For Natalie Knight, owner of AlphaGraphics – Ogden, the best thing about being an entrepreneur is collaborating with clients to create creative solutions.
AlphaGraphics is a one-stop shop for anything marketing-related – from signage, wall wraps and board graphics to apparel, mugs and pens. Whereas printing is it’s bread-and-butter, the business also provides digital marketing and works with an outside sales team who manage clients’ accounts.
“I think it’s really important in today’s marketplace for business owners to make sure their marketing and printing is really dialed in,” said Knight. “I love being a part of the creative process and helping them come up with ideas to make promotional products and apparel, like corporate gifting.”
Knight’s passion for marketing and design influenced her decision to buy the South Ogden AlphaGraphics from her mother in 2015. Since then, the franchise has worked with a variety of clients to establish branding, gain business and stand out from competitors.
“AlphaGraphics handles and encompasses all marketing needs, so it’s a lot of fun to see businesses grow from the beginning to where they are now,” said Knight. “I’ll be walking around and see a shirt we made that someone’s wearing, or I’ll be driving and see a sign that we made. I just love seeing the impact it has.”
Recently, AlphaGraphics – Ogden transitioned to a more technology and online-based approach through the handling of national accounts. There are 14 AlphaGraphics locations in Utah, with more than 270 centers worldwide.
“We have AlphaGraphics offices in each region that handle that region’s part of the business,” said Knight, “So, for companies that are really big and that have offices from west to east coast, we can segment the business and operate like a big corporation while still having that small-town feel and touch because we are individually owned. It’s the best of both worlds as far as pricing, technology and how we handle business.”
Although stemming from big roots, Alphagraphics – Ogden has funneled corporate technology systems into local business ideologies.
“We’ve set up a lot of online ordering sites for clients and have a lot of resources in the technology side of the business that a lot of mom-and-pop shops wouldn’t have, but we still are a mom-and-pop shop.”
Personally, and as a businesswoman, Knight is a huge supporter of local and small businesses.
“Anytime I think about eating something, I always think first, “Could I get this local?’ and ‘Could I go and buy this and actually interact with people in the community?’” said Knight. “I think it really starts small in grassroots like that – thinking a little less about convenience and a little bit more about supporting communities and other people that are working really hard to run small businesses in your backyard.”
Currently, Alphagraphics – Ogden is creating a gifting package for one of the departments at the University of Utah. Products in the package are sourced from all local minority and women-owned businesses.
“I love working with small business owners,” said Knight. “There’s so much heart and passion, and people get into a business because they love it. They’re providing for their family and it’s something they really put their heart and soul into. I think there’s a lot more love and support in that arena rather than just hopping on the Internet and buying something.”
Knight believes networking is key for small business success – which is why she is a member of the Salt Lake Chamber. She’s thrilled to attend more in-person events after attending the Workforce Summit in August.
“I love going and meeting other people in the community and those that are doing business here in Utah,” said Knight. “There’s so many incredible entrepreneurs that are members of the Chamber and so many movers and shakers doing cool things. I just feel like it’s the best place to be, meet new people and really get to know about the business world here in Utah.”
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