Humans are visual and as a business owner if you don't understand that you're done, seriously. Let me talk numbers to convince you the importance of design in your business, because in short, design is financially beneficial.

In 2005, a group called The Design Council studied 63 portfolios ( companies that traded on the FTSE (Financial Times Stock Exchange) over the course of a decade. What they discovered was that the companies that put an emphasis on design did way better than the ones that didn’t – they outperformed the FTSE 100 index by 200% in fact. Check out the graph below that shows just how much better the companies that put an emphasis on design (red line) do when up against the top 100 businesses on the FTSE (green line)!

A more layman-friendly figure that this study by The Design Council also determined was that “every £100 a design alert business spends on design increases turnover by £225”. So, investing in design is a bit like investing in future profits, it may cost a bit now, but a little down the track, these studies suggest that you’ll likely be glad you did so.

Design Is More Than How It Looks

Good design is invisible. This boils down to the idea that design should be experienced, not noticed. An all too common misconception about design and designers is that design is solely about the way a product, communication, image etc. looks. In reality, a good designer will consider how it looks as secondary to how it works.

A designer isn’t just going to make your website look nice, they are going to consider who you are, who your company is, who your audience is, what will go on your home page, what information is most and least important to display, what the competitors in your field are doing with this medium, etc. They are going to pull apart your content and reassemble it in a way that helps you communicate to your audience in the best possible way.

designer Alex Cue notes “Good graphic design ties a piece together. Typography, colors, images, and hierarchy are the resources a graphic designer uses to compose a design that clearly communicates information, value, and reasons to care in a quick, eye-catching manner.”

Design Provides a Positive First Impression

You only have one chance to make a first impression, and despite the age-old wisdom of “not judging a book by its cover,” humans, as a natural inclination, do judge – especially when it comes to business. Even if your product or service is the best in the land, without great design, no one will give a shoot. If your first impression isn’t wowing anyone, why should they think your services would be any different?

Walking through a supermarket, researching online, or flipping through a catalogue, you encounter hundreds upon thousands of brands, products and businesses, all competing to get your attention and convince you to buy what they’re selling. So, what’s the best way to make a good first impression? You guessed it: good design.

Studies have shown that visual appeal can be assessed within about 50 milliseconds. This boils down to the fact that designers have to make a good impression within the space of 50 milliseconds. Think of your business’ design as a handshake, the greeting between two people when they first meet. Do they smile or frown, do they say ‘hi’, ‘hello’ or ‘good day’, is the handshake firm and businesslike, or warm and friendly? We can make snap decisions and impressions about people in this one fast moment. This is exactly what design tries to do too, all within the space of 50 milliseconds: it tries to communicate who you are and what you do in less than a second.

Design Helps Your Brand Stand Out

Competition is fierce in the world of small business. I’m sure you’ve worked hard to perfect the stew of what makes you different from competitors in terms of product, service, and value. Design is one more important element in that recipe. If your design doesn’t stand out, your brand and its message will be lost in a sea of thousands of others.

This quote by Maya Angelou is especially fitting here: “They may forget what you said, but they’ll never forget how you made them feel.” Creative and thoughtful design evokes emotion within your audience, and emotion is what people connect to.

Whatever product or service your business revolves around, there are many other people offering exactly what you do, perhaps in the same price range, with the same benefits etc. So, what can set you apart from your competition is a unique design.

Design is a good business decision

If you’ve been second-guessing the value of design for your business – don’t. Good design gives you a competitive edge, drives powerful marketing results and allows you to stand out. If you’re interested in finding easy ways to implement design into your workplace, make sure to check out Designity. Because design is an investment for your success.