checklist

2015 Small Business Design Checklist

Often overlooked in the creation of their marketing plan, design is an important aspect of any small business. Investing time and money to nail down your brand from the start saves headaches, heartbreaks, and empty wallets when your business is fully established. It is also a great way to give your brand a refreshing facelift if you’re feeling a few wrinkles – don’t worry, we didn’t notice.

Good design and a consistent brand increases visibility, brand loyalty, and a sense of professionalism.

Maximize’s Official 2015 Design Checklist

Logo and Branding Assets

John Hergarty, author of Hegarty on Advertising wrote it best: “Always remember: a brand is the most valuable piece of real estate in the world; a corner of someone’s mind.”

This is the most crucial part of your marketing strategy. Having a logo created by creative experts doesn’t have to break the bank. Your logo is a reflection of your brand, your morals, and your target audience so you need to ensure you’ve invested the time into it.

Your logo will eventually be what people connect to your business. What are the benefits of a well-designed logo?

  • Visibility
  • Brand Recognition
  • Consistency

Think of a can of soda, delivery truck, or magazine cover without a logo associated with it. The goal is to stand out among competitors and a logo is perfect for this!

Your brand is just as important as your financial plan. A design agency will be able to help you with things like brand colors, strong typography choices and imagery for your brand.

You want to have creative experts review your branding if you’re feeling like your current brand isn’t working.

Custom Designed Business Cards

Here is a well designed, custom business card with all the graphical elements to make it stand out.

Here is a well designed, custom business card with all the graphical elements to make it stand out. – Design Ranch

We get it. Seeing a sale in your e-mail inbox for a whopping 500 business cards at the low, low price of $9.99 is tempting. Really tempting. Vistaprint is a great source for printing low-cost materials (including business cards), but with a limited template selection and light options for design it could reflect badly on your business.

I’m sure you’re asking why this is a bad thing, right?

Before you purchase your business cards, stop to consider this: how many other people are going to see this deal and take advantage of it? How many people are using the same template you are? You’d be surprised!

Want a unique business card tailored to your ideas and brand? Local print shops and graphic design firms are our suggested area to look to. Having a dedicated design firm in charge of your business cards adds a chance for creative experts to bring your ideas and brand to life. Plus, you’re supporting local business!

 Website Design

Your website is a digital billboard – you want it to be seen at all times. A mistake many business owners make is not budgeting in a developed, SEO-enabled website because of some alternative options available. We suggest highly that you purchase a domain (yourbusinessname.com) and host through services like Host Gator instead of signing up for free hosting like Wix.com or Webs.com. You will rank higher in web searches and have more security for your website.

Learn to love WordPress

Hiring designers who work with WordPress saves you time and hassle. The flexible platform comes with bundles of free themes and the ability to install new themes purchased at low cost as well. There’s a few reasons why WordPress is one of the fastest growing CMS (Content Management Systems). It is often considered an industry standard for small to medium businesses.

A well designed site is reachable 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, on multiple devices (desktop, mobile, tablet). People want to find your business easily. They want to browse your site to sample your goods, services, or even contact you. If you have no website or a site poorly designed, it could be hurting your business.

So, that’s it! The journey of developing your 2015 business plan spans offline and online. Take these three points into mind when you budget your time and finances this year. Your brand deserves to be as awesome as you are.

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