Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in creative design but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Arpine Ayvazyan, Founder of Studio414, located in Hamburg, Germany.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I own a creative studio for graphic design and brand strategy consulting in Germany. Our creative methodology is based on scientific research from behavioural sciences and uses consumer behaviour data to optimise product design.
Our clients are small to medium-sized companies from all over the world looking for services such as branding, packaging design, and consumer behaviour analysis. Many of them have complex products that require smart and thoughtful designs. At the same time, they focus on creating high-quality products locally and sustainably as much as possible. They work with us because they appreciate functional and well-founded solutions and long-term and profitable collaboration.
Tell us about yourself
After years of working as a business consultant, I decided to combine my M.Sc. in Game Theory and Behavioural Economics with my 15+ years of creative history to create a new type of design studio. My motivation to do what I do is to be a positive force in the world and to contribute to the greater good. I strive to make better-designed brands and products that solve existing problems for consumers in a meaningful way.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner has been creating a successful and thriving business from the ground up. I am proud of the fact that I have taken a concept and developed it into a profitable, successful, and respected business. Every time a client wants to work with my team again is in itself a proud moment of another small achievement.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things that come with being a business owner of a graphic design studio is managing the different workloads and varying tasks from administration and finances to creative brainstorming and hands-on design. Additionally, due to the ever-growing velocity of industry software and technology innovations, it's a big challenge to stay current on design trends and techniques.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Obviously, depending on the industry and target group of the business, some strategies might prove to be more effective than others. However, the overarching objectives would be:
- Developing a business plan: A business plan is essential for any business, big or small. It will provide a roadmap for your business and help you identify opportunities, set goals, and measure progress.
- Networking and building relationships: Building relationships and networking is key to success. Connecting with the right people can help you find the resources and support you need to grow your business. It can also help you detect any weaknesses in your initial ideas and correct your business path sooner rather than later.
- Take advantage of technology: Avoiding new software and innovation is a pointless endeavour. Don't be afraid to learn new tools and utilise the latest technology to keep up with the competition and make your operations more efficient. Consider investing in software, apps, and other tools that can help streamline your processes, reduce costs, and improve customer experience.
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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