using a computer. I learned how to do graphic design and website design. I absolutely loved it, so I kept going, and eventually, an agency blossomed. There were plenty of hurdles along the way, and I am proud to be the first female in my family to graduate college and run a successful business. My biggest inspiration is my daughter. I want to give her the advantages I didn't have to be successful, happy, and able to carve her own path.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is that I am doing what I love, making an honest living, and being available for my family. That was really my main goal - to be available to my family. To be able to be present and have peace of mind. Sometimes I can't believe that I've done it.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Wearing so many hats and being ultimately responsible for everything, the good and the bad. There are days when I want to just throw in the towel and go get a "regular" job where I can leave at the end of the day and truly be done with work. But then I started to really think about it, and I knew that wouldn't make me happy.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Go work in a successful company that does what you want to do. Observe and learn from how they run the business, how they handle problems, what could be improved, and what you need to consider if you were to run a similar business. This would have saved me soooooo much time and trial and error!
The next thing is to do your due diligence. Create a solid business plan with calculations for revenue and what the industry standards are. Get a loan to help you with the first couple of years, so you aren't stressed about making ends meet. Lastly, really ask yourself if you are the type that can self-motivate. How driven are you? What are you willing to sacrifice? How will your family be affected?
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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