If you were going to buy a car, you wouldn’t skimp on safety features just to save a few bucks, would you? At that level of investment, it seems silly to cut corners on such a large investment.

Your business is also an investment. So why skimp on design (your logo, letterhead, website) when it is the face of your brand? I’m amazed at how many small business owners try to design logos themselves when they have no design training or cheapskate their way through web design by hiring a starving college student with no portfolio. Cheap design work is often shoddy, and that reflects on your brand.

Cheap Work is Never Good…Good Work is Never Cheap

Certainly, if you’re lucky enough to stumble upon a college student with real skill who is willing to design a logo for $20, kudos to you. But in my experience, spending time trying to hand hold an inexperienced designer isn’t worth the cost savings. There are better routes to go.

Think about the last bad website you visited. You probably remember it. If it looked like it was designed in 1999, that fact was not lost on you. For me, I tend to leave those sites quickly; if the business didn’t value its own website enough to spend a few thousand dollars on design, what does that say about its products or services?

Your design is your brand. From your logo to your website, these images speak to who your company is.  They give a professional image to your business, so it’s important they reflect the message you want to relate.

Design on a Budget

Certainly, you can get a $10,000 logo, but there are more affordable options that are just as good. You’ve got a few options for design work:

  • Find a freelancer
  • Retain a design firm
  • Use the crowdsourcing model

Freelancers tend to not have the overhead of a firm, so sometimes they’re the most affordable option. Look at a designer’s portfolio to ensure his work is in line with what you envision for your project.

Design firms don’t have to be out of price range. Look for those that cater to small businesses, as they probably have packages that fit your budget.

Crowdsourced design work is all the rage right now. Sites like 99Designs give you the opportunity to get logos designed by dozens of talented graphic artists from around the world, and this service starts at $299. You can specify what you’re looking for, and as you get submissions, you can leave feedback so that other designers have a better sense of what you’re looking for.

Worth the Investment

If you’re serious about your business, you should be serious about its design. Even if the cost is a bit of a chunk out of your small biz budget, go for it. It’s an investment into the future of your company, and one that you will never regret.