Best Practices

Entrepreneurs: Don't Attempt This DIY

Published Jul 14, 2014

Summary: By: Anne Dewvall.

Unless you are a designer by trade, you should think twice before putting the look of your business in your own hands. You may have fantastic taste or a fervor for Photoshop, but your business is too important to DIY graphic design. 

We know entrepreneurs are often pinching pennies, especially during the startup phase. But, investing in a good graphic designer will pay dividends. Your clients are judging your business from the moment they set eyes on you. From your company logo to package design for your breakthrough product to your website, the way your company looks matters at least as much as how it acts. Here are a few of the many reasons why you shouldn’t leave those design choices in your own hands.
How would you like your graphic design

Humans are visual creatures. Looks are important, even when they possibly shouldn’t be.  Yes, customers should hire your plumbing business based on how well you fix leaks, but first they make a decision about how likely your business looks to fix leaks based on your logo, the sign on your van, and a million other ways you may have left a visual impression on them. The top reason to hire a designer: design is important to your business’s bottom line.

The second most important reason entrepreneurs should hire a graphic designer is because design is skilled work. Whether or not you have artistic talent of your own (but especially if not), you can't compete with designers who are trained to present your business to the world. Talented designers can build websites that engage customers and drive sales or create advertisements that make your business memorable. This isn’t something you learn overnight: that expertise is what makes a designer a good expense. Just like you wouldn’t (we hope) take on your own accounting or legal representation, graphic design is best left to the pros. 

A graphic designer can provide a fresh perspective. While it’s important for entrepreneurs to maintain close contact with their brand identity, a designer can be a great creative collaborator. Together, you’ll build better ideas than you would alone.

Entrepreneurs know that the pressure of perfectionism can often be a drag, especially when you are the one making all the decisions. Have you ever spent way too long debating about a color choice? Have you postponed designing a website because you didn’t have the time to make it look good? Let a designer break through those barriers for you so you can move forward and spend your time working on your business instead of the business of making your business look good.

Finally, entrepreneurs should outsource their graphic design projects because DIYing your own design runs the risk of looking amateur and cheap. We’ve all seen this happen. The business card with the size 18 lettering. The black website with green text that someone thought seemed cool. The advertisement with a dozen different fonts that made it impossible to know what was for sale. When it comes to graphic design, remember – you get what you pay for!

Content Contributed by Anne Dewvall, NetWork Kansas.  NetWork Kansas is a proud U.S.SourceLink affiliate, America's largest resource network for entrepreneurs.