Think carefully about your promotional material that is being sent out

Promotional material such as flyers, emailers and posters can all have a great positive affect on your business, but it is very important to think carefully about what you include and how they are laid out as if done incorrectly they can actually do more harm than good.

When designing an email marketing campaign for example, you need to consider who your target audience is. You need to think carefully about the tone of your email and consider everything in detail. It is easy for an email to be read the wrong way for example, so it is vital that you ensure you have said what you need to the correct way. Although online material can quickly be updated, once an email has been sent and received it cannot be unsent. Take the time to double check your emailer for typos and to ensure that all the links  / phone numbers are correct and work. You should also make sure that any image that is used is of a high quality so does not look pixelated. Ideally you should get a few people to look over any promotional material before it goes to print or is sent out as often when working on a project, you can easily miss things if you are too close.

Is it worth paying for your company logo?

When starting a business you have many start-up costs and a big chunk of this can be your new brand marketing. It may be tempting to try to cut costs with this and design your logo yourself however there are lots of things to keep in mind when doing this.

Firstly if you are using images off the internet you need to be aware of copyright laws. If an image has a copyright attached to it you must not reproduce it without prior consent from the image owner. Copyright pictures will usually have a watermark on them but if in doubt you can do a reverse search on the image in google to check.

The next thing to bear in mind is the quality of the image you are using. Some images look fine small on a screen however if you were to blow them up to print on a sign or poster you may find they come out blurred or pixilated. These issues are avoided when you get a professional logo made as you will then own the rights to that logo and you can request that the logo quality is good enough for large print items.

It’s important to remember that your chosen logo is the face of your business, it’s the thing that makes you stand out and be remembered, so with that in mind it may be worth the short term investment for a long term gain.

Is it time to update your computer hardware?

If you are a business owner involved in computer or website services it is important that your computer hardware is in tip top condition, that is it is running smoothly and quickly, is virus free and is powerful enough for the applications that are accessed on it. If there are issues with the hardware or if it is outdated then there are several options open to businesses today.

The first thing to establish is whether the business actually needs to own the computer hardware or whether the equipment could be leased instead. There are many advantages to leasing computer equipment with the main one being that there is no big initial outlay but rather a monthly fee. This can be a boon for any new start up business. Another advantage is that the hardware can be kept up to date as the lease company will replace the hardware periodically.

If leasing is not an option for the business then consider buying second hand and upgrading parts of the computer such as increasing the memory or the graphics card. This can be a cost effective way to get a better computer system for the business. Many larger companies sell on their hardware when they replace them so look out for advertisements online or approach companies directly.

Why free is not always good when it comes to web design

Having a website for your business is a great idea but you do need to think carefully before you decide to go ahead with one. There are a vast number of places that you can get a website from and it is important to fully understand what you going to get. Starting with the cheapest – you will find some companies offer you a free basic website or very low monthly cost. They usually do this as often your site will link back to them and effectively is advertising for them. They usually reply on a number of people also then upgrading to a paid for version. These sites may be ok if you just want something to put on a business card, but they usually are very restrictive as to what you can do on them and you may find that you end up having to start again with someone else later on down the line.

If you want a professional website that can grow with you then you should try and find an agency or a web developer that specialises in bespoke websites. It may not be that you have to have a completely bespoke site, but for a website to work for your business it does need to have been designed for you. This doesn’t always mean that it will cost the earth just that it will have everything you need in it.  

Ensuring your branding is constant

Brading is much more than just your logo, it also includes the business colourways, fonts, uniforms and even company ethos! All of this together helps t build up a recognisable brand. If you think of companies such as McDonalds for example, you think of red and yellow, their mascot, their logo and also their uniform. All of their restaurants are easily recognisable and have some consistence no matter where they are. You can spot a McDonalds even in a different country.

Your branding and logo etc should be consistent throughout all your marketing whether it be online or offline. Some companies have branding for their premises but then when they get a website created, decide that they want to use something else. This can cause confusion for customers who may question whether you are in the same business. If they go on to your website and see the same branding as on the front of your shop they will then already have a certain amount of trust which is a very important part of selling online.

If you want to change your branding be sure to update everything as quickly as possible. You ideally want all your branding to match within a few weeks of introducing it.