Local small businesses can quickly become a successful growing concern once word of mouth gets out and the product or service is good, Lemon Signs are a classic example of this.
We have realized that handling the pressures of rapid growth can be complex, and isn't always an easy thing to weigh out. You have to make sure everything is in place to handle such a burst of business, especially when there is very little notice for the burst.
One of the things I have found difficult with Lemon Signs is ensuring there are enough finances like purchasing all the raw materials. Having a good financial structure in place is key to support such growth and vital to the success of the business. If you have seasonal trends or bursts of large projects predicting the staffing levels can be stressful never mind finding suitably qualified staff. What do you do if there isn't enough money to handle the extra costs, there won't be the success you envisaged. Any existing staff need to be used to their maximum capabilities before spending money on advertising for new staff, interviewing and then training. Your current staff/ freelance operatives might be able to take up most of the slack by reorganizing them or making sure they are working to their full potential; they may have hidden talents that you were unaware.
Although we don’t have any permanent staff, we do our best to keep them up-to-date with potential work as it is vital to our success. They need to be aware of any changes, increased expectancy to their workload and possible changes to their booked schedule. Gaining feedback from your staff is also a good idea, to make sure that everything is running as smoothly as possible, many minds solve a problem quicker and help you see things from a fresh point of view. Remember and they're on the ground floor, face to face with the customer.
Knowing what is happening from your staff’s point of view, will help with any potential hiring to enhance their work productivity. Making sure you have enough staff contracted or otherwise will help with not overloading their work schedule and lead to a better working environment, which in itself will ensure a peaceful and successful working day. You want any staff to be advocates of your business.
Handling the cash flow is also a vital part of rapid growth, something that sounds easy on paper but I am sure any business owner will tell you it is one of the key parts to running a successful business. Ensuring there is enough in the kitty for any potential unexpected growth, will always be beneficial in the continuity of that growth. Borrowing large amounts to cover unforeseen business, can turn what should be a boost in the company, into a massive failure.
Something that has taken me a while to accept is not accepting more work than you can handle, will also benefit your business. Pushing the boundaries is good but knowingly taking on work, and perhaps deadlines, you know you can't handle, is suicidal for the company, you will quickly gain a reputation for being unable to deliver. I was fortunate to have a mentor who pointed this out before any bad reputation was gained.
Asking for help or advice when your business is growing quickly is very important, it is worth every penny to have a person you can call and run ideas past. Trying to handle everything yourself, with little knowledge of everything that entails, can lead to mistakes and too much pressure. Asking for help and gaining the correct advice, will always be a positive move in helping your business expand.
If your finances are being looked after, your staff, your operations then the rapid growth should run smoothly and be an exciting time for your company. Have a look at our most recent project to show you just how far you can come in a short space of time.
Small local businesses can easily find themselves having to deal with a sudden rapid growth (trust me I am very aware of this fact), but pausing for a second and ensuring everything is in place to handle such business, will enable you to cope with the forthcoming workload. It will help you to be able to continue to handle more and more work and build up your business in a financially secure way.
Rapid growth for local businesses is also good for the community with which it is in. More money coming in will perhaps lead to more local people being employed. Which in turn will bring more money into the community and prosperity to other local businesses, such as shops and pubs. This cycle is everlasting, because if more people can afford to spend locally, then the businesses within that area will need more staff and potentially extra premises, increasing the wealth even more.
How branding and marketing uses the psychology of colour
In the field of branding and marketing, many aspects of psychology are used in order to influence potential customers. One of the most controversial of these methods is the use of the psychology of colour. There were several reasons why this particular psychology theory is so popular, and there are also a number of myths and false beliefs which marketers have about this type of theory. In order to understand how to use the psychology of colour in your branding and marketing, it is important to understand how it works, and how to avoid falling prey to some of the popular myths about this topic.
Mistaking bland comments for truths
Of all the problems that assail modern marketing and brand design, the most common is the belief that the vapid comments which often come with illustrations or lists are basic truths. This is particularly true when looking at the psychology of colour, where marketing teams pass around descriptions of colours, including famous people and their colour preferences, colour determined sales, and other nefarious facts which don't really have any real impact upon marketing and branding of colours. Misunderstanding these concepts can mean that you are creating a brand which is an unsuitable colour for your target audience.
Not understanding how market research works
The psychology of colour in marketing is so popular because the marketing team seems to believe that it can be quantified. However, evidence suggests that in fact there are a number of different reasons why people might choose a particular colour on a particular day. For example, context and experiences can influence how a person chooses based upon colour. Therefore, if you rely upon this form of research to choose a colour, then you may as well just employ a psychic to select your future branding.
Colour is still important
There's a reason why companies are so invested in the psychology of colour, and that is because colours do have an effect upon people buying. Studies based upon the impact of colour choice in marketing can find that the majority of quick judgements involved in impulse purchasing can be triggered by colour alone. Some brands may be popular simply because customers view their colour choices as the most appropriate when compared to similar brands. Therefore, it is important to consider colour when marketing and branding your products.
Focusing upon brand colours
One of the most important areas where colour choices are important to the company is in the matter of choosing logos for brands. Research suggests that it is important to select colours that are able to stand out against already established rivals, so that for example if your competitors use blue, it will make sense to use a light green or even a purple in order to stand out. Choosing the right colour also means trying to predict what your customers’ reaction to colours will be, so for example if you wish to have an outdoorsy field, then you are less likely to receive positive reaction if you choose pastels or pale colours. Having an understanding of customer reaction to colours is perhaps the most important part of the psychology of colour as it applies to marketing and branding.
It seems like only yesterday that I took the big step and launched Lemon Signs Ltd, yet in April we will be celebrating our first anniversary.
Many entrepreneurs and self employed people will relate to how I felt prior to starting out as my own boss. I worked for various companies; starting at the bottom, working my way up the ladder, never quite feeling that I had found the right company, a place where I could fit in and express my creative desires and ideas.
Deep down I clearly had a desire to run my own company, to provide help and support to other businesses by expressing my creative ideas and values. I established my first company back in 2002 (l still have the original rubber stamp as it holds great sentimental value) subcontracting for companies in Germany and Poland, providing services such as engraving, sign making and graphic design.
Many years and several different paths later, I realized that the entrepreneurial bug was never going to be extinguished. Here I am now about to celebrate Lemon Signs first year of trading and what a year it has been. When I reflect on what we have achieved, I have loved the journey and I'm proud of what we have accomplished in such a short space of time. I have on many occasions called upon my previous knowledge and experience gained working across Europe and the UK - I value those experiences as an employee, however, nothing compares to the satisfaction of being my own boss.
It has not been a bed of roses for the last year. Lemon Signs, like any new business has not been without it's problems. When I look at all the customers we have had the pleasure of working with, we seem to be providing a service and product that people want and need.
What does the future hold for Lemon Signs? We have just moved into larger premises and purchased even more equipment, this will allow us to serve our clients even faster and offer new products and services. We are excited to see what the next 12 months holds for us and hope to expand further.