Lessons from co founding a Graphic Design Startup

 
 
 
 
Lessons from co founding a Graphic Design Startup
 

Building a business from the ground up is full of challenges and triumphs. While it may seem like a dream to watch your idea come to life and be the captain of the ship, there could be difficult storms ahead unless you know how to pilot.

Many startups fall into the cycle of probing in the dark without a narrow focus, sensing and then responding to a variety of issues all at once.

On the other hand, the most successful entrepreneurs sense a pre-existing problem, analyse, and methodically respond with controlled strategies.

With the first approach, you’re dealing with unknown inputs and outputs, discovering solutions on the go while conducting experiments and learning the way in retrospect.

The latter approach is much more predictable—you’re improving upon efficiencies, becoming experts in your industry, and the way is predicted through analyses.

It’s important to remember that while problems are an invaluable part of the growth process, for your business and as an entrepreneur, there are steps you can take to make the journey more purposeful (and much less stressful!)

In this article, we’re diving into all the lessons learned by Roy Selbach and Greg Benjamins, co-founders of DotYeti, an unlimited graphic design platform. We’ll find out more about how they chose to take deliberate, data-based decisions to keep the course steady, how they precisely addressed the demand for high quality, affordable and efficient creative content, and how they’ve grown as entrepreneurs.

Rapid but Controlled Scaling

Roy and Greg purposefully built DotYeti by leveraging their own knowledge surrounding the need for modern graphic design solutions that were accessible to businesses of all sizes and budgets.

Roy is first and foremost a graphic designer. He started his career working in the creative industry and was deeply familiar with the ins and outs. Most importantly, he had already sensed all the gaps that needed improvement.

On top of his expertise in graphic design, he also spent his time diving into other fields that could help expand his knowledge in business. He studied strategic communication as well as e-commerce and marketing in universities in Europe and Asia. Thus developing a passion for digital marketing which contributed to DotYeti’s rapid scaling.

This prepared him to assume the executive role of CEO, while still being very much in touch with the graphic design part itself. That alone was a unique perspective. Many executive level positions these days, particularly in larger companies, are staffed by people who have lost touch with the daily tasks that are instrumental in keeping the operation running.

Greg’s natural talent and passion are undeniably people. His ability to connect with clients by taking the time to understand exactly what they were looking for in a creative partner, meant that DotYeti was able to gain a much clearer lay of the land.

DotYeti purposefully addressed each client’s unique needs with a customized graphic design plan instead of lumping them all into one group and offering an inefficient and less cost-effective solution. Clients were never just numbers on a spreadsheet for Greg, but a potential long term collaboration.

This approach also extends to his team members. He has always stressed the importance of engaging employees in productive discussions and taking all their thoughts to heart. In doing so, Greg built DotYeti’s joy-based, family culture that remains one of the bedrocks of the company. Taken together, it’s quite clear why his official title alongside co-founder is Head of Growth!

While Greg is responsible for acquiring new clients, Roy ensures stringent quality control for the final graphic designs. This ensures clients have a seamless experience—from start to finish. It was a strategy that naturally fell into place from day one.

By leveraging their individual knowledge and talents, they navigated a steady course for the young graphic design startup, and together were a strong founding team.

Graphic Design isn’t One-Size-Fits-All

Dotyeti



From personal experience and meaningful communication with clients, Roy and Greg had all the pieces in place to provide a comprehensive solution to a well-researched problem.

DotYeti clearly addressed pain points encountered by a variety of companies, from all industries and countries, ranging in size from startups to multinationals. And it wasn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, nor was it completed in one day.

As the company grew, both co-founders always kept an observant eye on the ways they could continue to improve client experience.

When communication and efficiency needed to be improved, the tech team created a feature-rich, proprietary design platform. This sleek platform is where clients communicate directly with their design team, keep track of progress and receive final files. It removed all the complicated obstacles that were the norm in traditional graphic design by streamlining the creative process and giving transparency back to the client.

When some clients confided that they had budget limitations, DotYeti was on the move. Their answer: design credits that could be quickly redeemed and customizable to their need for creative output. This meant that no client was left behind. Every company, regardless of their creative needs and budget, would truly get the most out of their DotYeti experience. The design credits offered clients who weren’t ready to subscribe to one of the unlimited graphic design plans, a way to be able to tap into creative horsepower whenever it was required. This was perfectly suitable for clients who either had one-off design requests or wanted to prepare for upcoming creative workloads. Purchasing credit bundles also unlocked even more discounts!

When clients spoke to their personal account manager about leveling up other aspects of their work culture, DotYeti launched the perks program. The perks program is a curated list of the best-in-class productivity apps with exclusive discounts especially for DotYeti clients and accessible from the design platform. It brought together the apps that DotYeti team members themselves love to use, and helped connect clients to potential partnerships.

Startups should never be static, in fact, being dynamic is woven into their DNA! They’re experts at responding quickly to problems and executing tasks. It’s important to find what you’re good at and make it even better.

Providing Timely Solutions and Staying Relevant

Roy and Greg fundamentally believed that graphic design could be a major player in the move towards a more digital future.

The global pivot to the online world and the rise of entrepreneurship during 2020, meant that more companies were looking online for solutions. DotYeti was quick to provide companies looking to effectively amplify their online presence with powerful, engaging content. The design platform ensured effective communication at all times between clients and designers regardless of where they were located. The Create and Accelerate startup program was also launched to help early-stage startups that wanted to focus on building creative identity and strategy with high quality branding work.

DotYeti was founded with remote work as one of its key pillars and this was perfectly relevant in a time when companies around the world were moving their workforce online. Instead of lagging behind and spending time transitioning to remote work, DotYeti was poised to leverage this opportunity to grow. Team members were already familiar with remote working. Their unmatched work ethic and tech-savvy knowledge meant that they could seamlessly create stunning graphic designs for clients using online channels.

Developing Teams

As DotYeti’s client roster grew, so did their organizational chart.

Delegating tasks to the right people enables you to focus more on business growth. And it’s certainly important to find the right people! Strong community spirit, valuing the contribution of every team member and a collaborative, healthy work culture are critical factors in keeping morale high. It’s more important to find the right person who is a strong work culture fit, rather than finding anyone to quickly fill in the gap.

Teams should be purposefully built and nurtured. Having the right team dynamic can exponentially boost productivity. High turnover can be an issue, particularly when everyone is working remotely. To address this, remote-based startups should make every effort to create connections among team members and constantly perform check-ins for accountability and to identify areas that need attention.

Making the right hiring choices builds synergy among teams. Trusting your teammates to deliver results will help scale your business and avoid the unnecessary stresses of micromanaging.

DotYeti Today

DotYeti continues to release more updates, features, and solutions that streamlines the creative process and unleashes the full power of graphic design. Their mission has always been to increase access to affordable, efficient and high quality graphic designs that are speedily delivered and proven to drive results.

They also stress the importance of keeping their teams and designers happy. After all, growth isn’t just about numbers and analytics for the company. They also want professional growth for every individual yeti. As much as efficiency is valued by the company, joy for what they do and who they work with in their teams is what drives all of them forward everyday.

They also have begun shifting their focus into moving forward with their social responsibility. As a startup with members all over the globe, it’s difficult and even impossible to have everyone in the same community and in turn, give back. But it doesn’t dull their efforts. Through charity efforts and an advocacy for education, they are able to do what they have for now and go from there.

As intimidating and competitive as their niche is, they carry on and collect experiences along the way. By applying the lessons they learned, they continue to grow and lean forward into any unexpected challenges that come their way. But no matter what problem arises, one thing is clear, giving up is never a solution.

 


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