Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in design services but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ronen Hirsch, Founder, and CEO of Studio Umbrella Inc., located in Los Angeles, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am the founder of Studio Umbrella, an LA-based web design, and development studio that has created countless websites using a range of technologies. Our expertise is with Shopify websites, but we aren't limited to just that, as we have built numerous websites (both e-commerce and "regular" informational) within other platforms, including WordPress. We cater to small and medium-sized businesses in a variety of industries.
Additionally, I started another business called Qwiqode ("Quick Code"), where we develop and sell flexible, highly customizable pre-built section templates that are easily installed on Shopify stores without the need to hire a developer - saving both time and money and eliminating frustration. We target web designers who build sites for customers as well as store merchants directly.
Tell us about yourself
Growing up in the '80s, we always had a computer at home (remember those first PCs with black/green screens?). As I got older, I started connecting to the early forms of websites called "BBS," which were essentially online bulletin boards. I always had a passion for design and went on to study Industrial/Product design. But by using my computer skills, I quickly integrated the two by designing and building digital presentations of my work which then progressed to building websites. After creating a few websites for friends, I realized that I really enjoy this and can actually earn a living doing that! And so, in 2005, I started Studio Umbrella.
I really enjoy creating custom websites, which aren't just "cookie-cutter" designs but making something different and impactful for my clients and their customers. And helping them achieve some of their business goals is a great feeling.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment is keeping Studio Umbrella growing ever since I started. It's not a large studio at all, but rather just me, another developer, and other designers that I collaborate with. Being able to earn a living and enjoy what I do is rewarding.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
It's never a smooth road to running a business. Sometimes, it's like riding a rollercoaster with highs and lows - not enough work, then suddenly, too much work. Finding those that can work on projects is very hard as well. You want to have someone you can depend on and trust who does the job well and efficiently and will be happy to work for you and not want to leave.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- It's never too late to start, but you do have to understand there are risks and stresses involved.
- Prepare to invest a lot of hours in it. Especially in the beginning when you are trying to establish the business and get clients walking in the door.
- If you believe in the work/service that you do (and in yourself, of course), don't give up and always be on the lookout for new ways to grow and new ideas and concepts to learn.
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.