Top Tips – Foundations for your business
TOP TIP #24 – Mission Statements; The who, what & why of your business.
This month we’re doing something a bit different. In the last 6 months we’ve taken on some lovely clients so we thought we’d spend May telling Squiggle’s story. We’re always telling our clients they must tell their story, so, here’s ours…
We recently sat down whilst planning our content and thought we’d re-visit the basics of Squiggle starting with our Mission Statement. This should be a statement that you can keep coming back to that describes what your business stands for. Ultimately made up of the 3 key points;
1. What your company does
2. How you do what you do
3. Why your company does what it does.
At surface level this sounds easy… George was up and out of her chair, the radio was turned up, there was arm swaying, singing and lots of laughter whilst we noted down the first things that came to mind when thinking on each of the above points. We put them together into one all encompassing statement, a few revisions later we had this;
“Squiggle Graphics is a design, online and offline marketing agency providing a complete creative package that you will understand. We work alongside startups, small to medium sized businesses, supporting and helping you grow your business to make a lasting impression.” A fuller, more in depth version can be found as a pinned post on the top of our feed.
This encapsulates everything we want the business to be and sets an expectation for anyone that sees it, as a potential customer, what sort of service they’ll receive from Squiggle Graphics.
Most importantly, it also keeps us on track, missions statements should help your with your business purpose, setting goals to achieve and in deciding what direction you want to head forwards in, and finally not forgetting who your want to target, your ideal client.
TOP TIP #25 – Q: How do we do what we do?
Starting out on her own, George worked when the work came in, (still flooding in too, so thank you), and still does, many many hours; we continue to be flexible working around our Client’s hours and deadlines, we’ve been there and appreciate sometimes last minute jobs just happen!
The variety of clients and projects over the last 6 years and frequent conversations with clients finding themselves in similar situations, asking the same questions that George has experienced has allowed Squiggle to develop packages that answer all the pain points our client’s are experiencing, allowing us to deliver exactly what they need.
We know that one size does not fit all. Budgets are always a major consideration for any project, as is understanding what you’re getting. A key value to us is keeping things simple, we want you to understand what’s being offered, why we think your business needs it and what value it can add. No matter what level of business you’re at, you just want to know what’s been promised, can be done on time and for what was quoted.
If you’re totally new to the whole, having a business thing, ‘where do I start?‘ is usually the first thing we’re asked, our Be Noticed package provides the foundations you’ll need to get up and running for example. More established businesses, having run for a few years, have some capital behind them and know where they want to go, often have a simple website that isn’t working for them – our Get Online package is for them to take the next step.
TOP TIP #26 –Be Noticed – Where do I start? This is one of the most asked question our clients ask when starting a business.
Our introductory package, Be Noticed has been created with start ups in mind. In the excitement of starting up your business, there are some fundamental things you need to establish to get your online presence sorted – it’s been a little eye opening recently, how many people hadn’t thought of , or weren’t aware of some of these?!
We understand that for any new start up business, cost is THE most considered factor for getting anything done, so that’s why we developed a package that would give our clients the professional look and feel to hit the ground running with sturdy foundations in place.
Our package includes: logo design, domain name research & purchase, stationary, set up of branded email.
TOP TIP #27 – Get online – My website doesn’t work!!!
You’ve had your business a few years, works coming in, you think you’ve got it all covered, but your website isn’t really doing what you want it to do for you, you might even be questioning the best way forward, where in the marketplace should I look to progress?
Typically this is what George has heard from many customers who come to Squiggle having had a basic website built on one of the industry’s do it yourself platforms. These platforms don’t tell you anything about H1 and H2 headings, SEO, or SSL licences or the many other technical aspects and maintenance tasks you should be doing to keep your site up to date.
It’s not all about looking pretty, there’s no point in having a site that’s pretty front end, for it not to function behind the scenes.
Our Get Online package was created to include all the technical bits of having a working website to ensure your business has the best chance of ranking and provides you with a presence that can grow with your business. We’ll set up basic SEO and submit your site to Google to get the bots crawling!
Remembering that cost is still a deciding factor, we offer monthly packages to help spread the cost.
TOP TIP #28 –What to look for in a designer?
First and foremost George’s talents as a designer have got her most of the way to where she is today, her straight forward openness, passion, determination to succeed and desire to keep on learning make up the rest.
But what else should you look for in a graphic designer..?
How many of you know that George has a BA Hons in Packaging Design and a HND in Graphic Design? Ever wondered what other work George has done?
Just ask, we have folio’s, back ups and online examples of work covering, logo design, branding, websites, exhibition graphics, flyers, postcards, brochures – you name it.
Project briefs come in all shapes and sizes, some a matter of words, others are carefully constructed with every detail accounted for; patience, excellent communication skills and often problem solving enable George to bring these ‘squiggles’ to life into a working concept to be developed to address the client’s needs.
Using initiative and creativity to produce work that delivers on the brief, artwork that can be used across all marketing mediums and re-sized, full colour or single colour – are all basics that any designer should accomplish.
Many of Squiggle’s clients keep on coming back because they’ve built a great relationship with George, they can rely on her when they need something done, she’ll sit and explain the theory behind her designs, why those colours have been chosen or we didn’t use a particular font. Our client testimonials speak for themselves of the consistently high standard of work that is produced.
TOP TIP #29 – How do we approach a website project?
Each and every client’s individual needs are different.
One size does not fit all here at Squiggle Graphics
Our initial conversations with our clients will often cover the basics:
• Establishing what they’re after whether that’s print, graphics or a website
• What have they got; what works, what doesn’t
• Send a questionnaire to see where they’re at
• Find out what their goals are
Understanding what the client’s needs are, is the most important aspect of a project, this allows us to research competitors, latest trends and put together a wireframe and proposal of what we think they need to take the business forward and the journey they want their customers to take.
We break everything down, provide explanations and costs for each element of the project, including offering advice and suggestions for possible future developments to show how the website can grow with them and their business.
It’s important for us that our client’s understand the value of what we offer and the benefits our packages can bring, we put a lot of time and effort into creating our proposals ensuring we’ve made everything easy to follow and clear to see what they’re getting for their money.
TOP TIP #30 – Gaining Trust and Sharing Knowledge
Social media profiles allow us to get right in front of our customers more than any other advertising medium.
Used wisely you can put this to good use to build engagement with your followers and clients by sharing your knowledge.
We know ourselves that people watching our feeds don’t always ‘react,’ which is why we say its so important to consistently post and keep at it; you never know when they might pick up the phone. We had one customer who watched and read our emails for over a year, then picked up the phone…‼️
That’s why we like to share our FREE toptips, nuggets of knowledge and insightful thoughts on all things social, marketing and branding related with our followers; it’s our little bit of giving back.
Everything we talk about, we’ve been there and done it. George has likely experienced most of the trials, pitfalls and all the twists that come with running your own business, it’s a bit like a rollercoaster ride!! Hold on tight…!
By sharing your knowledge, you’re giving a little bit of useful info away, and allowing your potential customers to suss you out a bit – they might, hopefully learn something new, come to value and trust your opinion so in time will choose to work with you
TOP TIP #31 –Training packages from Squiggle
We love the variety of clients we have here at Squiggle, it allows us to keep evolving our offerings and adding to our services as we’re asked more questions, can you do this?
…Actually, can I do that?
For our clients’ that really understand their business, are interested in managing their own social media profiles and want to be hands on with their online profiles, we’ve created training packages and tailor them to be bespoke to each client’s needs. These clients’ have realised having a website isn’t enough to sustain their online journey, it’s just the start.
As your online shop window, traffic needs to be pushed to your website, so you need to get your name out there and get people in the door, so to speak!
Our training covers all the basics to get started, or we’ll audit your profiles ensuring they’re correctly set up before covering what to post and when, the do’s and don’ts plus the benefits of scheduling and preparation! We’ll arm you with the tools to get your site out there using social media, marketing activities both on and offline, as well as local SEO.
We don’t profess to be total experts and we’re learning new things every day as well, the latest ‘hot topic’ or thing to do is in one day and out the next, but there are fundamental basics that’ll get you started and off on the right foot!