I know of a guy who actually spent thousands on a bicycle. That concept to me is way out there, but, hey, he bikes a LOT. Thing is, the major decision for him of WHERE to purchase that bike (he bought locally – YAY!) came down to the company website. Simple as that.
He found a local bike seller, but didn’t like their website, so he moved on to option #2 (different local bike seller). How many times does this happen?
Every single day.
Design does this. Too, too many times as a designer, I found those who KNOW the value of design. They understand. Here it is in a nutshell – it’s there, whether you invest time and finances into it or not. It communicates to your clients what you are really like – whether you say anything or not.
If you are a photographer, hopefully your website is modern and beautiful, so that a visitor (potential client!) will know that you understand that visuals are important. THEN, they can relax and look at your photos which should communicate the same – that you understand visuals and how to put them together.
Design is everywhere.
It’s all around us – in our homes and how the rooms are laid out. In our coffee cup. Our clothes. Even the glass jar that our salsa comes in.
When you’re a small business, you absolutely have to be different than every other business. If you are a commodity, you are giving your customers permission to shop only based on price. AAarrgh!
THAT is a losing game, peeps!
If you are doing what many businesses do and cutting pricing down to the bone or giving tons of discounts off your costing, you are sending the wrong message – that you are cheap, just like everyone else. That’s BAD!!
Instead – whether you are a window washer, electrician, or dog groomer – you must differentiate. Be different.
HOW do I do that, you say?
Design does that. If your branding is nailed down and well thought out, branding will communicate what nothing else can. If you have a killer logo, business card, and website, your customers will many times choose you over the guy whose branding is stuck in the 80’s or just icky (or branding that communicates the wrong message).
Also, think about other things you can do to be different. If you visit clients’ homes as a contractor, are all of your vehicles newer, so they don’t drip oil on their driveways? Do they have extra mirrors for safety? Do you have a 24 hour emergency service policy? It might seem simple, but each of these things can make you BETTER than your competition!
If you have any of the above policies or items – like safer vehicles – make sure that you plan how you will communicate this to your potential clients.
You KNOW that you are better than your competition, so how will you SAY that?
In case I didn’t communicate it clearly enough before – be different.