|Small Business Guide - Small Business Resources
(Add to Favorites | View All Articles | Resource Directory)
How to Effectively Design Your Business Image
In many industries, image is one of the last things business owner looks at. If business is not booming, they assume there is something wrong with the sales method, as opposed to the image. "If we just sent out a few thousand more fliers" they say, "we will get some more clients". When in reality, they should be looking at how the message they're sending to their target market is perceived in the first place. Here are a few pointers to look at:
Colors evoke innate responses, which means not all colors are suitable for all business types. How does red make you feel? Angry, in pain, tense? It's tricky. In the financial industry red is negative (in the red). In the world of health, red can represent discomfort, not good for people offering pain solutions. In fitness, red is very sporty and stimulating. How about blue? It tends to be calm and soothing. Blue can range from fun and playful sky blue to dark, corporate navy. Green is often associated with natural things, or 'go' and money - depending on the shades.
Yellow/orange/reds/browns in combination stimulate the appetite - think fast food and candy bars. Red is tricky. In some instances red means power and is striking. Purple can very easily go from sophisticated, royal aubergene to kid's grape (Barney). Orange is still a little weird and often used as a shocker, not as the dominant color. The only industry that can get away with almost any color is Tech.
-Personal Preference VS Market Preference-
People often let their own personal tastes rule their image decisions One's color preferences and styles may not suit the audience they are targeting. What style of design appeals to you? Now imagine that in the eyes of someone quite different, like your grandmother.
For example: being too sporty and athletic when your target is professional businesspeople. Too earthy and organic when your target is average Joes. There may be imagery that means a lot to you in your profession, but doesn't mean much to your target market. It may even scare them. Step back and look at your business as if you've never encountered it before. Imagine what might attract clients, or help explain simply what you do. Realizing that your image needs to portray a certain message to the general public, not the you or your colleagues, is the first step to image success.
Just because you've only been in business for a few days, doesn't mean you have to look like it. Having a well put-together public image will build trust and a solid reputation. Taking a little time and care instead of quick 'good enough' fixes will help you appear more established. Potential clients may not consciously pin point it, but they will pick up on the homespun factor or the generic Staples business cards. How does that affect your credibility? It is good to get your name and information about your business out there. However, when it comes to points of contact like brochures and web sites, if they are messy and difficult to read, they aren't doing you any favours. There are professionally designed, inexpensive web templates that can do a great job until you are ready for a custom web site. Find a real printer and ask them have a look at your layout and make sure your type isn't falling off the edge and that the images sharp.
-Looking like everyone else-
You have a lot of competition. If everyone in your industry uses the same symbols and goes for the standard solution, how will you stand out? What makes your business unique? Is it the name? The location? Is there something meaningful to you that you could incorporate into your identity that shows your uniqueness, or that speaks to your target audience? Maybe a new take on an industry symbol. It could be as simple as having a blue card with a different typeface. Imagine this amongst a sea of black and white, times roman everything centered cards.
-Looking good on a shoestring budget-
If you can't hire a designer there are a few things you can do to help look like a pro. Have things printed professionally - it is much better than your bubble jet. Don't make all the type gigantic. Give everything some breathing room by not butting up against the edge of the page or pictures. Line things up. Look at the competition. Compare your work to professionally designed material and try to notice the differences that make theirs look cleaner. Put your own tastes aside and ask your target audience for their opinions and then listen to them.
Faith Seekings is the owner of Faith Seekings Design. She works with business owners to help align their business goals with their business image. She can be reached at 416.368.8956 or email email@example.com
About The Author
Faith is a graphic designer trained at George Brown College in Toronto. With more than 8 years' experience as a designer and project manager, Faith has created logos, stationery, advertising campaigns, ecommerce solutions, websites and collateral material for a host of clients, including: Rogers Cablesystems, Daniels Properties, Zona Health, Nooro Online Research, Agent Wildfire, Nymity Privacy Services and more. Faith is a skilled designer with a keen eye for the strategic as well as the tactical elements of graphic design.
News provided by Yahoo! News and Google News
Judge tells American Express it can't bully small biz - Crain's New York Business
AIR MILES for Business celebrates Canada's outstanding entrepreneurs at the 2015 Small Business Achievement Awards
Correction: SmallBiz-Gas Prices story - Hickory Daily Record
GST red tape hurting business, economy
Lt. Governor on pro-business legislation: 'We're on the cusp of changing our ... - Albuquerque Business First
Stratford Library offers seminar series for small business owners
'Small Business Basics Series' begins in March
Small Business Column: Time for Irish SMEs to take advantage
Investors leading surge on small-biz loans - Insurance News Net
Patient Records - Your Responsibilities
As a practise gets larger & larger the associated problems that you inherit increase with that growth. The Practise Manager finds it increasingly difficult to tend to his duties and look after the administration of the Practise.
Reverse Merger: Have They Taken the Reverse out of Reverse Merger?
Are the promoters and consultants destroying the market for Reverse Merger? First lets take a look at reverse merger. In a Reverse Merger, an operating private company merges with a public company that has little or no assets, nor know liabilities (the "shell").
Dispute Resolution of Territory for Mobile Franchised Companies
Franchisors of home based and mobile businesses need to carefully watch their franchisees who innately try to hunt in their fellow franchisees territories. The most important advice a franchisor should give the franchised outlets in this case is to work it out themselves.
Window Cleaning Business Future Challenge With Self Cleaning Glass
Self-cleaning glass has been talked about a lot, with such a catchy name in his hit the headlines of not only the trade journals, but also the mass media. Does self-cleaning glass mean that all the window cleaners and small businesses across this country are doomed? No, not yet.
Small Business Success Tip: Learn Something New Everyday
Your grandfather probably told you to "learn something new everyday". Your grandfather was giving you advice that works for your small business as well as your own education.
Staying afloat when things get rocky
No matter what kind of small business you have, you need read these "small business survival tips" which will help you to succeed. You may be in Internet business, traditional business, or you may be a local merchant with 150 employees; whichever, however or whatever--you've got to know how to keep your business alive during economic recessions.
Business Scents - Do They Work?
You see it often in large shopping complexes. Customers seem to be flocking to a certain stall in large droves.
1 Overlooked Key to Small Business Success
Is this you?You dreamed of owning your own business, doing what you love and enjoying unlimited earning potential. You researched.
Competition in the Mobile Car Wash Industry
We have all seen the mobile washing units cruising our city, usually they are trucks, vans or trailer set ups with a water tank and a pressure washer unit aboard. They market their services with flyers and business cards, however most of their business comes from weekly repeats and referrals.
Cost Effective Franchise Regulations, Come again
The Franchise Group at the Federal Trade Commission in all their ego and glory has proclaimed that franchise disclosure laws are "Cost Effective." I hate to break it to the FTC, but your comments and court are completely naked.
How to Protect Yourself & Your Business
As a business owner, you already know how important it is for your customers to feel safe about doing business with you. After all, if a customer even suspects he may not receive everything he was promised, then chances are he's taking his business elsewhere.
Where Can I Get Clients From?
The following tips have come from a wide variety of sources; some from other successful businesses we know, some from our Home-Based and Small Business Support Group meetings and some we've developed by trial and error.Some of the ways to get clients are:contact previous employers;mailing lists;cold call your target market;attend group meetings and seminars for your target market (conventions for doctors, lawyers; computer seminars);attend local Chamber of Commerce meetings;join groups related to your target market;if your target market uses a specific system, for example accountants use the SafeGuard system, contact them and tell them that you are available to teach them how to use the system or you can do it for them.
How to Handle Rejection When You Start an Office Cleaning Business
"If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you."Thank goodness starting an office cleaning business isn't anything like skydiving! If you fall flat on your face, there's no chance that it's going to hurt that bad.
Pressure Washer Concrete Cleaning Equipment
Cleaning concrete is tough and there is an easy way and a hard way. There is one thing you need to understand when you are pressure washer cleaning concrete; the concrete cannot always be made to look brand new again after it has been stained.
1-2-3 Steps To A Successful Joint Venture
A successful joint venture marketing effort is the goal of many small businesses, and is a great way to increase market visibility and profits.Joint venture marketing is rising in popularity everyday, but it does take some skill, good planning and foresight to execute.
Pressure Washing Business; Steam Cleaner Fuel Maintenance
It is essential that you fully understand how the fuel system works on your hot water pressure washer or steam cleaner. If you mess it up it could catch on fire and if you are not right there to put it out, you could potentially lose your machine.
Franchise Territories are Generally Delineated On a Map; Why?
If you own a mobile service or home based franchise your exclusive territory will be delineated on a map in the attachment of your franchise agreement. You will be assigned generally a single city, county or region and another franchisee or team member of the same system will not compete with your although may be right around the corner.
Small Businesses With Work Trucks; A Warning
If you are a non-operator owner of many work trucks, you should keep your business credit card with you not leave it in one of the trucks. You should not issue them to employees without strict guidlines.
The Skills Gap: It Pays to Use Experts
By outsourcing to skilled professionals you'll be able to grow your business without adding overhead.Here are some of the costs associated with growing a business through acquiring staff:* recruitment* payroll and tax obligations* national insurance* employers liability* benefits (pension, car, medical, dental)* holiday pay / sick pay / maternity pay / water cooler pay!* office space* equipment or general office supplies* legal responsibilities that include employee policies on working hours, sexual harassment, sick time, leave of absence, holidays, benefits, performance reviews, grievances, terminations* training* managementDo not underestimate the time and money involved in recruiting and retaining staff.
Over 1/3 of online searches are to find local businesses
Buyers want both online and local information about where to buy Most small businesses are local in nature, serving people who live nearby. Their customers found them through traditional methods like the Yellow Pages or newspaper ads.
|Home | Site Map | Privacy Statement | More Articles|