If You’re a Hammer – Is Everything a Nail?

March 04, 2020    Reading Time: 2 Minutes

web design brochure

As you should be aware of by now, we serve a variety of businesses with their website design, graphic design, logo/branding design, and print design needs.

Like many professional service businesses, your clients and situations that you deal with can be many. We have customers that are first-time business owners, all the way to large businesses with annual revenues of $60 million. A solution for one customer doesn’t make sense for another. We also serve a variety of industries. From local restaurants to brands recognized world-wide. Again, each customer has their specific needs that require a different approach.

With that, the initial conversation with prospective customers can vary greatly.

Often, the customer has a specific need, and we start the conversation there. They need a website, a logo, or new business cards. A run-of-the-mill design company might go through the motions and fulfill the order. “I’d like a number one with a large fry and a happy meal.” We are not order takers. Our job as professionals, is to get to the root of our customer’s needs. Sure, someone might ask for a website, but more likely than not, they want more leads or sales. A website just so happens to be the best idea they have now to accomplish that. And again, we could just fulfill the order. After all we are web designers, and if you are a hammer, everything can be a nail.

The issue with the approach above, is that it’s a good way to go out of business.

Is that what you would expect from your doctor? Every time you come into his office with an ailment, he prescribes you the same medication. “Take one of these two times a day for two weeks, and you’ll be cured.” Never mind this being completely unethical, that doctor’s customer base would dry up quickly. If everything were that simple, we’d all diagnose ourselves.

This brings me back to my point.

Just because we have the capability to deliver a specific product, doesn’t mean we should do that every single time. Every customer’s needs are different. Even if that means we turn away business.

At Graticle, we look at each new project with a fresh set of eyes. When we are working with new prospects or customers, we imagine them as a family member. What if our uncle came to us and asked this same exact question? What would we say to him? What would we recommend? If we had a different answer for each scenario, then I believe that would be unethical. We treat our customers just like we would our friends and family. In my opinion, there is no other way to live. We all have to sleep at night.

Our customers stay with us for life. And I believe the above scenario is a big reason why. If we instead looked at our customers as dollar signs, and offered advice that would only benefit our self-interest, our business wouldn’t be operating for the past eleven years that it has.

If this sounds like a web design company that you want to work with, call/text (360) 450-3711 or hit that chat button at the bottom-right of the screen.

Last updated on May 04, 2020. Shawn is the President of Graticle, Inc.

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As a small but busy marketing agency, reliable subcontractors are absolutely critical to the survival of my business. Shawn clearly solves a problem that is common in this industry by reliably completing projects on time without the need for constant babysitting. Shawn comes through on every occasion and is one of the few graphic designers that lives up to my high standards.

Jared Loman

Owner

Jared Loman Creative

www.JaredLoman.com

Aberdeen, Washington

I really can’t fully express how great my experience was working with Shawn and Graticle. I work for a non-profit and our website had fallen into disrepair–we had even lost ownership of our domain name! But Shawn went above and beyond and walked me through the process of getting our domain name back, along with the complete design of the new site. I absolutely LOVED that he developed videos that walked us through the process of managing the website–from logging in, to editing photos, to changing content–he covered all the bases we needed to take care of our new site. This was particularly appreciated because, as a non-profit, we will likely be moving through web managers over the years and having these videos to pass on to each new manager will be an incredible relief, and will (hopefully) help us avoid the trap we fell into with our last site. He is the most responsible businessman I’ve ever worked with, he was extremely prompt in his replies to emails, and I never felt like he left us hanging or confused at any step along the way. I recommend his services with full marks! You won’t regret it!

Katrina

Friends of the Willamette Valley National Wildlife Refuge Complex

FriendsWVNWRC.org

Corvallis, Oregon