Can you believe it?! For me, June 1, 2019 marks another business milestone. Ten years ago on that day, I officially started my web design business Graphically Innovative Designs.
Thank you for being a part of this milestone. Every time you picked me for your web design project or sent me a referral, it really helped me to keep going! THANK YOU SO MUCH!
I’ve learned a lot along the way and I’m still learning.
Part of celebrating something is to remember how you got there. So, I thought it would be fun to share with you a few of the many things I’ve learned.
Things I’ve learned over the past 10 years in business
1. Customer service is key.
We live in a world that is making technological advances everyday. But the downside to that is it causes us to be more distant and communicate on a less personal level. Over the years, I would hear stories from my customers about web designers who simply didn’t return phone calls, use polite language, show common courtesy, or do what they promised.
And that got me thinking… is there still a way to use technology and have a personal touch? Yes!
I wanted to bring back the niceties of face-to-face business but adapt it to the modern world we live in. I want my business to be virtual, but not impersonal.
So I became more aware of showing gratitude and saying please to a client when I ask them to send me something for their website. That’s because… a lot of who you are and how you feel about someone can be detected by your words.
One of my new goals is to send each new client a thank you note and small surprise after we wrap up a project. I realize that going the extra mile and doing things like that really shows that you value someone’s business. It happened to me once when I was dealing with a business online and it stuck with me. So I’m incorporating that into my business values even more so.
2. Being a solo entrepreneur involves many roles and responsibilities. Embrace them all.
When I first started out, I visualized myself ONLY doing design work. I knew I’d have to do some bookkeeping. But I soon saw the need to more than just one or two roles. I was the designer, the estimator, the secretary, the accountant, the advertiser, and much more.
3. Learn new things for the sake of your customers.
When I first started Graphically Innovative Designs, guess what… I was mostly creating print materials… not websites. Back in school, I learned a little of both at the same time. But I personally gravitated toward print design. Honestly, I actually preferred creating brochures and business cards over websites.
But now it’s the total opposite. I so much rather design a website!
When I first made the change from print to web, I did it out of necessity and not out of want. I saw that the print industry was slowing down and the next big thing was web design. And I also noticed that the same small business that I designed print materials for, needed someone to design their website. So I changed directions and learned a few new skills, like designing for WordPress and Squarespace.
Learning something new and adapting to change has allowed me to help others grow their business with a website.
Bonus: A Fun Fact About My Business
Here’s something interesting that a lot of people don’t know… how I came up with my logo design. It kinda came about by accident.
When I first started working on the icon for my logo, I knew I wanted something that was cheery, creative, colorful, and inspired by the Hampton Roads area. Here, we are surrounded by water, beaches, and sea life. First, I came up with the blue outline of the flourish because it reminded me of like a underwater plant or an abstract version of the lines on a seashell. And another reason I choose a flourish was because it was similar to the paisley background on my very first business cards. So it was a nod to the past.
I simply had an outline at first and I wanted to fill it with another color. Well, I clicked the wrong button and BAM… it created that orange shape that’s behind the blue lines instead of filling them in. I fell in love with that look and that’s what you see today. It was a happy little accident.
Going for another 10+ years…
I hope that you continue to be part of my journey as I continue to create great things.
Thank you for your business!