Ready to get motivated and become financially independent in these crazy times? Check out Adrian’s 5-part series on how to start an online business.Continue reading
Is a college education really important to graphic design? Maybe not so much. Here’s Adrian’s insight on why some college-educated graphic designers suck.Continue reading
Everyone has seen and heard the ads for the cheap online printer offering 250 business cards free or 500 cards for $10. Truth is, you can not buy quality printing for $10, whether or not you have ordered from the big box printer like Vista, who will even admit that their templates are generic and customization and quality are clearly lacking.
I have spent the last 7 years in the printing business and have seen over 100 businesses using the boring brown background with ivy design. If you have seen this template you know exactly which one I’m talking about. Can you recall one company that has used that template and remember what their business name or brand was? Did their card have rounded corners, custom glossy coating, or just the logo with a smooth matte finish on the rest of the card? Was the card flimsy or single sided? Now take your business card out and ask your self “Is this a unique business card?” If your immediate reaction is not yes, then your missing out on making a lasting first impression with a new potential customer. You only get one first impression and your business card is a representation of you, your brand, and the services you offer.
Internet printers are only able to offer such cheap pricing for one big reason. “Gang Run Printing.” this is a term commonly used in the changing printing industry. Gang Run Printing is when a printer creates a set of metal plates for each color in your design. The colors will not be matched up, and the colors can sometimes shift by up to 50%.
The craft of quality printing may no longer be with many internet printing companies, but that is not the case with Adrian Graphics. Your printing job is guaranteed to be printed on the best quality paper with environmentally friendly inks and up to 70% recycled paper.
Bottom Line: If you are willing to compromise on the quality of your companies printing to save $25-$30 on a set of business cards, it will translate into the rest of your business and immediately say to your customer “cheaper is better.”
1. A part of all you earn is YOURS to keep!
Wealth, like a tree, grows from a tiny seed. The first money you save and hide away is the money from which your tree of wealth will grow. The sooner you start saving, the sooner your tree will grow. Faithfully nourishing your tree. Pay your self first, do not buy the newest smartphone or go to a fancy dinner before paying yourself a minimum of 10% of your income. For example if you earn $50,000 per year for 10 years and contribute $5000 a year In savings, your $500,000 in total earnings over 10 years will give a whopping $50,000 in savings. Seems simple enough right? Unfortunately many people never reach their goals of financial independence because they never planter their seed. Decide what percentage is best for you, as a general rule 10% should be the minimum starting point when growing your tree of wealth. The amount you save should not compromise your financial responsibilities. If you can afford 15%, then by all means add 15% to your tree. When you wake up in the morning say to your self “a part of all I earn is mine to keep” say it at the end of your lunch and say it at night, say it every hour of the day if needed till the words are ingrained in your mind like the abc’s. Fill your self with this thought as often as possible, you will soon realize what a rich feeling it is to own a treasure upon wich you alone can claim, as your tree of wealth grows it will reward you with a new feeling of joy and accomplishment.
2. Only take advice from someone you would trade places with
Would you take Landscaping advice from your mechanic, or would you take financial advice from someone who is unemployed? No, you must learn to only take advice from a competent that knows the topic of interest or focus better than yourself. So find an expert. Taking bad advice from the wrong person can literally rip your tree of wealth out from the roots. Counsel with wise men, seek advice from those whose daily work is handling money. Everyone makes bad choice but the key to success is learning from them so not to repeat them. Dust your self off, and begin again. Failure is not an option, and your will power must be strong enough to perservere through your misfortunes or mistakes. Will power is the unflinching puporse to carry out the tasks or goals you set for yourself personally or your business. This is the best way to build the confidence you need to accomplish the goals you set.
3. Make your Money work for you
Once you have built your tree of wealth to provide you with shade, it is time to invest with the greatest caution and critical thinking. Make your money work for you by investing in safer and smaller returns. A small but safer return is more important than the riskier and larger returns. There are hundred of investment strategies out there, Mutual Funds, Roth IRAs, and 401ks are sound investments that will help you slowly but steadily grow your tree of wealth till you are content. Do not overstrain and try to save or invest too much. Lending out money can also be a good way to earn larger returns without collateral and contracts. Remember to never lend anything out that you are not willing or able to loose.
Bottom line: A penny saved is a penny earned, and the sooner you start the faster you will build wealth, pay off debt, and start making a routine of putting your money to work for you by making smart and safe investment choices.
Thank you for reading our 3 tips and check back soon for more ways to accumulate wealth, make it work for you, and keep it!
We design, revise, and vector logos for business’s almost everyday. The Efficient Energy Solutions in Sacramento logo was a revision for a brand created by one of the company employees and revised by us at Adrian Graphics in Sacramento, CA. This logo has a strong and simple font that immediately tells you that efficiency is the priority of this company. The tone leaf gives off digital and technical look emphasizing the advanced technology and services offered.
Here are some of the thing that our customers brand represents
1. Advanced Technology
2. Easy to work with
3. Efficient and money saving services
4. Green Sustainable energy provider
Are you currently, or have you in the past been faced with making a decision that may compromise the future and control your passions, dreams, and small business? I have on multiple occasions, and my first time making this decision could have cost me my dreams of being an entrepreneur. I hope the ideas and strategies from this article will shed some light and give you some qualified advice on how to make the right choice. For some, these decisions will be easy to make, and for others, not so easy. Is your business providing a roof over you or your families heads, do you have employees working for you that depend on your leadership to secure their career with your company? These are just a few of the questions you may ask yourself when deciding to take on investors, sell your business, or bring on a partner. Can you afford to risk losing your income, or eventually lose a business you’ve risked everything for to start? If you are like me, then you have put in blood, sweat, and tears to see your business succeed. Letting a wanna be big shot with a checkbook just waltz in and start telling you how you should run YOUR business, or tell you that it is flawed and not running right is not a place that you ever want to end up. Here’s my story of how I was taken by a greedy investor myself:
In late 2007 I started a retail print, sign, and graphics store called Kalifornia Printing aka KalPrint.com located in Citrus Heights, CA. By the end of 2010 I had moved my small operation from 650 Sq ft to over 3000 Sq Ft. in Midtown Sacramento just blocks from the capital. We had over 3,000 happy customers, tens of thousands in equipment and we provided jobs for more than 10 people. In April of 2011 I was approached by a former employer Randy who was also in the printing business but specialized in direct mail. Randy talked about all the success he had and how he had all the resources he needed for his business under one roof. He then offered to buy my entire company from me, while keeping it as my business and told me to put together a proposal for purchasing my Kalifornia Printing. Randy said that he saw great potential in me and saw the vision I had for my brand that I had worked tirelessly to build. He went on to say he could see us taking KalPrint nationwide. He even went as far as putting stars on a map in his office of locations where he would want KalPrint facilities. At this time my business, although profitable, was going through some real growing struggles. My stress level was high, my liabilities were very minimal, but I was truthfully overwhelmed. I thought at the time that this offer could be something really great. After all my hard work, I was more excited than I had ever been about the future of my company. I wrote the proposal and emailed it over, within 3 days we met again and he had a contract written up with his counter offer and what he was willing to give me. Not one of my offers were met, in fact, I was offered a tenth of what I was asking for upfront, and half of my monthly salary that I wanted. I felt at this point like I was stuck in a corner. I needed help. I could continue like I was with all the stress and wearing 12 hats, or take his offer. So there I was, faced with a tough decision that would not only affect my life but the lives of everyone of my employees and customers. Randy was offering to relieve me of all my liabilities, stress and give me the financial backing and resources I would ever need. It seemed like a no brainer at the time. So I signed on the dotted line without taking some qualified legal advice first. It was this decision that I would regret for a very long time!
After signing, Randy ordered (not asked) but ordered that we move our entire operation over in one weekend and begin to run out of his facility in West Sacramento. Hesitantly I made the switch hoping that two moves in less than 9 months was not to big of a jump, we had been growing our facility month by month in downtown and things were really starting to pick up. Randy then fired all but one of my current staff which was my cousin, and he exiled my company mascot “Gizmo the Pug” from the building, which was one of my biggest sources of traffic downtown. Unwilling to even compromise, Randy told me that I was no longer allowed to design, or draw, the whole reason why I had started Kalifornia Printing in the first place! My new job was sales, and sales only. I was no longer allowed to have my own office, and I would now have to take orders from one of his managers. This was not at all what I had in mind for the future of my company, and the horrible feeling that I had made a huge mistake began to sink in. It was not 3 weeks after our move when Randy, trying to prove a point began to threaten me, so harshly that his nose began to bleed. He said to me that if I did not do things the way he wanted then he would “sue the shit out of me and take me for everything I had”. The situation had quickly become a hostile working environment and keeping quiet was no longer an option. I explained to Randy that one more threat of that nature and I would walk out immediately. Clearly my promise to leave was not enough to get his attention, because less than than two weeks later on a Friday evening one of his employees directly went against his and my requests and let a customer take an order that was not supposed to leave the building. This sparked an absolute furry and Randy began to belittle, and threaten me while screaming at the top of his lungs on the phone. Luckily the last employee I had happened to be my cousin. He heard the entire conversation and told me “You don’t deserve to be treated this way.” So I packed up my computer that Friday, wrote a letter of resignation over the weekend and delivered it via email Monday morning to Randy himself. That was the end of my empire I had worked so hard to build, it was at that time the most devastating experience I had encountered since becoming an entrepreneur, it affected my personal life, my drive, and will to continue working for myself.
With the small sum of money I had received from Randy for my business I took some time off to assess the situation, reflect on the decision I made leading to this event, and how I was going to dust myself off, learn from my mistakes, and keep pushing forward. This first thing that I learned was choosing money over my passion had been a huge mistake and was a bold statement that I was giving up to the trials and tribulations that came with starting a new business. If I was ever going to prosper and repeat the success I had with KalPrint I needed to stay committed, be patient, and turn the stressful times into learning experiences and use them to make my business better. Make sure that the ideas and visions you have for your business are in line with your investors goals and ideas and that the changes in your vision are red flags that you should take very seriously. The second thing I learned was that just because the investor tells you it’s still your business, it all comes down to what is in writing. I signed the contract stating his corporation was purchasing KalPrint. It was my choice that led to the failure of my first company. Failure, like crisis, breeds the opportunity to learn and to grow as an entrepreneur. If you are even considering the idea of selling, partnering, or buying a business NEVER make a final decision without consulting a legal professional who can asses the situation from a legal standpoint and guide you in the right direction. The last thing I learned is to trust my instincts, my heart, or what some might call “My Gut”. Every good decision I’ve ever made I had followed “my gut” and it had never let me down. If you have to ask yourself if it’s the right decision more than once, chances are high that it’s the wrong decision. Fortunately my negative experience was not enough to make me give up my dreams of entrepreneurship, and after a long vacation away to reflect, my fuel for starting over and building Adrian Graphics LLC began.
The bottom line is that good relationships are built on trust and take time to form. Make sure the person that you are thinking of working with is not only qualified, but has the same life values as you. Never give away complete control of what you have created. Trust your gut and don’t rush or make a rash decision just because you are being pressured by a potential investment.
I hope you enjoyed my story of my hard lesson I experienced, if this helps just one person it will be a great success, and I would love to hear from you. Also if you have experienced something similar to this please get in touch with me, I’d like to hear your story as well.
Every Business Needs A Pinpoint Marketing Plan
To develop an effective and exceptional business strategy, it takes careful planning as well as a comprehensive understanding of the market. Also, if you want to achieve success, make sure to get started with a marketing plan.
Marketing plays a vital function in every business. Business owners should be familiar with the customer base of the business and the weaknesses and strengths of their competitors. Such factors and others must be identified in the best and well-prepared marketing plan.
A great marketing plan will help you outline how your business can retain and attract customers and how this will help you beat your competitors. Your needed budget will be also included in this plan to get positive results. This must also include, business location, market research, competition, target customer group, service or product being sold, promotion, advertising, and budget.
A successful marketing plan starts with conducting a market research. It will give you relevant information that will allow you to solve any possible marketing concerns. More often than not, the 3 most pragmatic ways in conducting market research are utilizing a telephone survey, direct mail survey or through conducting a focus team.
If you consider using a direct mail survey, ensure to keep your questions short with a length no more than 2 pages. The consumer probably will not voluntarily participate with your survey without providing any incentives. Therefore, you must include postage-paid envelopes so that your respondents won’t have to pay for the privilege of assisting you. If you have sufficient budget, sending a reminder about 2 weeks after initial mailing can be a good idea. Take note that direct mail can be expensive as you will need printing of direct mail, postage, envelopes, and other incentives used.
Phone surveys are also another option you may consider. This is the most cost-effective technique in which you can conduct a survey without the need of worrying about mailing or printing costs. The major costs in phone surveys are the fee of the interviewer, questionnaire preparation, and phone charges.
Focus Groups are also another good way of gathering specific information of your targeted audience. Your main costs could include the expenses in assembling and recruiting the groups, fee of the interviewer, research time, renting rooms if possible, incentives, and recording cost of the interviews.
Secondary data is imperative to develop a successful marketing plan. Studies and reports done by the government agencies, some businesses or trade associations within your industry can offer you essential statistics on the research area.
Regardless of what kind of market research you do, you should concentrate on gathering enough information when determining who your potential customers are and other things that would help youmake your business grow in no time.
The Marketing Plan Components
Once you are done with your market research, the next thing that you should do is to start developing your marketing plan, which has some basic components and these are:
- Executive Summary
At the start of your marketing plan, you should always include a brief summary that would summarize its contents.
In this part, you will need to define vital characteristics regarding your business.
Discussing your marketing objectives will help you create a good marketing plan. These must be clear, attainable within a particular period of time, and realistic. If you many goals, see to it that they complement each other and ensure that your plan’s components support all your marketing goals.
Evaluate your customers based on their gender, profession, age, educational level, neighborhood, and income. Know where some of your customers shop and what qualities of your products or service that your customers value.
- Service or Product
Describing in detail your service or product and emphasizing its exceptional selling points, features, and many more is also an important component of a marketing plan.
Knowing your competitors can also play a huge role in achieving results with your marketing plan. So, know your competitors first and find out how you can beat them.
Include the location of your business and the pros and cons of your location.
Including your budget will allow you to know the cost that will be allocated for promotions and advertising including material distribution and printing.
- Pricing Strategy
List the best pricing methods and provide a brief description of every technique. With this component of marketing plan, you will know how to price your service or product properly.
A comprehensive and well-written marketing plan is important in every business venture as it describes how you plan to retain and attract customers, what resources you will have, and how you will stay ahead of the competition to achieve all your business goals.
The Perks of Marketing Plan for Your Business
There are numerous benefits you would get if you will make a marketing plan for your business. Some of them are:
- Marketing Plan Allows Clear Decision Making
Knowing which factors could affect your business and auditing which resources you have within your business to deal with, you can guarantee that you will make great decisions that will lead you to success.
- Marketing Plan Can Help You Prevent Panic Decisions
Marketing plan will provide you a clear view of what’s going on in today’s market and will provide you a framework that would help you make decisions no matter how tough the situation is.
- Marketing Plan Also Offers Direction
Marketing plan also provides you a direction. Since it includes all of the things you need to know for your business, you will be able to stay on the right path, regardless of what issues may arise in the long run.
There are other benefits that you could get from developing a marketing plan. So, if you are planning to establish a business, ensure that you start with a marketing plan first because this can make a huge difference and can help you reach all you goals in a hassle-free manner. The Adrian Graphics team can help you craft a marketing plan for your business today and discover how our Market Optics Program can turn your business into a success.
For more information about developing a marketing plan feel free to call us directly at 916-905-0551
Adrian Boysel, Graphic Designer and Videographer Sacramento, CA
Since the age of 4 years old, before I even realized I was an artist, my parents noticed my affinity toward drawing. I can still remember drawing my first picture for my Aunt Brittany while we sat at my Tinker Tots multi color picnic table and pretended to be doing business with each other. Since that time my love for art has only grown significantly.
|Oriental Cuisine Express – Panda Drawing – Panda Art|
That passion for art carried me until my beginning years as videographer and graphic designer, where I won my first award in junior year of high school. When I was just a youngster, maybe 9 or 10 years old, my step mother Gina told me “Someday you will combine your awesome artwork with computers, I don’t know how, but I know someday you will.” If I only knew then what I know now about my future in art and business. She was completely right!
With the advancement of Photo editing, graphic design and video editing software I was then able to take my hand drawn works of art and bring them into my a computer to illustrate them into clean vibrant designs that were scaleable to any size. As I continue my career in the business to business world, I see a growing need for brands to create a unique brand through creative artwork and design.
I’m driven to inspire other artists and companies to convey who they are and what matters most to them through custom images and artwork planned and executed by the best artist’s in the country. I’m excited to see what more the future holds for not just myself, but for everyone that is a part of the Adrian Graphics family.
There are 5 basic steps that we use for developing a great tagline or slogan:
1. Simplicity: Use simple words and short keywords that relate to your product or service.
2. Identity:. A good slogan must stay consistent with your brand name. Obviously stated or strongly implied, it is better to describe the type of business it is.
3. Unforgettable: The best slogans or taglines are still being used today, even though they were launched many years ago. Find the passion in your brand and promote it.
4. Benefit: Reveal your value and benefits of the product or service by conveying the slogan or message in your market’s language. Create a positive feeling for your target customer, make the bad into good.
5. Contrast: In an overcrowded market, companies in the same industry need to set themselves apart through their original tagline or slogan.
If you need help developing a slogan, our experts can provide!
For a FREE Brand Assessment Contact Us at 916.905.0551 and ask to speak with Adrian about your brand.
[skill name=”Slogan and Tagline Creation” level=”100″]
A brand is so much more than just a logo, and that is why it’s important to look at some factors of your logo and analyze if your logo is really working for your business.
1. Is your logo pixelated or fuzzy? Many graphic designers will sell you on their “CUSTOM LOGO DESIGN” and tell you that you are paying for custom work when in reality your logo is a combination of a bunch of images combined into one with photoshop. A real logo designer does not work in Photoshop for his final project, unless he is unfamiliar with Adobe Illustrator and is using the vector capabilities that photoshop has recently integrated in to their program. Having a vector version of your logo will allow you to scale your logo to any size for any medium without the worry of a blurry or pixelated graphic. Vector is a completely different process than a photoshop design. Photoshop uses what the industry calls PIXELS, Vector is Path connected to one another with anchor points and curves, creating a solid object that will retain it’s quality and clean look no matter the size.
2. What does your logo say about your business? Stock logos have become so popular with the enhancement of web capabilities and access to royalty free images. Many companies are choosing to use very generic logos that not only do not match their industry and services, but their brand. This can be a very costly mistake. Its very important to establish your business and a unique and trusted figure in your local area as most of your business will come from local supporters, friends, and even family. One look at your logo should give that potential buyer an exact, if not very close idea, of what type of business you are. From company colors to typography there are many elements of a logo design that determine how people see your business. For example Jim’s Pool Cleaning probably won’t be using the orange and yellow designs without some some dominant blue colors representing the water.
3. Do you LOVE your logo? It’s your brand, and your brand is you! If your logo does not make you feel excited to build your brand, or make you want to show it off to every friend and co worker, you probably are suffering from a condition I call “Branditus” (only joking about the condition). You should feel proud of your companies brand and image, it’s your first impression to give and it’s how people see you, your business, and services. How would your customers describe your company when they are telling their friends or co workers about their purchase or services you have offered to them.
Here are just some keywords to identify if your logo has these qualities: Trust, Power, Reliability, Timeless Established, Innovative, Professional, Creative, Intelligent, Hard Working, Affordable, Dependable, Fast, On Time, Efficient, American, Local.
Here are some keywords that your logo should not be related to: Cluttered, Busy, Flashy, Blurry, Old, Boring, Generic, Simple, Basic, Expensive, Tiny.
Adrian Graphics Custom Logo Designs
Here are some additional creative logos for your inspiration.