Starting a small business this 2021 can be extremely complicated due to the pandemic’s effect on digitalization.
As larger traditional companies have realized, having an online experience is extremely important and this poses a threat to small businesses on top of other small businesses.
There are two ways for a small business to stand out when it comes to designs.
It can be either they have extremely good and extremely expensive designs, or they could have unique designs that cause engagement.
Making the most out of designs this 2021 is very important especially for those small businesses with limited resources and cannot afford a professional artist.
The importance of design in 2021
For those that still can’t see the picture and think that investing in design is a waste of company resources, it is important to note that successful companies give huge importance to this segment and it is one of the reasons why they are successful.
Apple’s late Steve Jobs actually spent $100,000 on the Apple logo and for those that don’t see the brilliance behind the logo, this is because those thousands of dollars were spent into perfecting the simple logo into something tested out and proven effective to consumers.
With one of the biggest companies in the world giving much importance to design, this just goes to show how important design is in general.
The importance of the design is not just how it looks but also what it is capable of doing.
Aside from just promoting the company to the target market, a strong logo and design would mean a strong market presence as well.
The misconception of design
Most people think that design is mostly art and although this is true, the design goes past art and tackles a more technical side of marketing which is making sales.
Aside from standing out, design is very important for small businesses since it provides them the opportunity to not only compete but visually stand out against their competition.
Tips to make the most out of your design this 2021
There are a few tips that can help the small business maximize the designs that they put out and this is very necessary this 2021 when the competition is quite harsh.
Following these tips provide a clearer use for the designs that the business puts out and not just something to fill the gaps.
- Define the design objectives
There should really be a clear objective behind every single design that is put out.
Without having a clear goal in mind, the visuals would not really have much use and might even be counterproductive to what the business wants to achieve.
This is the first thing that the business owner needs to decide on when picking out the right designs for their visual presence.
Here are a few examples of design objectives:
- Increase the website traffic
- Improve the lead generation rate
- Increases the total conversion rate
- Improve the total brand visibility
- Increases the brand’s strong presence
Once laying out the objectives has been done with careful planning and with firm decision making, this is when it is time to start planning out the visuals.
- Use the right tools
For those small businesses that think hiring a graphic designer would be too expensive and the limited resources should be spent otherwise, there are ways to make inexpensive designs through the use of the right tools.
There are actually tons of different super-helpful online tools that are available to help small business owners make the most out of their design and result in a profitable business.
In this day and age, creating high-quality visuals has never been easier since almost everything is available online from the photos to use to the software that is either free or affordable for proper editing.
A good example of tools that provide high-quality material to use when making a design is our website – Thread Basket.
The good thing about business owners that sign up for Thread Basket is that they have access to thousands of designs that can be used to represent the brand in their promotional and corporate materials.
This is a huge advantage for those that aren’t experienced in making logos and other types of designs as they can simply take a design and either edit it or release it as is.
- Learn from big brands
Of course, pick the brands that best represent an industry or direction similar to the small business.
The problem with doing this is that people mistake “learning from big brands” with “copying from big brands.”
The latter is a big no-no and the business owner should put more emphasis in learning how the design really worked.
For more corporate-leaning businesses, find out how to use simple designs, shapes, color shades, and fonts to make the final output more appealing.
For those in more creative fields, find out how the artist was able to take something (usually different) and make it work to represent the company.
Taking inspiration from these big brands would allow the small business owner to come up with the right designs much faster.
Take a closer look into the whole industry that the business is involved in and find out certain commonalities that really attract the potential market.
The problem with standing out too much is that sometimes it is hard for the market to adjust.
- Make the most out of design trends
When a new trend surfaces, if a small business can hop onto that design trend almost instantly, they will then be able to gain even more attention from the excited market.
Design trends happen every once in a while so it shouldn’t be too bad if a particular one is missed since there will always be a new one coming soon.
Quickly adapting and even being ahead of the competition when it comes to design trends will allow the business to get a really good hold of the potential market.
This 2021, the design trends haven’t yet been completely defined but there are a few predictions that can prove useful.
Here are a few design trend predictions this 2021:
- Muted color palettes
- Colorful data visualizations
- Geometric patterns
- Text filled videos
Although predictions do not give the final outcome, they give a clearer visualization of what should be expected when it comes to the new trends.
- Design consistency
Making a decision to switch your designs later on is okay but when starting out, it is important to first create a solid brand and this can be done when the designs are consistent.
Since small businesses are still trying to build their brand, it is important to be consistent in the designs that they put out in promotional materials in order to not confuse the potential market.
A consistent design for the brand acts as some sort of visual identity to the brand.
For example, it would be hard to imagine a Shell gas station if the shell was color blue with a green background wouldn’t it?
The reason why Shell has stayed consistent with their colors and design is that they want their customers and others in the market to know exactly who they are.
Having a consistent design does not mean having the same design but rather keeping the core essentials consistent while others could be changed.
There are so many elements in design that are all very important and the business owner can choose which one to keep consistent and which ones can be altered.
Here are a few design elements to choose from:
- Color pallet
There are a lot of other elements within design itself but these elements are more flexible and changing maybe one or two while leaving out the rest allows for a consistent but still exciting switch up whenever the new designs are to be made.
- Track metrics
This is the very important part of designs and building the brand.
When starting off, the small business might not get the right design straight away.
Brands change their designs all the time and the good thing about this 2021 is that the progress can be checked through the metrics online instead of being done manually through surveys.
The progress of the design can be tracked on social media, the website, or other mediums used.
When starting off, building a definitive branding with designs still requires experimenting and this is okay as long as the data is reviewed later on and is put to good use when constructing a more solid visual branding.
Here are a few things to watch out for when checking the design metrics:
- Number of views
- Number of leads
- Number of engagements
- Number of shares
- Number of abandoned cart rates
- Other data metrics that provide a quantified measurement of success
Keeping track of the posts online is a good and simple way to check if the design is doing what it is supposed to be doing which is to help in marketing, build the brand, and attract new customers.
How to make the most out of the designs that you have
The thing about making a new design is that even if they are good, if they are not used correctly, they still won’t be that beneficial for the small business.
If the design is not put to good use, the design will just go to waste and could stay in the shadows of the internet.
Bringing the design out to light means making the most of the design outside of the design itself.
Here are some examples:
- Uploading to social media
The good thing about social media is that there are a lot of them which means more platforms to potentially get more audience.
When uploading a design, the same design can be uploaded to the other platforms instead of different designs on each platform which would be very tiresome for the business owner.
- The description of the design
Making a good description of the design is very important but aside from this, the description is also where the small business can put keywords which are used for SEO and hashtags.
Despite the design having text already, it is still important to have a description of that design and the text should include keywords.
- Naming the design file
This is actually one technique that people don’t really use and this is to name the design file when uploading.
When using images, name them keywords to increase the optimization of the design itself.
This way, the search engine would more likely pick up on the small business design when an image is being searched using that keyword.
- Upload time
One thing that a lot of small businesses do wrong is that they do not pay that much attention to time and upload certain things directly “when it is finished” or “when they feel like it.”
This particular tip is most useful in design posts and not in general things like logos and etc.
- Upload in high quality
One big mistake is uploading from a mobile device.
Mobile devices generally decrease the overall quality of a certain design so when it uploads, it might not be as good as the business owner would expect.
Having heavily pixelated and low-quality designs is a huge turnoff especially if the person viewing is viewing the design from another high-quality device that can easily spot the low-quality parts of the design.
Sometimes small businesses get overwhelmed with how well their competitor’s design is doing and that is okay.
Instead of feeling down, learn why it works and does better.
The thing about designs nowadays is that they can be tools not just to attract attention but also to present additional data about the business through descriptions, keywords, hashtags, and more.
Aside from how the design looks, in order to really double down on the design performance this 2021, it is important to go past the limits and improve how the is positioned online.
Need more tips on how you can make your designs work for you in 2021? Follow us on Twitter to learn more tricks and be inspired with the designs we release every week!