When You Think You Can't Afford A Designer
Are you ready to take that leap- that leap with a graphic designer to develop your business' image?
I think most people would want to answer "YES" to that question, but unfortunately, too many people feel like they don't have the budget or resources to hire their own designer. Well don't be discouraged! Hiring a designer might be more possible than you've been led to believe.
Here are a few tips for you to make hiring a graphic designer possible, as well as what you can do while you're saving to invest in the RIGHT designer.
1. Do your research and find a designer whose work you admire and think could capture your vision. All too often, people settle on a designer based on what they can afford. While your designer should be comparable in price to other designers (make sure you're not getting ripped off!), it's important to work with who you want. A business' image is too important to be driven by financial capability alone.
Designers typically have a signature style, so make sure your vision and their style mesh from the very beginning. And don't be afraid to dream big! Remember, there's no settling here. Find a portfolio you love and commit to working with that particular designer.
Then reach out to them. Let them know you're interested and following along, and that when you're financially able—you'd love to work with them. I love knowing when someone wants to work with me, but can respect and plan their own financial situation at the same time.
2. Let your designer treat you to coffee and a good conversation. Talk about your business with your designer, figure out what exactly your needs are, then discuss budget. Collaborate with your designer on a final figure to budget for. Having a tangible final number makes working with a designer more attainable and enables you to develop a plan for saving the right amount of money ahead of time. "I want to work with a designer someday," isn't a tangible goal. But "I want to spend $1,500 on this particular designer in December" IS.
3. Commit to the investment, knowing that getting your image right is important. The different stages your business is in will determine your needs for working with a designer. You may need to start off small, and invest a smaller amount up front. But as your business grows—so should your designs. Design establishes your credibility, and every dollar you put into it truly is a worthwhile invest. Commit to it, and commit to making it a priority.
4. Take your time. There is no need to rush into working with a designer. I know, I JUST said it's important to invest in good design. But while it's important to launch your business with a polished image, rushing into hiring the WRONG designer can end up costing you more in time and money (and headaches). You should never feel pressured into working with a designer. Make sure you give yourself the breathing room to step away from the situation and evaluate all aspects of it before taking that next step.
Your designer should also making you feel like you have time. It's a relationship that's built, trust that's established, and again—that important investment you're working towards. They should make you feel comfortable and un-rushed. Really, there is no rush.
When it comes to hiring a designer, don't fear it- be excited about it! But always, ALWAYS plan for it. If you feel like you can't afford a designer right now, at least start working towards one day making that investment. And if you ever have design ideas for your business, make sure you write it down—or sketch it out, so that when the time does come, you're prepared to share your vision that's been a long time in the making!
Designers, do you have any other tips for small businesses trying to make that first step?