WHILE the past year has been a struggle for a lot of business owners, one Reading-based designer has seen her workload soar.
Nicole Rogers, founder of Nicole Rogers Graphics, launched her graphic design company in 2019 to help people take their branding to the next level.
Over the last year and a half, she has worked with dozens of small brands on logo and package design, social media and merchandise.
And when the coronavirus pandemic hit the UK in March last year, Ms Rogers found that business was booming more than ever.
“When the first lockdown happened, it enabled me to be at home more and I had extra time on my hands because I wasn’t commuting anymore,” she explained.
“I found that there was starting to be a demand for small businesses wanting to put themselves online because they couldn’t do their job in person anymore.
“I wanted to help get them back on their feet and achieve their goals through the pandemic.”
As the coronavirus forced businesses to temporarily shut down, she said it was the perfect opportunity to help them smarten up their branding.
But handling work as Nicole Rogers Graphics grew wasn’t easy, and Ms Rogers said going from being a designer to running an entire business was overwhelming at first.
“I went from being a graphic designer to covering all job departments, such as being an accountant, adviser, salesperson, designer and marketer,” she explained.
“Although as I started to tackle each area of the business, it wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be since I already had the graphic design knowledge and experience.”
So what’s Ms Rogers’ secret for attracting and maintaining new clients in the current climate? Being able to make customers’ lives easier.
“Take the weight off their shoulders,” she said. “I make the design process easy and enjoyable.
“I also like to get the clients involved as much as possible so they feel a part of the design process from start to finish.
“I find this helps them become proud of their business and want to invest into it.”
And if there’s one lesson Ms Rogers has learnt over the last year that she wants to share, it’s the importance of planning.
She felt that without structure in place it’s easy to get overwhelmed, especially when running your own business or working from home.
“They need to feel like they are putting their business into good hands,” she said.