In 2007, my business partner decided to accept a job at a larger company leaving me with the option of either closing down or buying him out and running the business alone. I borrowed the necessary funds from friends and family to continue and hired a professional graphic designer to fill the gap. I have not only been able to maintain our clients but have also further penetrated the market and steadily increased profits.
Design One Ltd. is in graphic design and printing company that was started six years ago. The company specializes in designing and printing corporate communication materials such as catalogues, calendars, annual reports, posters, and business cards.
Being a small player in the industry is challenging. Technology is very expensive, and it changes rapidly. Big companies shy away from giving small firms jobs due to fear of quality. There are also challenges with slow payment by government, high cost of imported printing paper and high cost of electricity.
Results During the 10,000 Women training, I acquired the skills, exposure, networks, and mentors required to allow Design One to become a successful and large design and printing company. The course enabled me to develop management skills and know-how, and emboldened me to make major strategic decisions to expand my business. I developed a business roadmap for the next five years.
Since graduating from 10,000 Women, I have increased my turnover by 100% and hired 11 new employees including a manager to oversee the printing and production process. Recently, I have moved to a larger premise and acquired a complete printing press. I am currently working on developing and implementing management systems, procedures and policies to improve the company’s productivity and I plan to launch a website shortly to gain a global presence.
Interacting with fellow 10,000 Women scholars has opened my eyes to recognize that there are many opportunities to grow my business. My new network alone has greatly increased orders for designing and printing of business stationery and expanded my reach through word of mouth and referrals.
In the future, I plan to expand operations and invest in full line printing equipment. I plan to enter the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) by identifying and collaborating with strategic partners in Uganda, Southern Sudan, Rwanda and Tanzania. I also intend to provide complementary services to make Design One a one-stop-shop in creative and innovative marketing solutions.
Photo & Content Courtesy of Goldman Sachs