Build Design Into Your Business Plan

Article by Venessa Baez | February 15, 2018

Does your business plan include a roadmap for how you'll include design and design thinking?

Like most things, businesses are better when they’re planned. After all, who wants to start a road trip without knowing where they’re going? The design strategy behind your business should be no different – which is why you should include it in your business plan.

When the average business plan outlines goals for future marketing, very rarely does it discuss how design will play a role in that expansion. Good design is an opportunity for every business, and should be one of your strengths.

Steps to Take to Improve Your Business’s Design

Take an audit of what design assets you currently have and any that you may be looking to add down the line. For the average business, this would include things like a logo, website, business cards, or any printed marketing material. But don’t just stop with the average design assets. Think a little further.

For example, if your business will have any presence on social media, you will also want to consider sprucing up your cover photos or having a set of graphics created to add to your posts, rather than only posting text when you create an update. Social media posts that included photos and graphics had an 87% interaction rate in a study conducted by the Social Media Examiner.

Once you compile your list of current design assets and things you may want to add or improve on in the future, determine what is most important to you to improve upon. Within the Strategy and Implementation section of your business plan, include these areas in a timeline. What will you work on and have complete before launching the business? What will you implement a year from now? Two years from now? How do these design improvements play back into your strategy?

“But good design can have a hefty price tag”

If cost is an issue while you’re just starting up your business, don’t feel like you have to take on all the design and branding by yourself. No matter what kind of designer you’re looking for, you can find something within your budget.

However, it’s important to remember, you do get what you pay for. Like most vendors, you should check for references and reviews. You’ll want a designer who can concept and create original works for you – not design a logo from a cookie cutter template that countless other businesses may have already used. Originality will be key when branding your business, especially if you plan to trademark your logo.

Having good design at all of your business’s touch points not only add credibility, but also have a higher success rate at garnering customers. According to the Design Management Institute, design-driven companies have outperformed the S&P Index by 219% over 10 years.

Do a search for a local designer who you can meet with to discuss your business’s needs. Talk to other small business owners in your area and see who they work with or recommend.