The Vital Importance of a Good Web Design
Your website is the hub of your online business; it is the virtual representation of your company whether your business exists physically or not. When you are doing business online, people cannot see you physically like they would if they were dealing with an offline company. Hence, in this case, people do judge a book by its cover. This is where good design comes in.
Imagine this: you are running an offline company, would you allow your salespeople to be dressed in shabby or casual clothing when dealing with your prospects and customers? By requiring your staff to dress professionally, you are telling your customers that you truly care about quality. This works simply because first impressions matter tremendously as we form our perceptions and quality judgments.
The situation is essentially similar when it comes to your website. If your website is put together shabbily and looks like a 5 minute "quick fix", you are practically shouting to your visitors that you are unprofessional and do not place much emphasis on quality.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, if you have a completely professional looking website design and layout, you help give your visitors the perception that you have paid meticulous attention to every detail and care about professionalism. You are organized, focused and really mean business.
Similarly, other materials related to your company should be well designed. From business cards to your company's letterheads to promotional brochures, every little bit matters. This is because as you grow your business, these items become your company's "face" to the world. Once again, think of the "salesperson dressed shabbily" analogy, and you will understand my point. Cheers and good luck!