How We Launched A Subscription Based Graphic Design Service [$100K MRR]

Shaival Mehta
Owner, Delesign
$81K
revenue/mo
1
Founders
55
Employees
Delesign
from Dubai - United Arab Emirates
started December 2018
$81,000
revenue/mo
1
Founders
55
Employees
91.7K
alexa rank
2.23K
followers
2.12K
followers
114
subs
Discover what tools Shaival reccommends to grow your business!
Discover what books Shaival reccommends to grow your business!
Want more updates on Delesign? Check out these stories:
How We Launched A Subscription Based Graphic Design Service [$100K MRR]

Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?

Hi guys! My name is Shaival Mehta, and I’m the co-owner of Delesign. This company was founded four years ago to help entrepreneurs and marketers utilize the power of delegation for their design needs.

We’re a fully remote-based company that provides startups, business owners, marketers, and entrepreneurs with a dedicated senior-level designer. For a flat monthly rate, we provide a graphic design service that can be used to complete all your graphic design, animation, web & app, UI/UX, and illustration projects (and more) with extremely fast turnaround times. We typically take 1-2 days to turn around your requests.

Our flagship service is our Multimedia Specialist package which allows clients to create animations, demo videos, video editing, explainer videos, and much more. Our designers are thoroughly vetted, and therefore our customers always receive high-quality output at very reasonable rates. The business model of a subscription-based service enables our clients to scale extremely quickly with Delesign.

Graphic designing has become more important than ever, with e-commerce businesses needing a way to differentiate themselves, create their branding, and market themselves on social media. By making design services easily accessible through Delesign, the business has quickly scaled up to nearly $100k MRR in just 4 years.

Our clients have loved the flexibility they have with being able to easily scale up and down based on their design needs.

our-company-helps-entrepreneurs-utilize-delegation-for-their-design-972k-year

What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

This service was developed by Kenny Schumacher, the founder of Delesign, who has been a serial entrepreneur, having worked on many other projects. Delesign was primarily developed as a service to address several personal issues that Kenny encountered while working in the entrepreneurial environment. There was always a need for talented designers, but as a bootstrapped company, he wasn’t able to afford or justify hiring a full-time senior-level designer, let alone one designer that was skilled in a variety of design fields.

That is when Kenny set out to build a solution that would make it incredibly easy for businesses of all sizes to finish their design projects and scale - without ever missing a deadline.

Delesign solves the fundamental problem spanning different industries and companies applicable anywhere around the world. Whether you're a manager looking to delegate your team's work, or an individual entrepreneur in need of high-quality designs (and everything in between), Delesign is here for your business. That’s the vision with which Delesign started.

In today’s environment, where competition in the online space is fierce, branding and designing have become critical to stand out. We recognized this as a massive opportunity to provide professional graphic design services to all types of businesses at affordable rates.

Don’t wait until you’ve done all the extensive research because no one knows the problem better than your customer.

Delesign’s service-based graphic designing model is akin to cloud computing, where you only pay for what you use without having to worry about the overhead costs of maintaining the hardware (the designers in this case).

All of the heavy lifting, such as training and vetting, is taken care of by experts in that field. This model immediately appealed to the early adopters of Delesign’s service. It was tested with friends and eventually launched through Product Hunt, where it became the #2 product of the day.

Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.

From its inception in April 2018 to its launch in December 2019, Delesign’s business model was created. A custom portal was created to help communicate between our designers and clients on their design requests. Over time, this platform has evolved by listening to our clients, adding integrations, and extending the capabilities of the portal so that designs fit right into the workflow of our clients.

Original portal:

our-company-helps-entrepreneurs-utilize-delegation-for-their-design-972k-year

Current portal:

our-company-helps-entrepreneurs-utilize-delegation-for-their-design-972k-year

Since its inception, the company’s senior-level designers have created and developed thousands of designs that are being used by small to publicly-listed companies.

For the most part, every experienced entrepreneur knows that delegation is critical to succeeding in any business. However, delegating tasks to the wrong people could not only cost you to lose potential customers but also cause your company to crash down. Therefore, successful business owners should understand the importance of finding the right candidate to delegate those tasks.

With this in mind, Delesign continued to build on its service to give its customers a premium service when you delegate your business to them. Not from someone inexperienced who just started learning Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator. You are working with a dedicated, experienced senior-level designer with several years of creating expert-level designs. It is an excellent way for you or your company to build your design team.

Most of our designers are based in the Philippines, where there is a wealth of design talent. The quality of our service is critical to our business, and therefore, our designers go through a rigorous testing process before being hired. They are thoroughly vetted by our design managers. Once hired, they are put through an onboarding process and only assigned a client once they are ready.

In a service-oriented business, the quality of your service forms a lasting impression, and therefore, ensuring that our clients are assigned only thoroughly vetted designers is essential.

Describe the process of launching the business.

Our early adopters initially came through Kenny’s network. Delesign was then fortunate enough to do well on Product Hunt, where we finished the #2 product of the day and acquired valuable feedback and a large number of new clients (many of which are still using Delesign today).

You can read more about the Product Hunt launch strategy here that resulted in the success we achieved. The strategy was fairly simple:

  1. Launch on a day with less competition - we launched during Christmas. This provides you a greater chance of reaching the top, which then features you in the PH newsletter
  2. Provide an offer - we provided a discount to people that engaged with us on Product Hunt
  3. Make a good listing that is professional. Include a video and good creatives of your product

While only on Product Hunt for a week, this allowed us to get the ball rolling and start creating the snowball effect: more clients > more referrals > more revenue > and more investment in growth.

With revenue coming in, this allowed Delesign to invest further in our team and service, which has resulted in continual improvements to the Delesign experience and continued growth of our talented design team.

Besides our Product Hunt launch, there was no single event that caused a significant increase in our customer number. We’re fortunate enough to have had steady growth fueled largely in part by referrals from happy clients and organic traffic.

The majority of our traffic continues to come through referrals and organic traffic. Unlike traditional SaaS companies that can scale to having an unlimited amount of users without much strain, Delesign requires a strict maximum client-to-designer ratio. We’re organically growing at a rate that matches the rate at which we can recruit and train top design talent, and as we have a very low churn rate, we only allocate a very small portion of our budget for paid ads.

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

We’re fortunate enough to have a low churn rate, and of those clients who cancel, many do so because they run out of design work and will then renew once more work accumulates.

There is no golden solution to be successful. Once you’ve identified a problem that you’re looking to solve, make a start with it.

I attribute this to the strict hiring and training process our designers go through, the ability for clients to access a senior designer without having to pay full-time rates, and because our service solves a huge problem that our clients face in completing their design projects.

Delesign’s service provides our clients with tremendous value. While our product may seem like a simple service that can be replicated, there are very many intricacies that go on behind the scenes and result in a well-run system of surpassing our clients’ expectations every day.

In terms of lead generation, we rely a lot on organic growth through referrals, organic searches as well as some investment through paid ads on Google and Facebook.

We have invested time and effort in building out our free design service and blog, both of which generate some good inbound traffic and leads for us. A lot of focus has been on identifying the right long-tail keywords to target using tools such as Ahref to identify where we think the gap is.

As a design service, as you can imagine, a lot of our content is primarily targeted toward educating our audience on how design can be used for various elements such as social media graphics, web designs, explainer videos, etc.

We are very clear on who our target audience is, and therefore, creating content that they would benefit from has been a conscious choice we’ve made rather than just looking at rankings and keyword difficulty.

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

Since the early days, Delesign has been running profitably and has reinvested most of its profit back into the growth of the business. Our sales directly come through our website with some sales being made through cold outreach.

Customer acquisition cost is typically around the 300$ mark, which, for a subscription-based model, tends to work quite well. Our projected growth is ambitious, but we are extremely optimistic about the market's outlook and the need for design services.

This year, we are putting a lot more focus on growing our sales acquisition team. While we’ve depended mainly on inbound marketing to grow, we feel it is also the right time to invest our efforts into growing through some outbound outreach.

We are also looking at other ways to productize our design services that target specific audiences of Delesign. We have some interesting offerings in the pipeline that we are excited to launch over the next year.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

One of the key lessons learned through Delesign was waiting too long before hiring customer support and sales representatives.

The founder needs to understand customers’ needs and issues, and acting as the customer support and sales representative for a company is a great way to be involved in this process. However, after a certain point, the founder’s attention will need to be placed on other matters.

By spending too much of my time on customer support and sales, Delesign’s growth was delayed.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

There are several tools that we use to run our business. These are largely there to automate any manual work that we were doing.

Hubspotis a tool we have recently adopted as our core CRM (customer relation management) platform. The purpose is to have visibility of the leads we generate and nurture them based on the type of leads they are to have a higher chance of converting them. We also use the tool for email automation and marketing.

We also use AWS for hosting some of our services as well as platforms like Intercom to manage our customer support.

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

Traction by Gino Wickman - a book that provides an extremely structured way to succeed in running your business.

Who - the A Method for Hiring by Geoff Smart- the only book you need to read to hire A players in your team.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

Start now, iterate and improve. There is no golden solution to being successful. Once you’ve identified a problem that you’re looking to solve, make a start with it. Don’t wait until you’ve done all the extensive research because no one knows the problem better than your customer. Once you’ve got that first, second, and third customer, listen to their recommendations carefully on how to improve your product/service. It’s a bit like making a sculpture - keep chipping away at it until you start seeing a beautiful structure being formed.

Where can we go to learn more?

If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!

-  
Shaival Mehta, Owner of Delesign
Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story

Want to start your own business?

Hey! 👋I'm Pat Walls, the founder of Starter Story.

We interview successful business owners and share the stories behind their business. By sharing these stories, we want to help you get started.

Interested in starting your own business? Join Starter Story Premium to get the greatest companion to starting and growing your business:

  • Connect + get advice from successful entrepreneurs
  • Step by step guides on how to start and grow
  • Exclusive and early access to the best case studies on the web
  • And much more!

Did you know that brands using Klaviyo average a 95x ROI?

Email, SMS, and more — Klaviyo brings your marketing all together, fueling growth without burning through time and resources.

Deliver more relevant email and text messages — powered by your data. Klaviyo helps you turn one-time buyers into repeat customers with all the power of an enterprise solution and none of the complexity.

Join Brumate, Beardbrand, and the 265,000 other businesses using Klaviyo to grow their online sales.

Try Klaviyo for free right now ➜