The Importance of Saving Money

The most basic tenant of business is that to be successful, you must earn more than you spend. But even more important is saving money for a rainy day—and the current climate is a perfect example of why. COVID-19, also known as coronavirus, is wreaking havoc on all businesses, but especially local businesses. All of this is forcing  local businesses to adjust their hours or even close to comply with local health ordinances. Many are losing money and could certainly benefit from some extra money in the bank.

Photo Credit: U.S. Embassy Nairobi / Public domain

No one knows this better than FUBU founder Daymond John. In 1992, he returned from the company’s first retail trade show with $300,000 in pre-orders—but didn’t have the money he needed to get those orders to customers. He tried applying for a loan but wasn’t sure how to fill out the paperwork. He was rejected by 27 banks and eventually turned to his mother, who mortgaged her home for $100,000. This move paid off: FUBU went on to generate $350 million in revenue over the next six years.

“I got my first piece of advice when I was 22 years old, from a guy who owned a little bodega in my neighborhood,” John said in an Inc. article. “He told me, ‘If you really want to start a company, you better dig under your couch for a couple of extra dollars; you’ve got to stop going out to dinner four times a month; you’ve got to trade in your car for a cheaper one, and raise that $40,000 or $30,000, if you can, by yourself.’”

Every business, no matter how big or small, should be saving money. Business Daily outlined some common excuses that small business owners make for why they can’t save money. Let’s take a look at these and learn more about why they’re so misguided.

Excuse 1: I need to make more money before I can save.

As long as you’re making more money than you’re spending, you should be saving. You’ll always find a new excuse not to save, even when your revenue increases. Try saving a percentage of each month’s revenue and increase that percentage as your revenue goes up.

Excuse 2: I need to save for something specific.

Sure, you might want to save for something specific, like new equipment or remodeling your store. But you shouldn’t let that prevent you from saving money for unexpected expenses, like water damage due to a burst pipe or lack of foot traffic due to a global health crisis. There’s no telling why you might need some “just in case” money, which is why it’s so important to have it in the bank.

Excuse 3: How do you save when spending is so tempting?

Having money in the bank makes it more tempting to spend. Spending money is necessary and, yes, fun. But, it’s also incredibly satisfying watching the amount in your business savings account continue to increase. Try to resist the temptation to make impulse buys, or remove the temptation completely by taking your savings out of a traditional account and putting your money into investment or fixed-deposit accounts, which produce greater returns.

Excuse 4: Cash flow is tight; I can’t afford to save.

Yes, you can—even if it’s a small amount. You’ll be glad you did when the day comes that you need to dip into your savings. Try setting a financial goal and take small, manageable steps to achieve it.

Excuse 5: I don’t have any disposable cash to save.

Business Daily lists several ideas to help free up funds to save:

  • Share office space with another small business or adopt a virtual business model.
  • Run your business from the cloud—it means avoiding expensive hardware and the staff to maintain it.
  • Pay invoices on time and avoid late payment fees
  • Cut down on meetings and focus on strategic functions instead.
  • Outsource work such as design and copywriting rather than hiring a full-timer.
  • Hire interns to help out with admin work.

No matter how big or small your business may be, one fact remains the same: start saving now. If the day comes that you need to dip into your extra cash, you’ll be glad you did.

Graphic Design Trends for 2020

Like everything, design trends change on a whim; what was popular yesterday is old news tomorrow. We’ve been keeping an eye on the hottest design trends, to help you keep up with what’s popular in 2020.

Trend #1: Cyberpunk Color Schemes

Credit: Vuk N.

These designs are bold, bright and futuristic—think neon pink, electric blue and acid green.

In a 99designs article, art director and founder of Moss and Fog, Ben VanderVeen, says “We see 2020 ushering in a futuristic, ‘cyberpunk’ feel, building off of Japanese urbanism, blue neon, and general future-forward look and feel…There’s something about Japanese design that always seems to feel futuristic, and we see that trend picking up.”

Trend #2: Street Art Styles

Credit: Johnny Kiotis

Think graffiti and street art reminiscent of the 1970s punk scene, neon ‘80s, and grunge ‘90s. Modern street art styles add a sense of “jubilance and freedom, of breaking bonds and protesting convention,” the 99designs article said.

Trend #3: Ultra-Thin Geometry

Credit: Aleksandr Kandyba via Behance

There’s so much more to lines than connecting two points. Straight lines typically convey geometric objects and technology, while curved lines represent natural and organic objects. Ultra-thin lines—both straight and curvy—are being used to create novel designs.

“This design has a modern, futuristic and mysterious feel,” said Jack Begosian, top level designer at 99designs. “Thin lines can only be displayed on digital media, something that left the age of the printing press with paper.”

Trend #4: Paper Cut-Out Collages

Credit: Meella

Remember the good ol’ days of cutting out pictures from magazines to create a collage for your school project? Well, they’re back and better than ever. Designers are juxtaposing contrasting imagery to create designs that stand out.

“My bet is on collage, because just by means of cut fragments, this technique easily opens up to new sceneries and unexpected relationships among the graphic elements,” said Agnesema, a top level designer at 99designs.

Trend #5: Hand Lettering

Credit: Shkike

Typography is an essential element of graphic design. Hand lettering is a great way to create unique typographical designs that stand out from the rest.

“Type is continuing to steal the show with bigger, bolder and more inventive uses,” said Ryan Hayward, designer and founder of pitchproof. “2020 will continue to feature designers experimenting with the craze of typography to seek attention.”

Trend #6: Dystopian Designs

Credit: Shwin

Popular dystopian shows like “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Black Mirror” and “Westworld” are all about flawed fictional, futuristic worlds. This trend is bleeding into the design world, with artists using cold color schemes, mechanical typography and technical-type imagery.

Trend #7: Hyper-Pastiche

Credit: SeaOx

This one had us stumped at first, but it’s actually pretty basic—and cool: the combination of multiple past eras. It incorporates Victorian, medieval, art deco, art nouveau and a variety of other styles with modern designs. 

Trend #8: Bevels and Chisels

Credit: Studio Day Job via Dribbble

Remember that geometric “S” design we all drew on our notebooks in middle school? Well, beveled, 3D-style designs like that are back, accompanied by lettering with layered, chiseled looks. These designs are great for digital media and end the flatness that typically comes with computer screens.

Graphic design trends in 2020 are all about juxtaposition: old and new, geometric and organic, real and artificial. But the most important thing is to be creative and design graphics that reflect your brand and style.