Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business services but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Shanna Dennis, Owner of Enticity, located in Barrie, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I own a brand agency that specializes in brand strategy and rebranding. Our clients are established companies that have proven themselves successful and are now looking to scale their company to new heights. Quite often, they are looking to enhance their: name, visual brand identity, messaging, website, recruitment efforts, marketing, etc.
Our customer knows that they need to make some big changes, and they are looking for a team of creatives to help them reposition themselves in their new market so they can attract the right people, make more money, get more leads, and have more fun doing it!
Tell us about yourself
I have always loved working with people to help them achieve their goals. So many great people are running their businesses, but they are not aware of brand strategy and the power and value it brings to their company. The transformation that our clients go through during our rebrand process (both internally and externally) is what motivates me every day!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment is creating our rebrand process called “Define Before Design®,” which has allowed us to dream bigger dreams for ourselves and get my company out of the rat race. We no longer operate as a commodity offering graphic design services to anyone who needs them. We have positioned ourselves as a brand that delivers a specific value to specific customers. We have taken this same process and transformed so many of our clients’ lives for the better too.
Helping companies transform from being a commodity (where they compete on price and try to be everything to everyone) to being a brand (where they are charging higher prices for their specific experience designed for specific customers) has been the highlight of my 22-year-old career.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner is struggling to clarify WHAT you do, WHO you do it for, and WHY. It takes years of working inside your industry before you gain the confidence and bravery it takes to niche what you offer and to put a premium price on it. But once you get to the point where you can rebrand yourself and clearly articulate (with strategic execution) WHAT you do, WHO you do it for, and WHY… then it’s smooth sailing. Before this point, business ownership is a true struggle.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Speak to a brand strategist BEFORE you go ahead and name your company, design a logo, or commit to an outline of what your offerings are. There is so much you don’t know!
- When you run a business and someone asks if you offer something that you do not currently offer, do not give into the pressures of offering it too. Know your value! Know your expertise! And just because someone else is offering it does not mean you need to too. The only time you expand your offerings is when they support your brand attributes and align with your vision, mission, values, etc. Just because you can offer something does not mean that you SHOULD.
- Expect to rebrand. Know that you will NOT be the same company today as you will be in 5 years. People evolve, and brands should too. Your brand should be different in 5 years, and that may mean a new name, new logo, new colours, or fonts (sure), but it will also mean a new onboarding process, new key messaging, new outlook on the “perfect customer,” etc. Rebranding is a sign of success. It is also a financial investment that comes with a high rate of financial return when done properly. Updating your visuals without updating the brand experience (with the help of a brand strategist) will be a recipe for failure.
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.
Turn your craft into recurring revenue with Subkit. Start your subscription offering in minutes and supercharge it with growth levers. Get early access here.