Hired Guns Creative
“Nick helped us take our business from a generalist, take-anyone-who-walks-in-the-door design shop to a targeted, niche-oriented company with a clear, multi-year plan for our business development and growth.” ~ Leif Miltenberger
In 2008 Hired Guns Creative opened their doors as a small generalist design firm working on print, web, and logo design with an average project value in the low thousands. Leif was building websites while doing sales and all the bookkeeping and administration for the partnership. Richard’s focus was on the graphic design and art direction.
Enable Business Consulting started working with Richard and Leif in September 2010. We began by creating a vision of where they wanted the firm to be in 3 years and undertaking situational, SWOT and 80/20 analysis to determine and fully understand their current position. This lead to shifting their focus to alcohol industry branding, based on successful work with wineries, their interests and project profitability.
By 2012, Hired Guns Creative was focussing exclusively on alcohol-related projects, developing expertise and contacts in their niche. While Leif was developing business experience and skills, Richard was being mentored by an experienced (retired) Art Director and fine artist to hone his design skills further.
2013 has been a year of accolades for Leif and Richard with a Dieline Award, Lotus Award and Applied Arts Award, as well as coverage in national and international press and peer reviews including: The Dieline (three times in one week), Under Consideration Quarterly, For Print Only, Inside Packaging, Packaging of the World, Creattica, Notcot, LovelyPackage.com, Orchard and Vine, Crush Magazine, Paste Magazine, and the Globe and Mail. Clients are now approaching them, exclusively, for branding work, which means less time is spent on sales, and the average project value is now ten times their 2010 rates. Hired Guns have also developed a diverse team of professionals to call upon from talented copywriters to brewing and viniculture specialists.
Three years on, Hired Guns Creative and Enable Business Consulting still meet regularly as the business grows and faces new challenges: foreign exchange risk management, facilitation skills, creating a new vision for another 3 years of successful growth and personal and professional development.