Archive for December, 2016

How to run a successful small business?

Friday, December 30th, 2016

To come up with a business idea is one thing, and it’s another to run an actual business. Setting up your business requires creativity and strategic thinking, but managing it is a whole new challenge that also requires consistent effort, skills, and effective planning.

Generally, the challenge of small businesses lies on how they can create products that can compete with the popular brands. So as an entrepreneur, how can you bring success to your small business? Here are a few tips:

Planning

Planning doesn’t mean preparing your steps for the next week or month. When managing a small business, planning includes carefully choosing the kind of products, and a business plan that you can follow for the long term.

What products do you want to sell? Although it’s important that you create commodities within your area of interest, it also pays to consider the profit margin of your desired product. Choosing products with high profit margin helps ensure its future survival and success in the market.

Every business cannot go about without careful thinking and planning. Having Plan A, B, and C allows you to plan every step of your business’ development and decreases the possibility of any unforeseen liability.

Production

Every operating day matters largely to the development of your business. Keep an eye on the flow of your finances. The goal is to maintain a balance between your operational expenses and your profit or ensure that the latter is larger than the former.

Moreover, it’s important to carefully choose the employees that you hire. Employ qualified and trainable people that you can teach the basic skills required of the job, but also instill the importance of proper customer service. After all, customer service and good products are two of the most effective ways to boost sales.

Never stop evolving

Success in business is achieved through critical thinking and consistent effort. It’s not enough that you’ve achieved your goal for the first two years. Don’t let your business to remain stagnant on one level. Dare to explore and experiment to see which areas you can further develop.

Assess your current line of products. What products and services can you add to the ones you currently offer? Evolving as a brand doesn’t solely mean constant reinvention of your products and services. It also includes implementing new elements that can help make your business stand out in your market.

It’s during the development stages of your business that you get the chance to be more creative with your products and marketing campaign. Essentially, the key to successful business is clear understanding of what your customers want and implementing creative ways to deliver them.

Small businesses have bigger challenges as they’re at the stage of having to prove themselves to their clients and customers. But essentially, it’s also an interesting stage for any business since it allows them plenty of room for exploration and growth. With consistent efforts to be unique, creative, and with consistent development on quality, success is possible for every small business.

What makes a good designer/client relationship?

Thursday, December 29th, 2016

Whatever your business offers or whichever industry it belongs to, branding is an essential part of ensuring its success. Subsequently, having a good logo design is also important for better brand impression and retention for customers.

Since not all business owners are capable of creating their own logos, sometimes professional designers are hired to fill in the gap. But with the subjective nature of creativity in designing and the inherent authority of clients over their preferred design, how can both parties create a good designer/client relationship?

Clear Set of Rules and Conditions

Agree on a specific timeline and budget. Clients must specify exactly when they want their project to be delivered. Simultaneously, designers should also clarify the budget on which they should work on. Having a clear set of rules and conditions makes it easier for both parties to complete the project without the unnecessary hassle of misunderstandings along the way.

Clients need to properly and clearly explain on the brief what they want in their design. Designers, on the other hand, should also ask possible clarifications about the project, such as the clients’ preferred color palette and other details pertinent to the completion of the project.

Constant Communication

Admittedly, not all business owners have the time to constantly follow up with their designers. But it’s important for the designer and the client to maintain open lines of communication. It doesn’t matter if the communication is made through short phone calls or emails.

What matters more is that clients are kept in the loop of how their project is progressing. It’s important also that they are aware whether their designer is working according to plan or if specific issues are preventing them from getting the project done. At the end of the day, over-communication is better than miscommunication.

Transparency

Designers should constantly update the clients on the progress of the project. Clients should be informed of what’s keeping the designer from delivering the project on time or other resources needed for its completion.

Transparency in the designer/client relationship also includes the client’s honest feedback about the work of their designer. Yes, designing can be personal since it involves creativity of the designer, but the objective sense of doing business gives the client the right to give feedback.

Giving honest feedback gives the designer the specific points for improvement. It encourages them to do better and adjust according to the preference of the client. On the other hand, it’s also the responsibility of the client to give feedback in such a way that is professional and objective.

To make the feedback and communication process easier for both parties, clients can point out the downside of the designs. But it’s also important that they point out how the designers can improve the weak points in the design.

At the end of the day, client/designer relationship is easier to achieve when both parties know their responsibilities to the project and to each other. Always keep in mind that a good business relationship is founded on communication, collaboration, and professionalism.

How Design Plays a Part in Your Marketing Effort?

Friday, December 23rd, 2016

Design is important but oftentimes an overlooked aspect of marketing. When you’re running a business, your customers are likely to get doll-eyed upon seeing the sign with “SALE 50% on selected items”.

But they’re more likely to get converted when they see that the discount was posted with good graphics, compared to one that was posted using basic Times New Roman font on a white background.

Nope, there’s nothing wrong with Times New Roman on a white background.

However, you couldn’t blame your customers if they’d rather go to the store that has the same offer but with better graphics. Marketing-wise, design is one major element that determines whether a campaign will convert or not. Here are a few points why:

Design is linked to everything

Although it is mainly about how your campaign will look like, having great design is a great start in creating a good impression to your target market. Basically, your design is the face of your business, so why allow blemishes to get in the way of creating a memorable and attractive appearance?

Recognition

What’s the first thing you remember when you see a big letter “M” in color yellow, in front of a red background? It probably reminded you of McDonalds — such recognition and association through colors is an example of successful branding. It allows consumers to remember your business through your colors.

However, notice that it doesn’t stop there. Aside from their logo, McDonalds remains to be consistent in their design in each marketing material they release.

The colors follow their color scheme while the typography is always within their selected font family. They may have decided to tweak some aspects of their design from the time they began until now, but consistency in their selected feel and design has definitely brought their brand a long way.

Professionalism

Creating a marketing plan with good design shows that you are committed to your brand, and to giving good service to your target audience. It shows that you’ve exerted effort to stand out and that you want your audience to see you in a good light.

Having a good design is also a reflection of the professionalism of the people behind the brand. It shows the concern of the business for its consumers, thereby creating an overall good relationship.

Relays message better

This one is a bit obvious. Design is not only limited to aesthetics. Its functionality is also another major element that makes it a necessity for any marketing campaign. People are more likely to get enticed to a marketing material that clearly says what the business offers. A poster that says “50% OFF on selected items” with emphasis on “50%” is more likely to get attention than one that uses the same font sizes.

Overall, it’s safe to say that design is more than just about what the customers see. It’s also about strategically using colors and fonts to entice the audience with the goal of conversion, and eventually, increase in sales.