While Business Is Quiet, Mayya Design Is Looking at the Positives

Without small business, we’re nothing. TheLatch— and GoDaddy have teamed up to rally behind local businesses and entrepreneurs during this unprecedented time of change.

We’re speaking to small businesses and entrepreneurs across the country to better understand how they’re adapting to stay open, how they’re keeping their community safe, and how we can support them now during this time, and beyond. We’re focused on keeping Australia open for business, even if doors are closed. #OpenWeStand

While the working world scrambles to adapt to remote processes, Mayya Studio’s Christopher Venning remains in his comfort zone. Brisbane-based Venning has been operating his graphic design business online, save for a face-to-face meeting here and there, for the past three and a half years, creating sleek and captivating brand design across print and digital channels to clientele from all corners of Australia. 

The fallout from the coronavirus pandemic has led the studio owner into another place of discomfort, however; he’s the recipient of a domino effect of his clients — from corporate finance to start-ups losing business, he’s experiencing a subsequent drop in his own revenue as a result. 

“The way that my business has been affected is predominantly through my clients, because their clients have been affected — so more of like a chain rolling down,” he tells TheLatch—. “I rely on my client’s business to give me business.”

Despite the dip in revenue, Venning is optimistic about how the globalised push to online working will benefit his business in the long run. Where his online-only service might have previously scared off more traditional clients because of a lack of offline interaction, those who become more familiar with the process will, he believes, be more trusting of the legitimacy of a digitally-based business like his own. 

“People had anxieties around that non face-to-face communication and they didn’t see much trust in it,” he points out of the pre-coronavirus world. “So now we’re realising, ‘Oh, if we can see someone on the screen and they’re talking to us and communicating, they’re real just as they are if we’re with them in person.’”

Venning speaks to TheLatch— about positivity during a pandemic and exactly how he’s using this time to his advantage — and the advantage of his business. 


TheLatch— Let’s kick off by hearing more about your business. Can you please explain what Mayya Studio is all about?

CV: So I started three and a half years ago now. So it’s very, very new. My business offers graphic design services for digital and print, and a lot of branding work — we’re predominantly a branding studio. We usually start from a branding perspective and then work with brands on an on-going basis from there. We work through a lot of referrals as well so then I’ll be put in touch with people who want to start a brand, or have a business idea and are wanting to go in a particular direction. We work to make sure everything’s designed and aligned to how they want it to look and feel.

TL: Have you had to pivot what you’re doing so you can keep your business afloat?

CV: I have. In a positive way, its given me time to actually work on my own work, and how people are viewing it. So it’s given me time to refine our portfolio, look at what we’re showing people and then look at our own strategy and our own brands.  

It’s also giving me time to realise ‘okay, well, what are people actually looking at when they come to me?’. Whereas before, everything was just moving so fast all the time. Its given me time to reflect.

“It’s given me time to actually work on my own work.”

So as negative as its all been and yes, the income’s not there like it was, it’s still giving me a breathing period, which I think at the end of it, I’m going to come out stronger because it’s actually giving me time to stop and really analyse the business.

TL: We love that you’re finding a positive because it’s easy to spiral in the other direction. Do you think the way that you operate your business will be changed for good after this? 

CV: Yeah, I think the services will definitely change. The operation of my business may stay similar but the way I talk to clients and the way I present things to them is going to be different. What I was saying to a lady yesterday is that even my clients are now forced to use digital means — a lot of Zoom calls, the use of digital technologies, working remotely — whereas before they were predominantly office-based. They have now learnt those skills and can now adapt to what I was using. Before, this might have been quite daunting to them. I don’t know if daunting is the right word, but it’s a new area for them. Now, everyone’s forced to use these technologies and that’s giving me another way to connect with customers.

“Now, everyone’s forced to use these technologies and that’s giving me another way to connect with customers.”

For example, I had a client who approached me from Melbourne. We were just talking by email. She was quiet and nervous for us to work together online — she hadn’t met me in person. I’m in Brisbane, she’s in Melbourne, she loves my work and we had the perfect connection, but she was still nervous because she hadn’t seen me or met me, which was quite challenging. She took that leap of faith and came out really happy. But I think now that we have these new ways of working, we’ve built up some sort of digital trust with one another, that might not have been there before.


TL: Let’s talk a bit about your beautiful website. It’s very sleek. Have you found it to be an easy process to work with GoDaddy?

CV: I always recommend it [GoDaddy] to everyone. Its customer support is really great, too. I don’t know whether it’s a training process they [the staff] go through or something but everyone [I connect to] is really supportive and has the time to be able to find what’s best for you and what’s going to work best for your business and solve whatever issues you might be having. I actually lost my whole portfolio recently — I deleted it. I had to call up and get a backup reinstalled and it literally took five or 10 minutes.

Things like that, for me, are really important — the speed of how quickly you can get that help when you need to troubleshoot. You can call straight up and then you’re speaking to someone and they get it fixed as quickly as possible. I love good service.

If you have a new business you’re looking to launch, get in touch with Mayya Studio for branding support.

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