Marketing & Hunting

Marketing & hunting. What do these have in common? Read on, I will explain.

Some time ago, we wrote a blog about marketing and gardening. You can view it here if you haven’t yet read it: https://77designco.com/marketing-gardening-a-comparable-explanation/

Marketing & hunting. White 77 Design Co logo

This got us thinking about some things. It made us aware that much like gardening, marketing and hunting are also similar in many ways. Hunting season is in full swing (at least for the archers) in PA. Turkey season, small game, and deer (rifle) season will all be coming up soon too. Many of our friends have “buck fever” and are spending a good deal of time in the woods.

Hunting is often misunderstood. You may even be downright creeped out by it. No doubt though, it’s one of humanities oldest activities. It was (and in some cases still is) a necessity to live. Yes, we also know there are and were vegetarians that simply just foraged for food too. Let’s get that out in the open as well. However, hunting and fishing provided the necessary proteins and fats for early humans and their tribes. Let’s break this down a little more.

Knowing Your Target.

Marketing & hunting share some unique similarities. For instance, let’s start from step one.

Marketing your business requires knowing your target audience. Much like hunting you’ll need to know what your target is. You can’t randomly wander the woods looking for a piece of game. Therefore some thought needs to be put into it. Preparation too.

Searching for a specific animal requires knowing where and when to find it. Finding the best spots or times increases your chances exponentially for a successful harvest. Likewise, successful marketing means knowing EXACTLY who your customer is. Age. Location. Likes and dislikes. Buying habits. These are all important to know in order to increase your chances of marketing success.

Choose Your Weapon.

A successful hunter will know his or her caliber needed for what they are hunting. Shotgun, 12 gauge or 20 gauge? Which rifle will you need for deer, bear or elk? Selecting the correct weapon is critical to a quick and ethical kill.

Similarly, you’ll need to know which marketing “weapon” to use. Are you looking to touch a wide audience or a very narrow and specific individual? Perhaps your customer base is ages 24-30. Is Instagram the correct marketing tool to use?

Let’s say I wanted to get in front of a 58 year old male that owns a hardware store. I would consider a direct mail campaign directed to local hardware store owners within that age bracket. That’s narrowing down and selecting the right “weapon” in this case. There’s a huge range of hypotheticals we could use but for the sake of keeping it short and sweet, this can give you ideas.

Hunting & marketing. Image of pheasants laying on the green grass.
The Harvest.

Obviously, there’s more to successful hunting and marketing than just knowing your target and choosing a weapon. There are many other aspects to take into great consideration for both. For the sake of keeping this blog short and easily readable we’ll skip to the end results though.

Any ethical hunter worth their weight is salt will tell you to be selective in what you kill. Allowing an animal(s) to reach a certain breeding age, size, or herd populace will ensure future success. Following the guidelines set by the state is also a must.

Likewise, marketing a product or service should be selective. Absent minded spending will fail. Being in the right places, with the right content, and in front of the correct customer base will pay dividends. Following the guidelines on social media, and then responding to messages, emails, calls, and review responses will lead your business to a successful harvest as well.

What other things do you think marketing & hunting have in common?

If you are into hunting and read this far, here are a few tips for hunting the West from American Hunter: https://www.americanhunter.org/articles/2020/8/17/tips-and-tactics-for-hunting-the-west/

Marketing Scrabble tiles and a 77 Design Co business card.

Analyze. Create. Achieve.

Things That Are Happening

Just a quick blog to discuss some things that are happening at double 7’s lately. Yes, we’ve made it through the worst part of the pandemic. Certainly, our hope is that your business is making it happen too! Most importantly though, we hope everyone is safe.

Come Together

It seems like some local business is slowly starting to come back to a little normalcy. Although, we’re not sure how long it will last. We’ll continue to hope for normalcy again though!

All of this craziness (protests, racism, rioting, police problems, government overreach, and stupid virus stuff) needs to stop. When are we going to come together as a society and simply focus on being unified?

All of us (in the U.S.) live in the greatest country in the world (despite what some may say) and we need to treat each other with respect and dignity. To sum up, that’s all we’ll say about any of that. So, go be good to one another. Period.

Things that are happening. White 77 Design Co logo
Treat each other well.
Things We Are Working On

Through the mess, 77 Design Co has managed to maintain consistent stability and even picked up a few new projects. Helping business is what we do, and our overall goal is to grow each company that we work with.

Some of the new things that are happening with 77 include:

* A new website for a health insurance agency.

* A new website for a local spa.

* Social media management for an RHVAC company.

* Product and commercial photography for a manufacturer.

* Likewise, possibly a new website for that same manufacturer.

* Video project for a local church organization.

* Print catalog design for another manufacturer.

And a few more projects in the works.

In other words, it’s been kind of busy lately. It excites us to see some business owners forging ahead with their marketing plans! Additionally, it also excites us to see some business closing in on normal operations.

These last six months have been trying for everyone, but there needs to be a point where you say “forget it, move ahead.” Or, your business could be shackled like in the below image.

Things that are happening. Design of a shackled man in a suit to a large weight.
Don’t shackle your business.

Need ideas on how to kick start your business? Our FREE marketing consultation is offered to any business looking to get on the right track. https://77designco.com/services-2/

77Design Co logo and business cards.

Analyze. Create. Achieve.

Marketing Success Stories

Marketing success stories. How about some optimism? Because racial tensions, increased Covid cases, stupid politics, government mandates, business closures, riots, and everything else in the news is usually bad. So, let’s talk positivity.

Marketing success stories. Marketing Scrabble tiles and a 77 Design Co business card.
Marketing helps!

In this uncertain and crippled economic climate, some businesses have managed success. Despite the difficulties now your business needs to stay relevant. Marketing does that! On a micro level, a few places locally have seen an uptick in business due to continued marketing. We’ll share a few stories with you this week.

Story 1

One of the marketing success stories we’ll share is a local brewery. As a result of a social media training program, this local brewery is seeing a surge in engagement. Consequently, this has improved sales.

Customers consistently come in and say, “Hey, we follow you on Facebook.” Likewise, they’ll hear “we love your Facebook videos” or share similar comments. Awesome! We love to hear it!

Brewery: We were never open to retail before. Recently, we opened a pop up beer garden and we went from 0% retail to selling about the same as wholesale. Our business is selling more merchandise too. Social media is keeping us going. For instance, our engagement is now between 800-1200 per post versus the 60-200 we’d get before. That’s a big increase! It’s growing daily too. Likes and shares have increased as well. This varies post to post.

Another success we’ve seen is brand awareness. Most people didn’t know about us before. As a result of our consistent social media posting many people tell us they know all about our beers now. Facebook and Instagram are really helping. We’re more informed and educated about what we are doing now. http://www.sobbrews.com

Marketing Success Stories. Dollar bills and coins laying on glass with the 77 Design Co business card.
Story 2

Food is essential. We all know that. Everyone needs food to survive. A local food service company that we work with has taken the pitfalls of this pandemic and turned it into a way to increase business while also taking better care of their customers. They have utilized their customizable food packages to ensure the safety of their customers simultaneously. How? Offer great food, have it delivered, and never leave home for it.

Marketing success stories. Sirloin beef tip roast photograph.

Food Service Company: Our current success directly correlates with our social media program. Before the pandemic we did our best, but now its more tightened. Our pages are fun AND informative now. Creative photos and videos help tremendously. New likes and shares are common on a daily basis.

Messages come in multiple times daily. It’s sometimes overwhelming how many we get. Existing customers want to order more food. New customers want to learn more about our products.

Facebook and Instagram have been huge. Sales have increased 50-60% over last year. That’s the trend so far, though it may be higher by years end. That has translated into a massive increase in revenue, but we’d rather not state an exact dollar amount. https://proniosfoods.com

Story 3

We won’t get too deep into this marketing success story, but a few parishes in the local area that we work with have also seen improvements. Pre COVID numbers had increased giving, but more importantly to them, more member engagement.

These churches wanted ways of reaching their parishioners better to pass along the Word of God and they’ve been utilizing social media and user friendly website updates to do that. Email marketing (or as one church official says, “email evangelization”) has helped them reach those who cannot attend masses. It has also kept their parishes up to date on all the happenings. All of these are great ways to spread their message and stay in front of their beloved members.

If you need marketing help, drop us a line. We’ll help any way we can. https://77designco.com

Analyze. Create. Achieve.

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A Week Away

By Bobby Drakulic-A Week Away

A week away gave me some perspective last week. As some of you may know, I actually took a vacation to the Myrtle area in South Carolina last week. We usually don’t take a “yearly” vacation like many do, but when we do I tune out for a week…if possible.

Taking a week away from Pennsylvania, and all the craziness that is our state, allowed me to take in life elsewhere. On the trip down and back I noticed a few things that really got me thinking. We’ll get to that soon.

My vacation!

However, I’d like to share a few fun things we did do. Firstly, I fished. I fished like a mad man! That is my favorite all time thing to do at the ocean. Nothing clears my mind more than taking a few hours to battle the elements and the powerful ocean fish. From my perspective, it is a meditative experience like no other. I always come back more clear headed and relaxed, even if the bite is off.

Secondly, we enjoyed crab legs. Another all time favorite of mine. If you visit the Myrtle Beach area and like seafood, try Captain George’s Seafood Restaurant. Visit here https://captaingeorges.com. Highly recommend. The crab legs were fantastic! The rest of the buffet looked awesome too, but admittedly crab is all I ate…and lots of them!

Next, I practiced my Kung Fu. Every single day on the beach or balcony for at least twenty minutes to an hour. The consistent practice helps me stay disciplined, balanced, and focused both mentally and physically. Something I feel very strongly about is staying in shape (as much as I can) and on top of my trainings.

Finally, we relaxed. Man, did my mind need that! We hung out on the beach and balcony most of the week. This included boogie boarding, swimming, digging in the sand, and of course some adult beverages.

The point of all this?

I’ll be making my point on this blog soon, so be sure to read on. However, I’m going to go full on geek first and share a few vacation photos below:

A Week Away. Palm trees with an orange and colorful sky background.
Palms at Dusk
Image of a 17 pound 37 inch King Mackerel.
King Mackerel
A Week Away. Photograph of the morning sunrise and cloud cover over the Atlantic Ocean.
Morning at Sea
A Week Away. Photograph of Bobby Drakulic on the beach fishing in black and white swim trunks.
Bobby doing his favorite thing ever…surf fishing.
A Week Away. Photograph of boats docked at sunrise in the marina.
Image of the surf waves rippling in.
Wave Ripples
Photograph of Marlboro County court house in the morning.
Cool looking court house
Photograph of a single palm tree at dusk.
How does any of this relate to a marketing business?

It doesn’t. I just felt like adding some images and my little vacation story to draw your eyes down here…

The real reason I am writing this blog is because, as mentioned above, I noticed a few things during the trip. I did not like what I saw either. It was closed businesses.

It got me thinking.

On the drive both ways, I noticed entirely too many empty business shops. Some looked recently vacated. Some seemed to be out of business long ago. Either way, I noticed these and it made my heart hurt. Owning a small business is a difficult thing. It’s not easy. We know that as well as anyone too.

The cause?

I’m not sure of the cause of these closures. I’ll admit that first and foremost. What I do know is that small business across our great country has been decimated in the last several months. Mismanagement? Maybe. Low sales? Probably. Did Covid play a hand in some of these closures? By the looks of things, probably, in at least a few.

A Week Away. Image of a red and white empty gas station.
Empty gas station

Even if I don’t like the business, feel that it’s overly expensive, or I am not confident in their service, I certainly don’t wish failure on it. Every small business owner has mouths to feed and regular payments to make like almost everybody else.

Avoid failure!

So, avoiding small business failure is hard. A lot depends on what you offer, how well, pricing, the market you are in, management of the business, and many other factors. There is one thing that can help. Yep, I’m saying it, marketing.

Despite all the hardships business owners face, marketing is one thing that can help tremendously. Some of the world’s worst businesses in my eyes (worst is subjective though) still do well. Why? They advertise and market like crazy.

You know them. Big corporate places that sometimes make you feel unimportant as a customer. They are all over the television, billboards, in magazines, pop up ads on Facebook etc. I don’t mean to bash corporations, they are just the most noticeable here. I’ll also reiterate that it’s not ALL just some. Each of us know who we’ve dealt with that stink, and who are good.

Your small business.

Competing with the millions or even billions of dollars that go into advertising of larger companies is another difficult hurdle. Smaller businesses may not have that capital. What can you do?

Local.

Take it to a local level. Start out small, test the waters on a local level and see how you do. Despite what many marketers say, it doesn’t have to cost a bundle to get the word out. Work with what you’ve got and expand from there. Just stay in front of customers regularly. Consistency is everything.

Marketing tactics.

Below are some things you can do so that consumers can see and hear about your business and what you offer regularly:

  • Social media. Devise a plan to share interesting stories, photos, and videos to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn or more. Social media engagement is way up right now too.
  • Print ads. Many claim print is dead. We aren’t ready to throw in the towel on that just yet. Depending on the publication, service/product you offer, and a variety other aspects, print could be a huge help.
  • Digital marketing. Remember when I said above “pop up ads on Facebook?” There is a wide range of digital marketing tactics you can try. Geofencing, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) to name a few.
  • Radio ads. Yes we know, AM/FM isn’t what it used to be. On the other hand, radio can still be effective. You can also advertise on streaming services like Pandora or Spotify, etc. Create a catchy tune or slogan that people will remember long after they shut the radio off.
  • Direct mail. This goes along with print but goes straight to peoples homes or businesses. You can design an attractive piece with a killer offer that will ultimately lead to more calls, emails, or sales. With direct mail you can also custom select areas and other demographics to get your pieces in the hands of the right customer.

We are big believers in the power of marketing, if done right. Don’t fail your business by not getting its message out concisely, effectively, and consistently. For the love of God, please don’t let me see anymore business storefronts closed like the image below.

Image of a closed white colored business with a wooden roof.
I hate seeing closed businesses.

If you need help, drop us a line. We’ll help any way we can. https://77designco.com

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Analyze. Create. Achieve.

Interview John A Cochran, Esq.

This weeks Interview John A Cochran, Esq. discusses a little about what his firm is experiencing due to COVID-19. John is an attorney in Greensburg, PA and has been in the legal field for fifteen years. As an accountant combined, he’s been in the tax profession for thirty-four years. He practices tax, estate, and business law.

John’s love of numbers and knowledge of all things taxes makes him a versatile attorney able to help individuals and businesses alike. Let’s see what John had to say about taxes and law during this Coronavirus situation in his Interview John A Cochran, Esq…

Interview John A Cochran, Esq. Image of John sitting at a desk in a dark gray suit coat and dark tie.
John A Cochran, Esq.
Question 1:

77 Design Co: Let’s get right to it. How has this COVID-19 stuff affected your practice?

John A Cochran, Esq: Oh, it’s drawn things to a crawl. Firstly, the government closed the IRS, or rather, they are working from home. This makes it difficult to get ahold of anyone. So, their responses are lacking.

They extended filing deadlines until July. This has stretched out what was due in April. A lot of businesses I work with are shutdown or constricted. As a result, that’s made my practice constricted as well.

Interview John A Cochran, Esq. Photograph of John sitting at a desk in a pink dress shirt.
Question 2:

77: You’ve been open through all of this? Why?

JAC: I’m a CPA as well as an attorney. Also, the Governors Order didn’t apply being that I’m the only employee.

Question 3:

77: So, can you explain a little about how this crisis changed taxes or tax laws?

JAC: There’s the Employee Retention Credit to keep employees on. That’s a 50% refundable tax credit. Filing and extended tax dates have been changed. Penalties have been waved for late fees. The second estimate is due June fifteenth, and the first estimate is July fifteenth. Go figure.

Question 4:

77: Further, do you have any tax advice for anyone reading?

JAC: Yea. I’ll say get your stuff done regardless of extensions. Don’t wait. Then, I will also say, in order for compliance for the PPP you have to file taxes. If you get a line of credit from a non-government source you’ll still have to have the taxes done.

Photograph of John A Cochran, Esq business card and calculator laying on tax forms.
John A Cochran, Esq business card and calculator.
Question 5:

77: Have you spoken to any of your local or regional colleagues? How are other attorneys doing through all of this?

JAC: Everyone I’ve spoken to, with the courthouses shut down, nobody really knows what’s going on. A lot have reluctantly laid off employees. It’s thrown everything out of whack. Meanwhile, hearings and meetings by phone or video, in some instances, is proving difficult on all parties involved.

Question 6:

77: Additionally, you mentioned business and estate law. Generally, how can your services help others with these?

JAC: Well, I can work on estate plannings. We still have to get their assets to the beneficiaries that they want them to get to.

With business, for example, everyone’s kind of upside down. Business is hurting everywhere. For that reason, I’ll give them whatever advice I can with a free consult. Any way I can help I will. I’ve been dealing with businesses for thirty five years, so there’s some experience there. Finally, if you need business law advice, give me a call.

Question 7:

77: We always end these interviews on a positive note. Can you tell us something positive that you’ve noticed during these times?

JAC: So, I think businesses in the U.S. are resilient. Look at the stock markets. People are still buying. Next, the U.S. economy is resilient. We will all get through this mess.

Interview John A Cochran, Esq. Image of the John A Cochran, Esquire sticker on his law office front door.
A word from 77:

Thanks to John for taking the time to talk with us for this: Interview John A Cochran, Esq. Here is John’s website. You can check out more about him and his services here: https://www.jacochranlaw.com

To sum up, we’ve mentioned in our last blog, law is of significant importance to us here at 77. We see what our attorney friends go through and the extensive amounts of work involved. There’s also reasons why hiring one is not always the least expensive thing you can do. However, we highly respect them and their dedication to their practice. When the dust settles, subsequently, it will be the attorneys and judges rulings that will define what is happening with these COVID situations.

On a daily basis, attorneys can help with almost any situation in life. Whether it’s a divorce, business, criminal, tax, estate, or the myriad other amounts of laws being practiced, they can be of great importance. Our advice, when you find a great attorney for any situation you need help with, treat them well. They could wind up helping you more than you’d ever imagine.

Conclusion:

77 Design Co. is committed to helping small business succeed. We want to help keep their doors open, and keep roofs over their family’s heads. Keeping your business alive during this mess is crucial.

Finally, contact us if you own a business, or know of a business owner that needs marketing help. We are volunteering work at heavily discounted rates (or in some instances free) to keep business stable in our county and local area. Any way we can help, we will.

Additionally, here’s our services: https://77designco.com/services-2/

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Interview-Attorney William J. McCabe

Interview-Attorney William J. McCabe. Bill is a criminal defense and personal injury lawyer. Dr. McCabe has been practicing law for 40 years. This year marks his 40th year. Congrats to him! Quite an achievement.

His firm, DeBernardo, Antoniono, McCabe & Davis, P.C. is located in Greensburg, Pa. The firm was founded in the late 1960’s. Dr. McCabe has been with them since 1986.

IInterview-Attorney William J. McCabe. Criminal defense law. Photograph of Dr. Bill McCabe in white dress shirt with gray tie.
Attorney, Dr. Bill McCabe

The law is something of great interest to us here at 77 Design Co. We rarely make a move without double checking first with one of our trusted attorney friends. Above all, we’d never want to do something wrong or illegal. Having the legal guidance and answers to what you can and you can’t do are critical in all aspects of life and business. Without law and great attorneys practicing law, our society would be lawless like the Old West, or worse, Nazi Germany.

In addition, you always want to protect yourself, your family, and organizations you are involved with. Thanks to Dr. McCabe for taking a few minutes to discuss some very serious matters with us. We certainly had substantial interest in what Dr. McCabe had to say regarding law during this coronavirus situation in our, Interview-Attorney William J. McCabe.

Interview-Attorney William J. McCabe. Criminal defense law. Image of purple and orange stained glass scales of justice.
Stained glass scales of justice.
Question 1:

77 Design Co: How has this COVID-19 stuff impacted your business?

Attorney William J. McCabe: So, it’s been impacted in two ways. Firstly, courts are closed. Therefore, all court proceedings that were scheduled are now rescheduled. It’s going to be crazy when they open back up. Additionally, throw in the social distancing and it will greatly impact the courts and cases.

Secondly is our office. We have been closed and a few have been laid off. They are back to work now though. So, we are also trying to avoid face to face meetings. Further, it completely changes the dynamics of how a law office works. We’ll have to see how this impacts the law profession in general.

Question 2:

77: Let’s talk criminal defense law and the Constitution here. What’s happening with these state orders? Are we, as citizens, at risk of being fined, detained, or worse…jailed, for leaving home or working under these orders?

Dr. M: I think anyone who violates the Governor’s Order or Department of Health is at risk for a violation. There’s a statute called the “Administrative Code of 1929” that they are using. There’s a link on the Governor’s website. A violation conviction can be not less than ten dollars, and not more than fifty dollars, plus court costs. If you are unable to pay you may be jailed for thirty days.

Additionally, there’s the “Disease Prevention and Control Law of 1955” for quarantines and isolation. This is a summary case and can carry a fine, if convicted, of no less than twenty-five dollars, and no more than three hundred dollars.

However, I’d say there are other things a Governor can do also like restrict certain licenses. We’ll see how this plays out. Some are enforcing, some are not.

Question 3:

77: What should someone do if they are pulled over and questioned? To clarify, what’s your advice on this?

Dr. M: Well it’s the same as usual. Above all, cooperate with the police. Be respectful. I don’t think the police are going to debate you as to why they pulled you over. For example, just turn over your documents and answer the general questions. Just identify yourself and be courteous. Certainly, if you feel you’ve run into trouble contact an attorney.

Question 4:

77: We believe this may be the most important time in our lives to know our rights in detail. So, can you elaborate a little about our Constitutional Rights and what we can or can’t do during all of this?

Dr. M: Life hasn’t changed except these orders now say shelter in place. Executive Orders are a matter of law now. Consequently the highest courts in the land have ruled these orders are not unconstitutional. In short, as long as people obey them we’ll be fine. But, the problem is enforcement. We’ll see if they are enforced. There’s a lot of gray areas in all of this too.

Question 5:

77: Is there any peace of mind you can give anyone reading about the above topics?

Dr. M: Personally, I think the vast majority of people have the best interests in mind for everyone. You have to have faith in people. Eventually we’ll get through this.

Also, I’d like to add, a big benefit to workers. For a worker to be protected, the refusal to work must be based on a legitimate concern due to a pre-existing health problem which places them at risk if infected by the Covid-19, not just because they are afraid generally of the Covid-19 virus.

Question 6:

77: What other types of law do you practice?

Dr. M: Criminal defense law. Personal injury law. As I get older, I’m doing more estate administration too.

Interview-Attorney William J. McCabe. Criminal defense law. Image of Constitutional law and criminal law books.
A library of law books.
Interview-Attorney William J. McCabe. Criminal defense law. Image of Bill in a black sweater at a fundraising event with a BNI sign.
Dr. McCabe at a fundraising event.
Final Question:

77: We always finish these interviews on a positive note. For instance, do you have anything positive to add that you’ve noticed through all of this?

Dr. M: I think from a professional standpoint, as a result of this, we’ve learned we can operate remotely and effectively. It will change how we do business. Instead of driving seventy miles to a meeting, we can Zoom.

Personally, I’m amazed at our caregivers and medical professionals in hospitals. I see selfless people who care for others with the virus. It’s astonishing to see. What would we do without them?

Photograph of the DAMD sign.
DeBernardo, Antoniono, McCabe & Davis sign.

Dr. McCabe can be reached through his firms website here: https://damdpc.com

A word from 77:

We appreciate Dr. McCabe taking the time to discuss these important issues with us. This Interview-Attorney William J. McCabe sheds some light on criminal defense law. Many people wonder what the legalities are of what is happening within our state and country. Some are scared or worried. Some are unbothered. Yet others are vigilant or even defiant.

Even more, Dr. McCabe admits there are some areas of law within all of this that are not yet completely clear cut. We will all have to wait and see how this shakes out. Subsequently, our courtrooms will likely be full of cases once they reopen. Thanks again for the Interview-Attorney William J. McCabe!

During this crisis, 77 Design Co has been on a mission to get as many perspectives from local business owners as possible. Likewise if you know of a business owner in the area that would like to be interviewed about their business or industry, have them contact us. We’ll certainly carve out a time to talk with them.

Conclusion

77 Design Co. is committed to helping small business succeed. We want to help keep their doors open, and keep roofs over their family’s heads. Keeping your business alive during this mess is crucial.

Finally, contact us if you own a business, or know of a business owner that needs marketing help. We are volunteering work at heavily discounted rates (or in some instances free) to keep business stable in our county and local area. Any way we can help, we will.

Additionally, here’s our services: https://77designco.com/services-2/

77 Design Co gray and orange logo