My first job

I spent the first few years of my working life in restaurants. And, painfully long break-less back-to-back shifts aside, I LOVED it.

It was an environment I thrived in - both dealing with the customers and in the kitchen - but it was a miracle I ever got the job.

I was chronically shy and the idea of wandering around, handing out CVs, was a daunting one.

Fortunately, we ate out most weeks as a family and often frequented the same restaurant in a shopping centre not far from where we lived.

Handmade Burger Co.

Over time we got to know the manager, and eventually, my parents convinced her to give me a trial for a job.

I was fairly dreadful, but she either took pity on me or didn't want to face my parents if she turned me down, so I got the job.

It was a blessing really.

My confidence quickly grew and I went on to work there for a few years and learned plenty of skills that have served me well in business.

But there was one thing that manager taught me that's always stuck with me.

She was obsessed with the cleanliness - or lack thereof - of the customer toilets.

You'd be surprised how many people omit the courtesy flush - a second flush to clear anyway any remaining debris - when they're using someone else's loo.

Company policy required we checked the loos every hour.

But that wasn't enough for her.

And if we ever found out a toilet was dirty because a customer had to let us know, she'd hit the roof.

Honestly, I thought she was a touch unhinged. Until the day she shared why:

"The toilets need to be spotless because if the toilets are clean, the customer assumes the kitchen is clean. If they're dirty, they'll assume the same is true for the kitchen."

I don't know the name of the underlying psychological principle, but it was true.

Perhaps it's simply because both rooms are tiled, white and have sinks. Perhaps it's more complex than that.

But we naturally form these sort of fallacious links in our head.

The same is true when it comes to design.

When you pick up a brochure or glance at the website of a company and it looks rubbish, our natural instinct is to assume that the company is rubbish.

Admittedly, if they're a design agency, this logic carries some weight.

But in most cases, it's not true.

Your accountant isn't in business because they've got an eye for design. It's because they're boring.

Just kidding. Sorry Neil, if you're reading this.

And that's exactly what happens if you go through all effort of producing a print newsletter - coming up with and writing engaging content and working out who to send it to - and then do a crap job on the design.

Someone will pick it up and think "This looks crap. I'm not going to read this", or they simply won't pick it up.

That's why we put such impetus on the design of our client's newsletters and work with professional designers to make sure every edition creates the right impression.

What false links could your prospects be making, and will it put them off becoming customers?

Nick Fisher