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Many Hands Make Light Work: Accepting a Little External Input When Crafting Your Website

As a small business owner, it can be extremely easy to become territorial over all aspects of your company. After all, that’s one of the reasons you became self-employed in the first place, right? You want freedom to pursue what you want, craft your own ideas, and develop your own brand. However, every now and then it’s a good idea to let others lend a helping hand. As the old saying goes, many hands make light work.

This rings true in particular when it comes to setting up a webpage. A well crafted website can help you to launch your business into the ever-expanding world of E-commerce, exposing you to customers on a potentially worldwide level, opening your store up to access at all times of the day and night, and giving you space on the smartphones that so many of us tend to have our heads buried in most of the time.

So you want it to be the best that it can possibly be. Here are a few areas that others can help you out with to give you the most admirable results.

Image Credit: Pexels

Web Design

If you want to succeed in ecommerce, you’re going to need an eye-catching website. This is your base. The place that customers will come into contact with your brand, its aesthetic, and the products and services that you have available. Make their experience memorable.

Rather than using the same old same old web page layout, collaborate with a web designer who will be able to create a site that is easy to navigate, has easily accessible links to important brand information such as returns, sizing, shipping, and terms and conditions; and options such as mailing list signup and contact forms.

Graphic Design

Sure, you can use stock images. They’re free, simple to source, and will do the job. But since when did you ever settle for average? Whether you’re looking at something major like a new logo, or more small-scale like an illustration for a blog post, a reliable graphic designer will be able to hook you up with whatever it is that you may need.

Not only will they be able to put your ideas directly onto paper (or screen), but they will also be able to offer sage advice regarding what works and what doesn’t. They’ll have seen many businesses come and go in their time and can give you a little insight as to what styles will best suit your brand aesthetic and what types of images to avoid.

Content

You want your content to stand out. So many sales sites have such similar product descriptions, blog posts, and images. Try to do something a little different. Employing the help of a photographer and copywriter will ensure that your web page content pops! Not only will it be more memorable (encouraging customers to revisit pages), but it will also encourage sales.

Remember that you can’t do absolutely everything! That’s where self-employed freelancers can come in to help out with one-off jobs. Make the most of their creativity and expertise where you can!

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Think Outside the Box to Design Your Perfect Business Card

How many times a week do you get handed the same generic, laminated and tiny rectangular business cards? Once, twice or more? The chances are that these business cards are placed into your wallet and never see the light of day again unless you fumble around looking for your credit card only to take out a business card instead.

Business cards are vital tools that allow us to network with our fellow industry colleagues and make worthwhile contacts. However, the standard format of the business card is uninspiring, instantly forgettable and results in no further contact between you and the person who gave you the card in the first place.

To break this cycle, you need to take a look at a new breed of business card. Its purpose is still the same: making meaningful business links and driving your company forward. Take a look at these ideas that will inspire you to design a new business card of your own.

Anyone for a Spot of Kirigami?

The art of paper folding could see you create a new generation of 3D business cards. If you work in a creative industry or architecture, these wacky but interesting business cards could fit the bill. Complete with contact details, company logo and name, they remain simple in their content, yet sophisticated in their sleek design. This is a business card that will enable you to stand out from the crowd.

Make It Functional

This incredible metal business card is also a USB stick. By adding a useful function to your business card, you are limiting the chances of it being thrown in a drawer and forgotten about for eternity. Every time a contact of yours utilises their USB, your business name and logo will be visible to them as well as any other colleagues that may be around their desk at the time. Adding an innovative use to your card could be the difference between making a worthwhile lead and not.

Experiment with Materials

You don’t have to choose the most eco-friendly matte finish card to show off an air of sophistication in your business cards. Why not consider a different material altogether? You could look into bamboo, metal or soft woods to create a wholly new style of business card. Wood lends itself to be burned into or branded allowing you to be creative with your design. By thinking outside the box, you are making your company instantly more memorable than your more generic competitor.

Key Features All Business Cards Should Share

No matter what shape, material or form that your business card takes, it should contain your business name, contact details, social media links and your logo. By looking at the range of unique logo fonts provided by DIY Logo, you’ll be inspired to find a special font to match your specially designed business card. If you have a one of a kind business card, you don’t want to ruin its feel by plastering it with a boring Times New Roman or Courier Font. Carry the uniqueness through into every aspect of your design.

Business cards can seem like a tiny aspect of your networking strategy but get it right, and you could have a unique talking point that generates many meaningful business contacts.

How to Get Your Design Studio Up and Running

Setting up your own design studio is one of the most exciting and exhilarating things you can do as a designer. It can also be a little overwhelming and confusing too however, so we are here today to create a tick sheet on how to set up your design studio so that you are up and running in no time at all.

Business Capital

Firstly, you’re going to need to look into a good, reputable business lending company that can help get your business off the ground financially and set you up with the funds that you need to get your business started and financed into the initial few months. With some business loan companies offering small business loans with business funding as low as 9.9% make sure you put in the research to find the best packages that fulfill the needs of your company.

Your Creative Team

Assuming that you are setting up your design studio with a background in design you are already bringing with you heaps of design experience and contacts within the world of design. You then will obviously want to create a team of fantastic designers. Creative individuals who add a diverse range of creative talents, style, and conceptual vision.

However as your background is most likely in design you will also want to ensure that you are creating a team that offers solid diversity for your business. So combining designers with more commercial staff who will be able to build your business and marketers who will be able to promote your business will ensure that you have a well rounded team that ticks all the right boxes for your business. Having a team of individuals with different backgrounds will also mean that you can bounce ideas around a team with multiple areas of expertise.

Those All-important Clients

The decision for you to bite the bullet and go it alone probably means that you are confident that you already have a few clients that you can take with you into your new company. A handful of clients is obviously a great start, but they are not going to pay the bills long term. Therefore the primary focus for your design studio is canvassing for new clients.

Begin by understanding what it is about your company that makes it special and makes it standout from the competition. Carve out a niche for yourself and then compile a list of potential clients that you feel your approach, values, and style will suit and serve well.

Build strong relationships by being transparent with your creative process so that there are no hiccups or no unmet expectations and disappointments along the way. Being clear about what you offer and what you can deliver is important in creating clear goals and aims for any projects you take on for new clients. Happy clients mean great word of mouth publicity, so being clear from the start will ensure your clients are satisfied with you and your new team and your company will subsequently grow.

Collaborators

So you now have your full time team in place, however you are still going to want to build up a network of outsourcers, collaborators, and specialists around you. Making sure you have people you can outsource work to means that no matter how much work you have coming through your studio you can always deliver and never have to risk clients going else where if your schedule is full.

Forming relationships with specialists in areas such as video animation or TV production advertising means that if you have a specific project that comes in that needs specialist knowledge in certain areas, you already have a trusted and reliable extended team that you can call upon.

Keep Updated

Now that you are setting up shop on your own there may be a few differences, to working for an employer, that you don’t immediately notice straight away. One of the biggest differences that can sneak up on you, can be the training and industry knowledge and research that is gathered and presented and offered to you on a regular basis when you work for a larger agency.

So as a business owner you now need to make research and training a priority for yourself and for your staff. Staying on top of market trends and business development in your industry means you stay on top of the game and are able to offer your clients a service that is fresh modern and forward thinking.

Similarly, investing in training for yourself and your staff will mean that your team are constantly evolving and are able to offer the most up-to-date and sought after software and design programmes and tools.

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