Like many companies, Design Basics depends on the fax machine to immediately send customers the information they request. But, just because something is faxed doesn't mean it's okay for the presentation to be sloppy. The home-plan design firm, based in Omaha, is careful to ensure that the fine print and illustrations of its plans are as legible on fax copies as on the originals.

"We want our product literature to be easy on the eyes of our customers, because they spend a lot of time poring over plans and fine print," says Linda Reimer, Design Basics' president. To provide clients with high-quality material they can show a prospect, the creative department uses special line weights and typefaces; it also checks the quality of a faxed graphic before it goes into use.

The company also looks for little things to tack on for free that are easy to provide. Recently Design Basics started giving customers pocket-size miniplans so that they won't have to tote around the big, unwieldy blueprints all the time.