When people hear the words California graphic design,” images of typography based posters, eye-catching media and bright product packaging come to mind. While these connotations are usually the first to surface in the public’s collective consciousness, what is often overlooked is the business aspect of the fast–paced design industry. Urban Geko is an award–winning, boutique sized Orange County graphic design firm that specializes in print, website and multimedia design. We pride ourselves on not only producing the most up–to–date quality design, but also on our savvy business techniques. In an industry where deadlines drive revenue, we are constantly pursuing effective and efficient business practices to keep Urban Geko, a graphic design company, thriving.

A recent Time Magazine Article entitled Don’t Become Irreplaceable by John Warrillow details a solution for business owners who want to create an ongoing business that can successfully grow and be sold. The major issue being that many small–business owners today take on so many roles that within their business that it would be nearly impossible to keep the company afloat if it were sold. Imagine you owned a company where you were the owner, the manager, the boss and employee all at once. You would develop strong relationships with clients who would only want a particular service from you– not the business itself. Warrillow explains how business owners often confuse their personal success with that of the company. This major flaw has lead to the downfall for millions of business owners across the United States.

There is, however, a solution to prevent business owners from building a sole proprietorship in oppose to a business. Warrillow describes a successfully transferrable business as one that is comprised of “scalable products” that meet three criteria:

Teachable
Your business practices can be taught in their entirety to other employees or technology systems that can replicate it exactly. This would allow you ensure the success of your company if you ever decide to step behind the scenes or sell your business.

Valuable
What you’re selling needs to retain a level of perceived value in the eyes of your customers. This goes for any small business or corporation that’s trying to succeed; if there isn’t a need out there for your product, you need to create one.

Repeatable
What you are selling needs to be able to be purchased regularly. For example, if you are selling wedding photography services there will almost always be a demand. However, if your product only needs to be purchased once and has a long residual value, it might be smart to invest in creating new, upgraded models of that same product to generate a need for it.

This “scalable formula” is one that can be used by business owners to secure the financial success of their companies. In today’s market when business is riskier than ever, it’s important that businesses consider contingency plans that will keep their company afloat. The act of selling a company could also be used as a progressive step that would allow owners to pursue other business ventures and increase their overall capital. Whether you’re the owner of a boutique clothing store, a mom & pop restaurant or any other small business, utilizing these scalable techniques could help in the longevity of your business.

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