How One Business Is Expanding Beyond Its Local Market What is your company doing that takes you outside the comfort zone?
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When Darren Mahuron was young, there was only one thing he wanted to be for a living: an artist. The window opened one day when his employer needed a product photographer. He taught himself about cameras, learned Photoshop and figured out that he hated taking pictures and doing it someone else's way. So in 2006, he decided to let the establishment have its way and he'd do it his, and he founded Summit Studios.
In 2011, it's hard to walk through the idyllic town of Fort Collins, Colo., and find a business owner or culture-centric person who doesn't know Mahuron and his work. In addition to having a successful photography business, he's a fixture on the local art scene. But 2011 brings with it a separate challenge for Mahuron, who's carved himself a deep niche in his own backyard: getting out of his backyard. "I need to find a way to get my work into larger markets," he says. "Larger markets means larger projects and new challenges for me professionally." And so comes the question of busting out of your comfort zone--and shaping your business and brand to make the leap.
For many, building a business is a whole lot easier in your backyard. People know one another. People talk. So how do you take what you've done so well on a local scale into new markets without blowing your budget and wasting time and resources?