Five reasons your small business needs great design

Mar 15, 2018 | Branding

Five reasons your small business needs great design

You show up every day to grind and grow your business to help it become a sustainable and profitable (and fulfilling!) operation. And as an entrepreneur, you know you’ll have to wear many hats from marketing and sales to accounting and finance in order to turn your ideas and dreams into a money-making reality.

So, with all those (exciting) balls in the air, who has time to focus on the nuances of design?

If your business isn’t growing the way you want or bringing in the cash it needs to survive, isn’t making it prettier rather low on the to-do list?

The short answer? Not quite. Here’s why… Good design (branding, messaging, web design, UX/UI, etc.) is way more than the cherry atop your business sundae. Design helps small business in everything from inspire confidence with a professional look, prime customers to trust your products, differentiate yourself from your competition, and attract like-minded people and employees. Design can be a catalyst for growth if you let it.

Let’s look at a few ways design can impact different areas of your business.

Branding – Good Design inspires confidence

We’ve all heard the saying: Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. You guessed it, the same is true for branding. If you want your small business to look like a million-dollar brand, you can design a brand that makes your business look more established than it actually is. Even if you are a one-man or one-woman show, there’s nothing that says you need to act your age or dress to your pay bracket. A small business doesn’t have to look “small.”

Now, I’m not suggesting you should treat design as “lipstick on a pig” or trick your audience into thinking you’re something you’re not. But you can communicate to your audience that your standards for design (and quality) are as high as your more established competitors. Branding goes way deeper than your visual identity, but if your brand strategy and positioning are sound and established, a well-designed brand will communicate clearly and inspire a reliable and professional experience to your customers. You will win their approval faster and give them the confidence to do business with you over your competition.

Conversion – Good design is a good first impression

First impressions last. There’s nowhere this saying is truer than your business. Do you know how long does it take for your customer to form an opinion of your business? Evidently, less than one second. Research has found that visitors form an impression of the visual appeal of a website in one-twentieth of a second.

In an era of information overload, this significantly increases the importance of your first impression, regardless of the medium. As the “intuitive” brain forms a bias for a bad decision, the “rational” brain then tries to validate the decision rather than refute it. Meaning if your first impression is negative, you’ll have a much harder time digging yourself out of that hole to convince someone that your brand is trustworthy, appealing, and ultimately worth their money. Seamless design that works the first time a user engages with you increases your chances of keeping that customer for the long haul.

Think about Apple, Airbnb, or Yeti. Each company has a unique and coherent design aesthetic that you can see from the second you interact with their brand. That’s because a cluttered or confusing first impression can be costly to overcome. Save yourself the time and money you’ll spend fixing things down the road by investing in good design the first time. Make a great first impression and new business is sure to follow.

Marketing – Good design sets you apart 

Many businesses shy away from good design that would set them apart from the competition because they feel too exposed for trying something outside of the norm. But in doing so, they can get buried in the crowd and lost among the sea of competition.

Good design can make your brand stand out and improve audience recognition. Think of your logo as the entry point for your brand. It is the symbol customers will recognize when trying to remember your business, sometimes even before recalling your name. Visual memory is a key element to our experience, and it is the cornerstone to successful branding. It pays to design your logo and design it well.

Once your branding is fleshed out with specific elements, such as colors, patterns, imagery and typography, you start to communicate a more than just a message or product and build an emotional connection with your audience. Your customers start to understand your values and buy into your vision. You no longer need tricky advertising gimmicks because you invite them into your world, make a meaningful connection, and communicate your values with beautiful design.

Sales – Good design sells without being salesy

In addition to everything else I’ve already mentioned, good design also makes referrals easier and generates new customers.

These new customers are the lifeblood of your small business, and the better you are at bringing them in, the more you’ll grow. Design keeps you memorable without jamming your message down your customers’ throats.

More than just new customers, design helps you turn one-time users into repeat customers. Well-designed emails, landing pages, and even ads can be the difference between someone coming back to you or choosing a competitor who makes them feel better.

HR – Good design attracts like-minded employees

Your brand is deeply rooted in the people who bring it to life. Your brand message inspires employees and is carried out through their influence in your business. If you can inspire and connect with them through design, you can build a company people truly want to work for. The sooner you catch their attention with your business’ personality, the better.

Your brand message and design will attract future employees – ones that are like-minded and eager to live the purpose of the brand and become your best advocates. Make sure your brand is attracting the right people! The people you hire will be your greatest asset, and good design can help you attract the best possible candidates. Bringing in employees with a shared vision for your business is easier if they enjoy and connect with your brand before they even apply. Once they’re hired, this connection helps reduce turnover and form stronger teams.

design is your business’s secret weapon. use it.

A well-designed brand can significantly impact your business’s trajectory. If your business would benefit from an engaged audience who is aligned with your company’s values and is ready to buy not only because they want your product, but because they understand and believe in your purpose – an investment in good design will pay dividends in the long run.

Have you been puting off a creative project for your business? Are you finally ready to take the leap and get your great idea off the ground? Click here to get in touch and let’s get started!

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