Profile of Patrick Scofield excerpted from "Arizona Entrepreneur:
Case Studies of Growing Arizona Companies"
How did you get started in this industry?
I think I always knew I was a designer. I graduated from ASU with a degree in design and I've had this firm for 14 years. However, five years ago, we really changed direction to focus on creating experiences versus merely creating a logo for a product. We combine feature, function, benefit and value to create an entire experience for the end user.
How did you get your start-up capital?
I took out a second mortgage on my home and had enough money in the bank to give this a shot for six months. Things slowly grew from there.
What sets your company apart from the competitors?
We don’t fall under the rubric of a traditional design firm and we don't focus on just one aspect of design. We focus on the entire experience and create unique solutions for our clients through visual expression. We also do extensive ethnographic research before we begin any project to glean important information about our client's product. We teach our clients the importance of research because to maximize business success and minimize risk, you have to know as much about yourself, your product, your competition, and your user as you can.
Our location in Falcon Field is another differentiating aspect — my vice is flying. We don't factor flying into the business or vice versa, but it adds an element of interest. The hangar acts as our warehouse and workshop where we fabricate product prototypes.
In the beginning, what was your biggest challenge?
Getting the word out about what we have to offer and trying to make people understand the approach we are taking is a challenge. Trying to tell people about our workshops is not nearly as effective as getting someone to attend one. It is really satisfying to see the light bulb go on when potential clients take the workshop and start to understand the concept of experience we are trying to create with each product.
What advice would you offer based on what you've learned along the way?
First, you must have the resources to stay with the company until it really gets off life support. Truthfully, it took me about two to three years to settle the debt the first six months cost me and this business did not start breathing well on its own until year six. Secondly, you must have true knowledge of the field you are pursuing and—no matter how your business develops—stay true to what you know. I started this company as a designer and I am still a designer to the core.
What are your plans for the future of the company?
One of the nice things about our firm is the intimacy between myself and my employees. I never want to get too big where I don't know my employees well. We are very close with out clients as well and don't take on projects we are not 'wowed' by. We'd like to grow, but not radically. We are going to get bigger because we have something unique to offer and more companies are starting to seek us out.
Concept Designworx Inc.