Michael Brandonisio has been freelancing his graphic design services since before he knew what an entity classification election was. In August of 2014, Brandonisio decided to take his informal business to the next level by establishing it asBrando, LLC. Based out of a home office in Los Angeles, California, Brandonisio is the mastermind behind his small business and does not have any partners or employees. The LLC serves as an umbrella for all of Brandonisio’s creative endeavors.
“I had been freelancing since I was 12, and it didn’t really hit me to start a business until I saw all the benefits for it,” he says. “I make logos, websites, and various graphic design projects. I also do creative direction for music artists. Basically, I do any type of digital artwork.”
The entrepreneur’s favorite part of small business ownership is enjoying the mutual satisfaction between he and his clients when a project reaches completion, and being trusted by his clients who don’t have the artistic chops to conceptualize their ideas on their own.
“When you think of how many people there are in the world, there are very few creative people. But most people enjoy art. A lot of the times, the clients will let me do what I want within certain guidelines. I creatively direct musicians in L.A., and they really let me do what I’m thinking, because they trust me,” Brandonisio explains.
Brandonisio admits there is a lot of competition in the graphic arts field, especially in a city as bustling as Los Angeles, so he relies on constant networking to keep his name in the forefront of people’s minds when they need a digital design.
“It’s all about networking. I try to be a friend before I am a designer to someone. I don’t advertise online because 100% of my business is through word-of-mouth, and that’s how I’ve been doing it since I was a kid. Whenever I go to a party I consider it a business opportunity.”
Despite not utilizing the Internet as a means of marketing, Brandonisio does have an online portfolio located at www.brandoarts.com. He has an unlimited demographic, with clients of all ages.
For entrepreneurs looking to achieve startup success, Brandonisio offers the following advice.
“Really know you’re passionate about it, but a business plan is key to everything. It’s easy to want to start a business because it seems like a good idea, but you need to have a plan and resources and connections. Ninety percent of business ownership is doing the business stuff, while 10% is what you actually want to do,” he confides. “You have to work hard and really master your craft if you want to get paid. You need to outshine design firms and companies that do the same things, which is why I rely on personality, because skill only gets you so far.”
Brandonisio has been satisfied with the services he has received from 1-800Accountant.
“I certainly didn’t know anything about the legal and tax stuff, and it’s so easy to just talk to my accountant and ask him what everything is so I can get things done efficiently,” he says. “My accountant has been really helpful. Any form I get, I can ask him what it is and I’m understanding it and completing it within a couple days.”
Photo credit: The photograph and logo included in this blog post were provided by Brando, LLC and are used with permission.