2012 David and Jenny Robinson, Birch Studio Graphics, Charlottesville

Birch Studio Graphic became a client of the Central Virginia SBDC in 2004 when the owners, David and Jenny Robinson, sought assistance in developing a marketing strategy.  It quickly became apparent that the firm needed assistance in marketing tactics, including prospect development, pricing, as well as overall financial and human resource management.  The company, which is now positioned as a branding firm, provides graphic and web design services to small and mid-sized businesses.  The company sought guidance from the SBDC on purchasing and financing their office site, human resource management (staffing, job descriptions, hiring/termination practices), and annual budgeting and financial management to improve profitability.

The Center assisted the company in analyzing profitability at the firm level and productivity at the worker level,  as well as providing recommendations on prospect development, sales calling tactics, pricing, and process management within the firm to improve profitability. It also assisted in looking at expansion into new markets for its directory of alternative health care providers, which generates revenue for the company through advertisements in the directory. The company experienced a serious decline in revenue during the recession and refocused its marketing direction.  In the past few years, the Center has assisted the owner in his development of an annual budget and recommended refinancing of existing debt to improve cash flow.

Results include:

  • Became profitable through focused marketing and financial management, despite adverse effects of the 2009 recession.
  • Increased revenues by more than 35% in the past year with substantially more growth in net income.
  • Re-hiring staff (1 added in 2012).
  • Acquisition of the office space that owners operate and successfully refinanced in 2012 at the recommendation of a bank referral by the SBDC.
  • Most importantly, development of owners into proactive business managers compared to graphic designers with no plan or strategy which was the initial situation.

URL:http://www.birchstudio.com