If you pick up a newspaper or read articles online you’ll easily find articles of companies and industries talking about fiscal performance from last quarter, or last year, or last month to now. One of the main things that big companies keep their eyes on is their money. Money that they take a lot of time forecasting how much they’ll make from day-to-day, week to week, and so on. I even believe that this is their number one priority and what they spend most of their waking business hours contemplating. This is because they are rated or graded by their track history or performance. Now what about you? Let me explain.
I don’t need to go over why every business needs a website. Been there done that. I also don’t need to explain how more and more people are losing their jobs and careers and NOT sitting around waiting for a new one – but instead becoming entrepreneurs and small business start-ups. I’m even not going to ask you if you think we’re in another dot-com era, or how mobile apps will be even more vital to a business in the next few years. What I am going to tell you is that as a designer (albeit web, graphic, programming, whatever) your market is only going to continue to grow. All of these people are entering your market in droves all across the country. They need business cards, logos, web sites, letter heads, and corporate identities, and they need all of that yesterday. Sure there are numbers about there that suggest most start-ups don’t last more than 5 years before they fail, but I think even that’s going to change due to there being not many other options past “plan b.”
All of these new businesses have something collectively that major businesses forgot. Customer service. I’m sure you don’t have to think back too long when you last had to call an 800 number and got someone who could less about you, hung up on you after you explained what help you needed, or couldn’t understand what you were saying past the script they need to read you. As a small business, all of these “corporate” gripes are remedied when consumers look towards their local providers. They get:
- Immediate customer support
- Local phone number to someone they probably already met in person
- A physical location to get products or services
- A pleasant customer experience that will be praised to all of their friends
As a designer, you can provide all of that and more with almost little effort than a good attitude and work ethic. Good work is good, but great customer care goes so much further. Especially in a world where a customer’s bad experience can be Tweeted or Facebook’d online for all the world to see. Don’t forget that those posts never come down. As long as you have a solid business plan, have a good work-flow, and know how to treat each of your clients like they’re your only one, you’ll survive this recession and plenty years after.