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Does design really matter for small business?

August 6, 2012

I’ve gone infographic-mad lately! Loving all the sound-bytes these things are giving off on specific facets of the market.

This one was put together by 99 designs, and even though sample is only small (as with most digital industry infographics I tend to see), it reinforces many of teh hunches I’ve picked up after working with small business in Australia over the last 5 years;

  • Design is moderately to very important to small business owners (80%)
  • 18% are now crowdsourcing design through platform like 99 Designs and others, highlighting the success of this new trend, which is driven by one thing:
  • Only 14% of small business owners surveyed would pay more than $1,000 to have a logo designed. The majority would have less than $500 to spend.

I’ve worked with some amazing designers and think they’re worth every penny. Most good designers I’ve worked with often don’t understand why people balk at the cost of brilliant design. The truth is however, at the lower end of the scale, for a bricks and mortar everyday small business, design is well respected, well regarded – but not highly prioritised in terms of its ability to deliver immediate return on investment. Design is not the thing by which a plumber, electrician or fast food outlet will derive great returns. Where this is starting to change however is in the online and experiential space, where user-centred design of a store layout, ecommerce site, landing page, and in fact just about every other part of a business – is becoming popular as a way of guiding a potential customer to the transaction the small business is really looking for.

Again, the cost of bespoke design in this space is still high. Victors seeking to conquer in this space and increase uptake amongst SMEs will be those who build templated design packages, available to the masses. Templates keep the cost of design down, and focus on increased volumes of business adoption in order to derive return from user-centric design thinking and expertise.

Speaking of design, it’s probably about time I reviewed this blog design!

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