Behind every startup, there is a story of a bold thinker, someone who is willing to step out of their comfort zone and into a world where unpredictable and challenging meet self-growth and limitless possibilities. This was the story for Patrick Lyver, the CEO and Founder of Kleurvision Inc., a graphic design, application development and social marketing company.
Based in Port Perry, ON, Kleurvision focuses on powerful brand communication by connecting brands to consumers through strong and clear corporate identity, a distinct message, creative design, and the mindset that all businesses should have awesome digital and brand assets, no matter the budget.
Patrick’s inspiration for Kleurvision came to him while he was working a steady job as an on-air graphic designer for CTV (National News, Canada AM, and TSN).
“I decided that it was time to leave corporate design to those looking for comfort and started out on my own,” says Patrick.
The leap into the startup world was a risk, but Patrick was driven by a passion to help clients work out solutions that fit their budgets.
“One thing that I take massive amount of pride in is that we will never sell to a client something that will not assist them in achieving their goals,” he says. “We’ve had clients come with massive budgets for website redesigns and retooled those budgets to go a lot further.”
We sat down with Patrick to learn more about his entrepreneurial journey and to find out what advice he could share with others about his startup experiences to date.
Q: What were the biggest challenges that Kleurvision encountered starting out and what are your challenges now?
A: We’re a team of mischievous, creative minds that like to play devil’s advocate and experiment with new technology. No one on the team comes from a formal business background. It’s all run and gun, pay for your mistakes with your wallet, and remember to never make the costly ones twice. But with that ignorance brings a beautiful silver lining in the fact that we’re not afraid of making those mistakes.
Q: Being a small business, what tools have been instrumental in leveraging your day-to-day operations?
A: An understanding of finances, cash flow, balance sheets, etc. was something that had to be learned quickly. QuickBooks has become our brain. It has the most business experience in the office. QuickBooks enables our payroll, allows us to track where we are spending time that generates profit, highlights where we are wasting time, and allows us to stay on top of receivables.
Q: What networks or organizations have helped to provide the guidance you require as entrepreneur?
A: Startup Canada has been instrumental in fuelling our current growth phase. I joined Startup Canada as a volunteer in March of 2013, leading the development of the soon-to-launch StartupConnect platform. Being involved with Startup Canada has opened up massive opportunities for personal growth and is also a way for me to help other new entrepreneurs achieve success.
Q: Looking forward, what do you hope to achieve in the next few years. Are there any new ideas in the pipeline to drive growth opportunities?
A: We’re currently in the process of launching a new brand, KVGO, aimed at small businesses (startups included). Think big agency services with the values of an entrepreneur in mind, all run from a dashboard that lives inside of the content management system powering their websites. From the ground up, the model has been designed to assist and support small businesses with their unique creative challenges, from establishing a brand, developing an online presence, capturing leads and tracking conversions, or even simply creating a print campaign.
Q: What are some insights and lessons that other entrepreneurs can garner from your experience as an entrepreneur and founder of Kleurvision?
A: The most important lesson I have learned, and by far the most important that I could ever share, is that family comes first. Whether it’s your own family at home, or the family you create by building an amazing team around you in your venture, it’s that family that makes every single step you take worth it. A loyal team, efficient business tools, and a strong ‘go to’ organizational support have been the driving force for Kleurvision. That mantra will continue to guide this team of ‘out-of-the-box’ thinkers on the road of success.