Recently I’ve been writing quite a few design proposals for clients. They cover the costs involved with their particular project, the time involved and what kind of work is included with the branding or web design project. It’s occurred to me though that perhaps it would be better to talk a little less about what the cost is and talk a little more about what small businesses could be missing out on by not taking the design of their brand more seriously? What kind of revenue and customers could you be missing?

Do people even know what you do?

Think about the services you offer, when you show someone your business card or when they see your logo on your store front, can they tell what you do? How often do you have to explain it? “First Impression” is such an overused cliche but it’s true! Are you evoking the right emotions with the first things people see about your company? Can they trust you? Are you a long time local asset? Are you fun? Are you smart? Proper branding, including logo design and identity, can make or break these first impressions.

Great, they’ve found you! How professional does your business look?

Having a website is not an original concept to small businesses any more. Many businesses, however, rely on something that was created years ago, or have let their domains expire and simply not renewed them. Just having a website isn’t enough any more. Don’t just be found, give your customers a reason to visit your site! Introduce some interactivity or capture their attention with a clean, professional user experience. I’m not saying that you need to take advantage of every new technology that has come down the pipe in the last 5 years but online aesthetics changes just like fashion. You aren’t still still rocking a mullet and pinch rolled jeans, are you?

How much more time can you spend not having a well thought out brand? How many more clients will you miss out on?

The cost of having a professional designer or creative agency work with you can pale in comparison of the income you are missing out on. This lost income comes from people that:

A). Don’t know you exist because you are one of a dozen similar companies that doesn’t take their brand seriously.

B). Decided to go with a competition because they just looked more professional.

C). Know your business but don’t know your services or just can’t find you. Design is great but without content that’s relevant to your business, it’s just meaningless decoration.

Focus on your strengths as a company. Design is about perception, if your business is having a perception problem then change it. Start thinking creatively, be open to new visual ideas and you can capture the attention of your customers and keep it! Your business relies on it.