“When you do designs, it is like doing accounting, all businesses need it”.
That’s what Russ Perry, creator of Design Pickle told me about his 8-figure productized graphic design business.
In this interview, Russ teaches us some critical nuts and bolts advice to building and scaling a successful productized service.
His business, Design Pickle, is a service that provides unlimited graphic designs to businesses by pairing clients with a professional graphic designer.
With 2,800 active clients and 12,000+ serviced to date, Russ’ business is on track to become a $100,000,000+ company he says.
Not bad, right?
If you are a startup looking for some inspiration, or the owner of a business with ambitions to keep growing I think you’ll extract several “golden nuggets” from this interview.
Let’s dive in to learn how to build and scale your company.
- [08:26] Russ reveals the key piece of advice he would give to himself if he could go back in time. He also explains how it applies to his experience creating Design Pickle and his first agency.
- [09:57] He talks about the importance of niching, and how its definition has expanded since he started the business.
- [10:29] Even successful entrepreneurs make mistakes. Russ reveals the ones he made early on by trying to niche vertically, and how he finds his niche in the maturity of clients.
- [12:08] He talks about the different niches they are going after right now. E.g: designing for advertising campaigns.
- [14:30] Russ mentions some of the reasons why niches are valuable, and why he didn’t have one when he first owned an agency.
- [17:39] He goes in-depth on the process of moving from being an agency owner to building Design Pickle. He also explains how he chose to go from a support model business to a marketing model business.
- [18:42] Design Pickle is moving away from the unlimited graphic designs marketing branding and Russ explains the reasons why.
- [19:00] What do Disneyland and Design Pickle have in common? Russ shares the inspiration he found in Disney for building his business model.
- [20:01] Do you know what “Disneyfy” the design experience mean? He gives us a very clear answer.
- [24:11] He talks about the influence of competitors in his business and the decision to stop sharing growth numbers.
- [28:13] He reveals the secret for his business to earn a $100,000,000 in Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR).
- [36:00] Russ confesses what he is still missing to grow his business to $100,000,000.
- [37:25] He explains how Design Pickle has become the solution for when your designers can’t deliver to you.
- [42:06] He opens up about how he managed personal challenges, problems, and stress while scaling the business.
- [44:10] He talks about his background. Russ Perry also shares how his creative energy and right-handed pragmatic engineer mindset come from growing up in a family of artists.
Top 5 Critical Takeaways:
- [24:50] His response to how he manages competitors and companies stealing his ideas is clear and firm: staying out of it.
- [28:42] Tens of companies with 30,000 clients each can easily turn into $1,000,000 companies by crashing and revolutionizing the design industry.
- [35:46] Having cash in the bank is necessary for any business to grow, no matter how awesome your product is.
- [47:45] He tries to get the bad emotions out of things and look at the past through the lens of facts and not feelings. He advises to invest in development and coaching based on his experience.
- [58:08] The best mistake Russ Perry has made and that has made him learn the most has been hiring the wrong people.
- Design Pickle
- “The 7 Day Startup” by Dan Norris
- WP Curve
- “The Sober Entrepreneur” by Russ Perry