How I Started a
Custom Logo Maker Business
Hi! Who are you and what business did you start?
I am Umrao singh Khuraniya, owner of Madhya Agency and co-founder of Design Kiki, an online logo maker. Design Kiki is our first original product, we launched its first beta version in December 2019. We have been working as logo graphic designers for the last 4 year as full-timers.
We had begun with the team of three members which also included me in the team and now we are the family of 42 full-time designers. Design kiki has been made for the clients to help them design their own logos, without the help of any other designer. We developed an online logo maker tool. We have 4000+ ready to use templates with 60000+ icons. Right now, we have already helped over 1000 clients with our tools.
What is your personal story and how did you come up with the idea?
I have a 4-year degree in Applied Art (BVA). I have been working as a graphic designer for the last 8 years. In my 3rd year, I started Madhya Agency, a graphic design agency with my classmate Neha Jain – later we tied the knot. A few years later my younger brother joined us in our firm. We have now made it our family business.
We are a fully outsourcing brand and we provide graphic services at a global level. Most of our clients are US based.
My hobbies include reading. Whenever I am free, I read articles, books. I love to cook food and introduce different experimental ideas in my cooking. Whenever I feel low I get down to listening to music, Prem Joshua being one of my favourites.
Now let’s talk about our product Design Kiki. How did the idea come to us? We had been working as a full time design agency for the past 7 years. As a graphic designer, I always had a hinge to get onto the designing of logos but due to the performa(customer service) of my job profile I rarely got time to do that, I was always busy in replying to the mails of our customers, by sending them revisions and logo concepts. I had been working 14-16 hour days. We have designed more than 17000 for our clients.
Last year I felt that I could not work like that any longer. But it was a very tough call for me because we had more than 15 staff in our agency. We had built this agency from scratch and I did not want to let my hard work go in vain. That was my wake up call – we had to work something out! We started our RND on an online designing tool for non-designers, developing a tool where people can design high-quality logos, branding kits at a reasonable price.
As our company mainly designs logos, our focus is the online logo maker tools market. Design kiki is an online design platform for small businesses, including SMEs, doctors, lawyers, photographers, real estate companies, technology businesses startups, mom & pop shops, etc. We are here to help with whatever design they need at an affordable price; logo design, complete brand identity for their businesses, website design, brochure designs, etc.
After doing research on many online logo maker tools, we noticed that they provide a very basic logo design with few graphic options for clients. Very few were focusing on women business owners – they were not providing feminine and luxury feel logos. That was the moment we had our break through.
We had seen a lot of scope for us. In July 2019 we started to develop our first logo maker tool. We hired developers for coding and for further developments on our website.
What challenges did you face when creating your product/service?
We faced a lot of financial problems at the start, initially starting with a capital investment of $15,000 (including our savings and some money from family.) We faced tough competition at the initial stage – yet competition had always served as an empowering tool for us. After seeing our competitors, and after analyzing them we had always felt and known what more we needed to do.
Our major problem was that we were graphic designers and we had no idea on how to develop a website. We had a lot of issues finding a good developer, who not only understood what we had in mind but could bring our vision onto the network.
Who is your target market?
DESIGN KIKI is a logo making tool developed to facilitate logo making, even for those who do not have a graphics designing background. It digs the creativity hidden and present in each one of us and enhances and builds on it to produce professional logos for those who choose to work on it.Subsequently, we endeavor to achieve greater heights by building a platform for you that will deliver much more than logo making. We are working towards developing you a social media kit to make your social media presence constructive and purposeful.
In addition to this, we are also progressing in the right direction to help you create business cards and invitation cards, to name a few. I basically aim at the end consumer so that we can eliminate the middlemen. It is a direct platform where the user can make their own logo. The end user can be anyone trying to start a business, blog, non-profit, club, or anything that requires a logo.
I had noticed that many of my earlier clients had faced similar kinds of problems; quality designers not being available, deadlines missed, clients not able to afford the design, limited revisions available to clients, difficulty in discovering new designers etc.
How do you market your business and which approaches have been the most successful?
When we had the idea on how to start with our website, we started asking our ongoing customers about our concepts and we received positive responses. We did mouth to mouth marketing as well with the feedback that we received, we went forward with our idea. Advertising serves as the best way to reach out to your customers and make them aware regarding your product.
We have been using organic marketing – Semrush and Ubersuggest for marketing and competitive research and Big Guest Posting for guest post email ids. We write blogs and use social media platforms to tell the end-user about the product that we have and how they must use it. Paid advertising is something we are considering to expand our advertising media.
Since you launched, what has worked in not only attracting but retaining customers?
We do not leave our customers once the product is delivered to them. We make sure that we are able to help them out in every possible way. Handling queries and e-mails as soon as we receive them is vital.
Our product is different because it has been developed with over 4000+ handpicked, predesigned templates that get updated daily and we have an aim of making it more than 25000, it gives the user exclusive themes to choose from.Not only this, it has a profession and product-specific themes to make your logo designing experience as engaging and absorbing as possible. Its excellent tools consisting of exquisite fonts, a pallet of vibrant colors, interesting shapes, and lines, topped with beautiful icons, make the process easy on the eyes.
Our customers are our utmost priority, whatever we have designed and what we shall design will be done while keeping in mind the needs and requirements of our customers.
What kind of culture exists in your company, and how did you establish it?
Working with a team of 42 people can be a little tricky and stressful at times. Everyone has their demands and methods of doing their work. Keeping them all bonded together is the most crucial task of all time. We have separate rooms for designers, web developers and digital marketing with each team having their heads. We keep our communications with the heads as well as the team members so that there is a connection between them and us.
I have to handle everyone in a very calming tone and listen to what issues they are facing and make sure that I resolve them as soon as possible. We keep getting together for the employees to bond with each other and bond with us too. We make them feel comfortable so that they are able to communicate with us properly.
What software, services or tools do you use within your business?
We used tools like :-
- HelpCrunch has multiple communication channels – live chat on the web, in-app messenger, email and SMS – and real-time customer data in one platform and we used it to interact with our customer and we were ready to help them through it.
- Ubersuggest– for doing analytical studies of our website, and to read how many backlinks we have got or what else we must to improve our website.
- Semrush – over keeping the track of our website as well as the competitors’ website, Google ads competitor research.
- Ahrefs– used for content ideas and ideas for backlinks
- Google Analytics– It helps to understand the results of our hard work like user flow charts, the best content in the blog, so we produce more content and release it.
- Hotjar– it has helped to improve the performance of our website, it helped us to understand how users are really experiencing our site without getting fed up of the numbers
- Asana – for team management, organizing all our work in the one place.
What are the most important lessons have you learned on your business journey?
I think my ability to both design and develop has been crucial. When you’re able to go from vision to finished product by yourself, you can move and pivot so quickly. I think that my most powerful advantage is the confidence I have to take on any problem. Once you truly know that every problem can be solved by breaking it down into smaller pieces, nothing can stop you. If I could go back in time, I would definitely get beta users earlier. Once people started to use the site, I was so much more motivated to finish features and fix bugs.
When I started I was nervous as to where my vision or how will the end user react to it or how I will know that I have been doing a good job.One thing that will be an ongoing challenge is instilling trust in our users and positioning Design Kiki on the same level as designers.
What is your favourite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
For me, it’s all about staying motivated. It’s hard to stay motivated sometimes, and the two things that helped me the most are a) being close to launching, or starting with the simplest version of what you want to build, and b) getting feedback from users.I’m really excited now that I can invest all of my time into Design kiki and really make it a world-class product that people LOVE to use.
What is your LEAST favourite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
This could be the nervousness I get if there are any bugs or anything that might eventually make my end-user stop using the product. It is not easy being a leader and it is definitely not a cakewalk. Handling a team and looking at the expenses and then controlling them can be a tedious task.
What books, podcasts or other resources have inspired and influenced your business journey?
I read a lot of articles online with regards to my work and management. I read the articles by backlinko.com and Neil Patel. Few books that have stayed with me are:-
- The Secret– this books talks a lot about how the positive energy around us helps us to overcome the problems
- Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future– by Peter Thiel
The Lean Startup by Eric Ries – talks about how to avoid trivial mistakes in business
Where do you see your business 2-3 years from now?
We endeavor to achieve greater heights by building a platform for you that will deliver much more than logo making. We are working towards developing you a social media kit to make your social media presence constructive and purposeful.
In addition to this, we are also progressing in the right direction to help you create business cards and invitation cards, to name a few.
I have plans to expand my team and get more designers and developers. I have a few ideas in my mind that I would love to give a shot. The goal remains to keep growing and making products that are always beneficial for our end-user.