Think of one of your favorite brands.
Take a minute, close your eyes, and see what comes to mind.
Is it the logo? The website? The last piece of marketing that you saw for that brand?
Whatever the case, this exercise illustrates how important design is for a business. And small businesses are no different. In fact, design can play even a larger part in the success of a small business than in the success of a large one.
Why is that?
Design Sets You Apart From The Competition
Small businesses are booming. They make up a significant portion of new businesses opened up each year.
There are currently nearly 29 million small businesses operating in the United States. If that doesn’t sound like a “wow” number, then consider that small businesses, defined as businesses with fewer than 500 employees, actually make up more than 99% of all businesses in the entire US.
With those kinds of numbers, it’s pretty easy to see that an individual business needs to take whatever advantage it can get in order to distance itself from the competition.
Good design is a big advantage.
A well-designed brand helps to establish who you are, what you do, and why you are different. Even the simplest visuals, like a logo design for your small home business, can act to differentiate your business from anyone else who might offer similar services.
Good Design Is Built-In Advertising
If you’re like me, you’ve probably come across pieces of advertising that required way too much time and effort to decipher. This could be because the font is hard to read. Or because the content is poorly written or edited. Or because the spacing is inadequate. Or it could just be that the entire presentation is so ugly and poorly designed that I can’t be bothered to put any work into figuring out what it’s trying to tell me.
On the other hand, clean, attractive, effective design is a pleasure to read.
Effective design also means making important information readily available and easy to find. So if you’ve put together a flyer to advertise a sale, the important questions — who, what, where, and when — shouldn’t require a hunt to decipher.
Good design makes your advertising more effective, and that makes your advertising budget go further.
And with a small business, budget is almost always a concern!
Design Builds Your Brand
Even small businesses are all about branding, these days. And there’s a reason for that.
Branding encompasses every point of contact between you and a customer. So effective branding is really all about how your business feeds itself: how your company uses itself to stimulate growth.
A simple example of this would be to look at customer service. Bad customer service can cause people to avoid further interaction with that company. One statistic says that 39% of customers will avoid a company for up to two years after a single bad experience.
On the other hand, worldwide, 96% of consumers say that customer service greatly influences their choosing to be loyal to a particular brand.
Customer service and other aspects of brand-growing should be built into how your visuals are designed. This is especially important when considering your company website.
Websites should be:
- Responsive and adaptive
- Easy to navigate
- Quick to load
- Attractive to look at
It should also be easy to find a way to communicate with your company, in case of questions, comments, or even complaints. All of that constitutes good customer service, and all of that is embedded in good design.
Small Business, Effective Design
When we start a small business, we may have big dreams. We begin out of our office, or out of our garage, but we aim one day to hire employees to help us, to be respected and well known in the community, and maybe even one day to sell nationwide.
Design is an important step to help us achieve those dreams. It attracts new customers, builds the relationship with existing customers, and helps us to communicate more effectively on every level.
With good design, your small business can look like a big business right from the start-up.
Olivia Harris is a freelance writer who loves coffee, cats and churros, not in any particular order. She travels to write, writes to travel. Connect with her here.