Building Character

Art imitates business life for this entrepreneur.
Magazine Contributor
1 min read

This story appears in the August 2002 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Getting your idea across can be difficult, but Steven Birchfield, founder and CEO of Automation Centre in Tucson, Arizona, would tell you to try drawing it out.

After a conversation with a screenwriter during a business trip, Birchfield, 39, was motivated to integrate cartoon characters into sales pitches for his software, which helps companies' service operations run more efficiently.

Birchfield's amusing characters for the fictitious Bizco company, like Victor Vice President, Hanna HR, Joe User and Ashley Admin, not only communicate to clients what the software does, but they also inspire Birchfield's employees. "We write and test all the software with these characters in mind," he says.

Automation Centre's sales pitches now sail smoothly, with demonstrations that literally illustrate clients' operational situations. With projected 2002 sales of $4 million and an impressive list of new clients like 3M, Coca-Cola, DuPont, McDonald's, Pioneer and Sanyo, Birchfield can attest that cartoons aren't just for kids.

More from Entrepreneur

Get heaping discounts to books you love delivered straight to your inbox. We’ll feature a different book each week and share exclusive deals you won’t find anywhere else.
Jumpstart Your Business. Entrepreneur Insider is your all-access pass to the skills, experts, and network you need to get your business off the ground—or take it to the next level.
Are you paying too much for business insurance? Do you have critical gaps in your coverage? Trust Entrepreneur to help you find out.

Latest on Entrepreneur

Entrepreneur Media, Inc. values your privacy. In order to understand how people use our site generally, and to create more valuable experiences for you, we may collect data about your use of this site (both directly and through our partners). By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the use of that data. For more information on our data policies, please visit our Privacy Policy.