Thoughts on DIY Design

I’ve never written a song. I wouldn’t know where to begin. Well maybe I’d try to learn an instrument first or learn to read music! But without even some rudimentary knowledge like that I doubt a song will be penned by me anytime soon. If you’ve never designed a brochure, logo, website or similar where would you start? You have a computer and know how to use it, but is that enough to start designing your business materials? Maybe not. If I needed a song written I would not rely on myself to do it. I’d definitely find an experienced songwriter. If you need a design to promote your business or brand then find an experienced Graphic Designer. It’s worth it!

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Custom Websites, Worth the Investment?

In a previous blog post I made the point that websites are today’s business cards. If that’s the case, do you want a business card for your business? Of course. Then you  should also want a website that reflects your business. Being infinitely malleable your website is a much more flexible tool for describing your business than a business card. What would you pay for that?

Custom websites come in all price ranges but the web designer you end up with should be someone you feel comfortable with and can contact easily for changes, troubleshooting and updates. I often run into people who hired someone to do their website and now that they need them they don’t know how to find them. Or their web designer won’t return calls. That’s pretty frustrating. Pat Creedon Design is very accessible. I also offer graphic design so I can do the promotional materials, ads and direct mail for your business as well. The consistency in having one graphic and web designer on it all, plus the reliability of one contact, makes for a pleasant and smooth process for getting your new custom website.

Websites are the Business Cards of the Internet

Once there was a time when all you needed was a business card to hand out and you were in business. Most people who have a business have a card to go with it and give it out freely, especially if it’s any kind of service business. The card has the basic information that the prospect needed: business name, address, phone number, maybe an email address and sometimes the services or products available, and some branding like a logo and tagline. Interested parties would simply call, email or stop by and the business grew. Now there is an expectation that, before anyone commits to that call, email or walk-in, they will have access to your business on the world-wide web. It’s become a given that businesses can be researched first from anyone’s computer, or even more likely, their smart phone or tablet. And if your business is not represented by it’s own website then people simply Google it.

That’s when it gets interesting. Everyone is likely to be searchable thanks to the diligence of companies like Google but not everyone will be that happy with what shows up about them. A business owner I know felt he was busy enough that he didn’t need a website for his company. But he was having a problem with people calling to ask him for a service that his company doesn’t do. I said I’d look into it for him and I found out that his business listing on the web didn’t mention what he does. Hence people were assuming that he offered what they wanted. If he had a website that told people exactly what services his company offered it would have cut down on nuisance phone calls that were not resulting in new business. Getting a website is the best way since business cards to control what you want people to know about your business. And these days it virtually is a business card!

Before and After Business Card

I designed the after

I designed the after

Why Websites are the Business Cards of the Internet

Once there was a time when all you needed was a business card to hand out and you were in business! Most people who have a business have a card to go with it and give it out freely, especially if it’s any kind of service business. The card would give out the basic information that the prospect needed: business name, address, phone number, maybe an email address and sometimes the services or products available, and some branding like a logo and tagline. Interested parties would simply call, email or stop by and the business grew. Now there is an expectation that, before anyone commits to that call, email or walk-in, they will have access to your business on the world-wide web. It’s become a given that businesses can be researched first from anyone’s computer, or these days, their smart phone or tablet. Now if your business is not represented by it’s own website then people simply Google it.

That’s when it gets hairy. Everyone is likely to be searchable thanks to the diligence of companies like Google but not everyone will be that happy with what shows up about them. I recently talked with a business owner who felt he was busy enough that he didn’t need a website designed and uploaded for him at a personalized URL for his company. But he was having a problem recently of people calling to ask him for a service that his company doesn’t do. I said I’d look into it for him and I found out that his business listing on the web didn’t mention what he does do hence people were assuming that he offered what they wanted. If he had a website that told people exactly what services his company offered it would have cut down on nuisance phone calls that were not resulting in new business.

A website can be as simple as a “landing page” which is literally like a business card on the web. It gives the basic information on your company and it’s products or services. It has your logo, tagline and colors that brand your business and that’s it. As long as it’s not created in Flash then it will be searchable by the search engines and will show up when the company name is Googled. To get ahead of  your competition though something more will be needed but that will be covered in another blog. Thanks for your time! Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.