Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in branding and marketing but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Christos Joannides, Founder & Creative Director of FLAT 6 CONCEPTS, located in Los Angeles, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
FLAT 6 CONCEPTS is a Los Angeles-based, award-winning luxury branding agency partnering with clients to develop a diverse range of work, including brand identity, art direction, website design, packaging, and advertising design. Our customers are startups and small to medium-sized businesses that appreciate the value of sophisticated design in all facets of their visual communication with their clients. We offer a myriad of creative work that not only helps the client simplify their selling process but also adds value to their company.
Tell us about yourself
Before starting Flat 6 Concepts, I was a partner in a design firm that was spearheaded by my late brother Stefano and a third partner. I was the head of branding, marketing, and photography and was in charge of developing our online presence. I did that for 10 years, up until 2008, when the Great Recession hit, and we lost most of our clients seemingly overnight. With two young children and a mortgage, I had to do something quickly. So I started Flat 6 Concepts with the intention of providing sophisticated graphic design to clients that would appreciate my aesthetic of simplicity and quiet elegance. I started out designing websites and brand identities and then branched out to print and literally did everything in between. Today Flat 6 Concepts specializes in working with luxury brands, fashion and skincare, startups, companies in hospitality, and other design-centric industries. We specialize in corporate brand identity, logo design, e-commerce, website design and development, signage, product packaging, sales collateral, digital marketing, and advertising.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest achievement as a business owner is being able to build a creative agency from the ground up and, over the years, be able to compete in a very competitive market like Los Angeles while at the same time exceeding my client's expectations.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
I think one of the biggest challenges, at least from a design firm's perspective, is finding the right designers to join the team, scaling the company, and maintaining the integrity of the work. We are not for everyone, and you shouldn't be either.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Narrow the focus of your business and market it as such. A simple example - instead of a "Plumber that does it all," market yourself as the "The Drain Specialist."
- Be consistent in all your visual touch points with your prospective clients. Create a logo and an optimized, intuitive website that clearly communicates what you do. Make sure people understand what you do as soon as they land on the home page of your website. Keep it simple and make it visually appealing.
- Create an avatar of your ideal client and see what they read, what they do, where they go, and where they spend their money, and target them directly.
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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