Why good design is so important for those starting a business?

Design is not something just graphic designers do.

It is not an afterthought.

Design process should be integrated at the beginning of creating a business or project.

Of course being the founder of Designus I have a slight bias towards good design but I think it vitally important for many reasons.

In the early stages of developing a business it’s a key step in strategic thinking around your business as it means the difference between gaining an edge over your competitors and turning customers off completely.

No matter what business you’re starting up — the look and feel of your website, logo, social media profiles, marketing materials is an important tool to help you hook customers with a great first impression.

That’s why it’s so crucial to invest the necessary time and resources in a visually pleasing, well-designed online brand presence.

I encounter many business that do not (but many that do) understand the value of design and often plays secondary to other vitals elements such as setting up a good legal structure when setting up their business.

Poor design will actually work against you, undermining your goals and objectives.

Ok I hear you ask how could this be possible.

Firstly, it will make it difficult for your target audience to grasp what your business represents and why you even exist.

The role good design plays is critical in communicating your values, what you offer to potential customers plus your mission and vision.

We all want to make it easy to communicate who we are, what we do and what we offer – there are enough challenges already when starting up a business so design needs to be effective.

Secondly you can leverage design in a number of critical ways. Good design will help you attract potential partners, funders, and customers. Good design will allow your audience to interact with you in a memorable, dynamic, efficient, and user-friendly way.

A key player in all this work is of course a graphic designer. As we’ve discussed design is about solving problems and communicating values with clear, accessible, and elegant solutions so include a designer in strategic planning at the beginning of the process.

Do not ask a designer to do the work pro bono. This is an important investment in your success and you will most likely get a better end product.

It’s vital to develop a long-term relationship with a designer. Your designer will come to have a deep understanding of your goals and objectives as well as the challenges you face. In the long run this can be more cost-effective as the learning curve phase for projects is eliminated.

Design can be an expensive investment however I think it’s important to state that great design can be measured – here are a few ways metrics to support the investment:

  • increased awareness (i.e., more hits to your website);
  • a more engaged community (i.e, more leads/ followers);
  • more business (i.e. increase in customers);
  • greater awareness and visibility (i.e., more social media, press and media attention).

In a world where competition for time and attention is at an all-time high, good design will help you rise above the fray and achieve your goals, which in turn will help you to build your community.

Design does matter to your business. When you care about what your customers think of your business, you’ll use design to attract their attention. When growing your business is important, you can use design to position your brand in a more appealing way that makes customers notice you. When you want people to hear what you have to say, design can give them a reason to perk up and shift their focus and curiosity on you.

Don’t underestimate the power of design, it’s a powerful tool – it can engage, inform, mobilize, and inspire!

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Simon Harris