3 Reasons New Business Owners Shouldn’t Hire a Brand & Website Designer
Dear new business owner,
While you’re wearily eyeing your dwindling business bank account, you’re also being bombarded by decisions on what to invest in to help your business grow faster.
And the stress is real (I know ‘cause I’ve been there).
Now that I’m a little further down the entrepreneurial path, I’ve learned that the marketing budget will come. You will have the cash flow to invest in the support, tools, programs, and services that you know will benefit your business.
But right now, making those investments might feel out of reach.
Here’s the refreshingly honest truth: you don’t need those things to right now. You absolutely can grow your business and start booking more clients with what you have in reach right now.
If your business is new, if you’re still in that inspiration-rich but cash-poor phase, you don’t need to hire a brand and website designer.
And in fact, it might not just be thriftier to hold off on outsourcing your design work. It might be a smarter business move all around.
CLICHES ARE OFTEN TRUE, AND YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR
One of the biggest pitfalls I’ve seen new business owners make when hiring someone to help them brand their business and design their website is choosing someone to work with simply because they were cheap.
I know this is a blanket statement – and I’ve certainly met some very talented designers that have proven this wrong – but for the most part, when you commission a cheap design project, you’re going to end up with poor results.
Don’t fall into the trap that cheap brand and web design is better than DIY. Often times, it’s not.
Then there’s the question of what price tag is “cheap” and what is “reasonable” for a design project. While there’s no clear answer (it’ll depend on the scope of your project, your industry, and even when you’re reading this post) as a general guideline, you should expect to pay several thousands of dollars. That investment will be entirely worth it when you’re ready.
But in the meantime, trying to fit a professional design project into your start-up business budget could mean wasting all your money and needing a re-do before you know it.
YOU’RE GOING TO CHANGE YOUR MIND ABOUT STUFF
Good branding – strategic branding – is designed off of a lot more than your favorite color and a cute Pinterest board.
It takes into consideration things like your target audience, your positioning and differentiation, and purpose statement to name just a few.
And as a new business owner, it’s hard to know these things with certainty. And what you DO know with certainty right now could easily shift as you experience business in reality (as opposed to the dreaming and planning stage).
You might discover that the type of person you thought would just about die to hire you, doesn’t actually want what you’re selling, and it’s another type of audience that’s flocking to your brand.
Or, you might figure out that the type of customer you started out serving isn’t a great match after all and you want to work with people in a different way.
It also might take you just a minute to figure out how to put your real, original ideas and personality into your brand, because in the chaotic early days of researching and learning and bing-following other entrepreneurs, our own voice can get a little muddled. It takes some practice to polish it off and present it with confidence.
When you invest in hiring a branding and design pro before giving yourself time to experiment with and evaluate your business, you could end up with a visual brand and website that doesn’t make sense for you just a few months down the road.
YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW
(and there’s a lot you need to know about your brand in order to get the most out of a commissioned branding and web design project)
Outsourcing the brand strategy and design of your brand identity and website can take a huge responsibility off of your shoulders and free up a lot of time.
It also brings in the trained, cultivated perspective of someone who knows how to turn your ideas and passion into a brand experience that gets people excited to work with you.
But, a brand strategist/designer can’t do all that for you on their own. You are the expert on your business, and if you don’t know how to provide the relevant information, insight, and feedback you run the risk of – again – ending up with results that don’t actually make sense for your business.
As a new business owner who’s still working to get established, you’ll benefit enormously by investing some time and sweat equity into DIY-ing your branding and website. You’ll learn what goes into a solid brand strategy, what role your visual brand identity plays, and how to create a website that’s conversion-focused and not just pretty.
When your business grows and you’re ready to upgrade to a professionally designed brand and website, you’ll know how to look for the right designer to partner with. You’ll know what results you want to get out of the project. And you’ll know how to communicate all the essentials details of your brand vision.
If I’m not ready to hire a designer, what do I do in the meantime to look professional and book paying clients?
I’m glad you asked. Even if you’re not working with a pro, you should strategically brand your business and get a professional-looking website up right from the start.
And if you’re early in business and don’t have thousands of dollars to invest for someone else to do this for you, you can absolutely do it yourself and get great results.
As your business grows, you may decide to outsource it to improve on what you have or just take it off your plate, but I’m a firm believer that “good enough” is exactly what you need when you’re just launching your business and working to get established.
Your focus in much better spent on developing the strategy behind your brand and the content you’ll use to grow your audience then fretting about having a website that looks like it cost 5 figures.
A more modest (and likely more feasible) investment can get you set up with what you DO need right now:
- A professional “face” for your business: a consistent set of brand colors and typefaces, a simple and clean logo, and some basic brand collateral to help you begin building a great brand experience for your customers.
- A user-friendly (+ mobile-friendly) and professional looking website that doesn’t cost a fortune, but sends the message that you take your business seriously.
- And, most importantly, a mapped-out brand strategy that guides you through intentionally finding and targeting your ideal customers, clarifies your big picture business goals, establishes your brand voice, and helps you hunt out your unique spot in the market and what makes you different.
You can create these things for your business, and I highly recommend you take the DIY-route if you’re in a lean start-up stage.
To be clear, there’s definitely a lot of work involved. A perk of hiring something out is that, well, you don’t have to do it yourself. So there’s time and energy involved, but you can do it. And you can do it without overextending yourself financially.
Ok…but where do I start?
I won’t gloss over the fact that this stuff can feel overwhelming. Especially when it comes to techy stuff like learning how to actually build a website. I’m a fan of new business owners DIY-ing, but I don’t think you should go it completely alone.
I’ve got a handful of resources to help guide you and it all starts with the completely free Brand Planner Workbook.
I know you might be eager to build your website or create a fun logo for your business, but all of that will be SO much easier and more effective if you take a little bit of time upfront to map out your profitable brand strategy.
This free workbook is fun (I promise!) and will set the foundation for every other step you’ll take in the branding and web design process.
Request your copy of the Brand Planner Workbook right here: