Monday, February 22, 2010

Experienced entrepreneurs sharing business challenges featured on Transparency online showcase

Showcasing experienced entrepreneurs offers an added marketing communications or social media element to help promote their businesses. In addition, it provides a forum through which they can share solutions to unique business challenges that might be the answer to a similar challenge with which yet another entrepreneur is struggling. This openness of information flows with the following story offered by

Gary Swiontek, Owner
GrooveMaster Graphics, Arlington Heights, Illinois - on LinkedIn

GrooveMaster Graphics is a graphic design company that in reality creates “message delivery systems.” Attractive graphics are only a means to an end. We create logos, brochures, postcards, ads and other printed marketing communications to help clients build their brands. In the end, they’re able to sell their goods and services as a result of our broadcasting their messaging via professionally designed graphics.

Our tag line is “We Listen, We Deliver.” So listening to clients in order to understand their goals is important to us. We ask for specific information about the project as well as general information about their brand, philosophy and so forth. Most projects begin with a questionnaire used to gather this information so that we are in the right neighborhood before we start development. Ultimately, because we are listening we can deliver the appropriate artwork. But, much more importantly, we will deliver the client’s precise messaging. We seek clients who have solid marketing plans and are committed to them. We also look for prospects who understand the value a professional graphic designer adds to the success of their businesses. The ideal client is one who puts a great deal of trust in our judgment.

An ongoing challenge that faced GrooveMaster Graphics was how to handle the roller coaster environment of projects either coming in all at once or widely spaced apart. The main reason that this was occurring was due to the fact that we were not acquiring enough clients who required services on a semi-regular basis. This would have generated a strong, consistent revenue stream. This predicament affected our bottom line as well as our growth potential by never knowing for certain where the next project was coming from. At the same time, we found it even more difficult to be as creative as possible when squeezing multiple projects into a small time frame. Everything seemed out of balance.

I decided we needed an action plan. It began by seeking advice on how to be more focused and organized in terms of marketing GrooveMaster Graphics. I got in touch with professional business and marketing consultants. Here is the result of working with them.

1. We have put our marketing plan in writing. Until we did, it wasn’t real. Seeing it in black and white makes it a concrete element for which we are accountable.
2. We’ve also clearly defined our services so that clients have no misconceptions as to what we provide. In addition, we have created service bundles to give clients an economical choice of “message delivery” options.
3. Next, we identified our specific target audience. This makes our own messaging process much more focused and effective.
4. A social media strategy came next. We are a social media participant, yet we are still exploring what forms of social media are most appropriate for reaching our ideal clients.
5. GrooveMaster Graphics does email a monthly newsletter. It is a major element in our marketing strategy. It provides informational and educational content to our readership.
6. A great deal of effort will be put into building a new website with easier navigation, more information and highly effective SEO and SEM initiatives as part of its overall scope.

While many of the plan’s elements are in action today, several others are in their development stages. Our evenly-spaced projects problem is not entirely resolved as of yet, but we are putting a stronger focus on new goals which our action plan should help us reach. We feel that a true commitment to our plan along with follow-through should help in GrooveMaster Graphics’ overcoming its roller coaster challenge.

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