As a small business owner, you typically have a laundry list of next action items on your plate. As well, you typically have a more limited budget and more limited time to accomplish those items.
On top of running your business, you may also act as a DIY marketer or graphic designer, which pulls time away from other important areas of your business. In the short term it may seem like a good idea to assume this role in the interest of cost reduction. In the long term, however, your DIY solution may prove to be more costly than you would think.
1. A graphic designer can help you avoid costly design and production mistakes.
Designing for different applications requires expertise; especially when it comes to direct mail, booklet printing and specialty layouts. The files you send to the printer will need some special attention from a trained professional in order to achieve the look and feel you intended. Have you ever printed 500 postcards only to find out that they were designed improperly and could not be mailed? While the horrifying possibilities are endless, the lesson to be learned is that it is better to be safe than to be sorry.
Printers use design-specific jargon (e.g. bleeds, imposition, and indicia) that can get confusing if you are unsure of what your are doing. Most printers will offer the option to correct your design, but typically at a premium rate and only if you ask. A graphic designer can help you avoid these mistakes and add unexpected value to your print material. If you work with a graphic designer, who has a partnership with a local printer, often times they can offer a discounted printing rate for your project. They can also provide assistance in choosing the right paper stock, helping you utilize unique printing techniques and get the most value and the best quality for your money.
2. A graphic designer can give you a professional edge over your competition.
If you have ever eaten at a fine dining restaurant, then you know that the experience is just as much about the food as it is the service, atmosphere, and presentation. Now compare your fine dining experience to eating at a fast food restaurant. While the fast food restaurant may hit on some marks like efficiency, there is a certain panache that the fine dining restaurant was able to infuse into your experience on all levels that the fast food restaurant could not. That extra mile, the small details, are what sets it apart and begins crafting a brand experience in which their audience wants to be a part.
There may be a time and a place for the “fast-food” approach in design. But when you are first starting out, you have the chance (and the mandate) to set the expectations of your brand and the quality of services your potential clientele will receive. Be wary of using pre-fabricated publishing templates or cheap one-size-fits-all design solutions. If everyone has access to the same Microsoft Word and Publisher templates, then are you really setting yourself apart? Your business is unique, so should it not look unique? Do not let your DIY website or homemade brochure send the wrong message and take away from your hard-earned credibility. A graphic designer can make sure you are creating the right first impression.
3. A graphic designer can save you time (time = money).
Of the many hats you juggle, being the graphic designer for your own business may be one of the most time consuming. There is a lot to learn and teach yourself if you choose to go it alone. Knowing which social media outlets are right for your business, how to code semantic HTML markup on your website, what the proper file saving formats for printing and web projects are, and everything in between; the tips and specialized knowledge that a professional graphic designer and marketing consultant can bring to the table are invaluable.
Just as a graphic designer’s value is in taking care of the design details and aspects that they excel in, your time is also better served in working on things that you are the expert of, like your business. Instead of spending the time learning how to manipulate a word document into a beautifully designed brochure or knowing the right vendor to print your business cards with, you can outsource this to a graphic designer who has the tools, software, and expertise to complete it for you more efficiently. This will leave you more time to work on the other important details of your business.
Ready to talk to a graphic designer about your next project? Talk to K Design Co.
I help female entrepreneurs and business owners create brands that command the spotlight. I love working with women to help them create beautiful, one-of-a-kind brands that give them the confidence to take their business to the next level and get them seriously noticed. I’ve worked with coaches, authors, influencers… you name it, and I bet I can help you too.