I’ve owned my own business since 1976

I started my first business in 1976. It was a design-only business that grew from one employee (me) to a team of 16 creative professionals. And this was back in the day when we had three typographers, two designers, a darkroom tech, a printer (AKA a person who actually ran a printing press) bindery room workers, and more. There was no fax machine then. We didn’t have computers or use digital cameras. All of our phones could only be used for phone calls… and they were attached to the wall.

In 1983, I bought my first Macintosh Classic. The one with the 7-inch screen and no color display. Everything showed in amber and you had to guess at the colors for printing! I started designing using Mac Draw. There was no Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator yet. Talk about trailblazing. When I converted to all Macs in 1985, it was such a change that I had two of my typographers quit because they were convinced that the quality would never EVER be good enough.

All of this to say, I am used to pivoting

This is not a bad time, it is just a new time. We all are building what the new business model will be. I get excited and dreamy about what the possibilities are and how it will impact Uptown Studios. I see this as the opportunity to grow and think outside of the literal walls that we all have become accustomed to.

Asking questions

For Uptown Studios, we found the best way to pivot was by asking questions—especially the hard ones. What were we not realizing we could change – we needed to rethink our workspace. Right now, it’s sitting empty. What new possibilities were there for using our studio space? Since asking this question, we have been seriously looking at new options that will help us grow in ways we never thought about before COVID-19. This is very exciting.

Here are some questions to ask yourself. Who knows what might happen!

How are you thinking about your business?

Are you open and receptive to new things? This is your first task: be open and receptive. Beyond COVID-19, when we are all immunized and we can go to a happy hour together, what could your business model be? What are your new possibilities – the things that seemed to never be considered before COVID.

  1. What could you do if you let go of the restrictions of a physical office on your team?
    • Would you be able to expand your team more easily because they could work from other places – other cities?
    • Would you be more open to travel to new places and work remotely (Think about working from Palm Springs in December… all you need is good internet)
    • Would you save money on your overhead?
  2. How could you expand your offers to your clients when you have unlimited access to a greater team?
    • Would this allow you to add more diversity to your team because you can expand your boundaries?
    • Would you be able to cut your prices due to lower overhead?
    • What new ideas would you be able to come up with given a new vision on your business model?
  3. Are there new options you can offer your team by being remote?
    • Can they work shorter hours and still accomplish more?
    • Would you have a happier team?

Think about the possibilities and share them with me. I am “open and receptive!”

Tina Reynolds – Chief Juggler

Tina Reynolds
By Tina Reynolds
Tina Reynolds is president of Uptown Studios, Inc. and has been running her own design firm since 1976. She is the community face of Uptown Studios and her blog entries are directed to business owners ready to make their materials, Easy, Fun and Popular.