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If you’re a small business owner, you’re probably used to wearing many hats – accountant, marketer, IT department. But in the age of self-service, it can be easy to stretch yourself too thin and forget that some things are better left to the experts – and one of those could be your design. There can be many reasons to hire a graphic designer, but the right design on your website, products and marketing materials can have a huge impact on your business’s success. And while there are good DIY design templates that might meet some of your needs, great design can really set your business apart when you need it the most. Here’s when you should consider consulting a pro.
1. You’re just starting out
While your first instinct when starting a business is to cut costs, hiring a graphic designer from the outset could save you time and money further down the line.
Firstly, a graphic designer can give you a full suite of matching designs (more on that later) for everything you need to get started, like:
- A logo
- Website graphics
- Print marketing (flyers, postcards, brochures)
- Business cards
Creating these essentials with the help of a professional from the get-go provides a strong starting look that’s in-line with your business proposition – making it easier to carve out your place in your chosen industry. A graphic designer will also help you create a design that’s timeless – which, in turn, could save you recreating and re-establishing your brand in the future (a costly and time-consuming exercise).
Additionally, building trust in your brand is key when you’re new on the market, but can be hard-won and take time. What you’re lacking in Google reviews and customer testimonials can be made up for with a professional-looking design that makes you look the part – think sharp graphics on your website, a unique business card and print marketing that looks professional.
If you’re starting a brand-new business, the experts at 99designs by Vistaprint can help. They specialise in one-of-a-kind bespoke looks for a variety of marketing essentials and products.
2. A competitor has a similar look.
It can be hard enough to stand out in a crowded field of competitors as-is, throw in a design that looks eerily like someone else’s and let the brand confusion begin.
Maybe you were inspired by another business you respect and admire or have fallen into some common branding tropes in your industry – lotus flower imagery for yoga studios, razor blades for barbers, a fork and knife for restaurants. Either way, if your design looks like someone else’s (especially a competitor), it might be time to consult a pro to help you change things up.
A graphic designer can help you set yourself apart with a few clever tweaks – an updated logo, a new font or different brand colours. They also know the design market well and will help you avoid stepping on another brands visual territory.
3. Your look is inconsistent
If there’s one thing that makes a business look unprofessional, it’s branding that doesn’t quite go-together – consistency is key. If you’ve gone to create a new flyer but noticed it doesn’t match your other marketing materials, a professional will make sure all of your branding is cohesive and coordinating. And the good news is, it won’t necessarily take an image overhaul or full-time commitment – freelance graphic designers can use typography, colours, alignment and more to create a consistent, professional look for your business.
DID YOU KNOW
We offer graphic design services for every Vistaprint product you create. Our designers are here to help perfect your creation and can turn around your design within 24-48 hours.
4. DIY only takes you so far
We’re fans of DIY and we love empowering small business owners to take charge of their branding – but there could be some opportunities that are better suited to a tailor-made approach. For example, plain packaging might work for your first couple of orders, but once you build up your following or start charging more for your products, you might want to elevate your bags and parcels with a custom design that incorporates your brand. If a template doesn’t serve this particular need, or there isn’t a design already out there that screams YOU, it’s best to hire a graphic designer to craft this new experience.
5. You’re in a sales slump
While your image isn’t the be-all and end-all of your business, humans are visual creatures and if your design isn’t up to scratch, they might not trust you’re a credible business and take up your services or offer. The easiest remedy to this? Letting a professional take a look at your current design and addressing the pain points. Graphic designers have the expertise of not only making things look good, but making sure they function correctly. They can identify when something in your design might be off-putting for customers (a pixelated image, colours that make text hard to read, or a website that isn’t mobile-friendly) and fix it.
6. It’s time for a change
While some things are classic and stand the test of time (hello, blue jeans), it’s highly likely that tastes have changed since the first time you created your business and branding. What was ground-breaking 15 years ago could be a little-outdated or stale now. Apply this same logic to your design – whether it be your website, marketing or logo – it might need a little refresh. A graphic designer can help reimagine your existing branding in a way that works for modern tastes and your new needs. A fresh logo, images of customers using your products for your social media or updated packaging to introduce a new product.
Ready to take the plunge and hire a graphic designer? Read our tips on working with a graphic designer and how to get the best results.