Should you design your small business’ logo and website yourself?
I recently had a conversation with a prospective client who had plans to do just that, and was seeking a little assistance during the process. I’ll share with you exactly what I shared with her.
I am happy to assist small business owners with whatever aspects of their marketing projects for which they need help (heck, if you want to pay me my hourly rate to help you write your grocery list, I’ll do it!). But it isn’t what I advise, and I don’t suspect it will get you the best end result (if your self-designed logo looks like the image at right, then you already know what I mean).
When you are a small business owner, it’s true, you have to wear many hats. For instance, I am my own bookkeeper and my own assistant. I keep track of all my expenses and earnings, I prepare and send out all the proposals and invoices, I follow up with delinquent clients who don’t pay those invoices on time, and I get my own coffee each morning (though I am trying to train my dog on refills).
But I am aware of my limitations when it comes to the finances of my business (I’m a designer, after all, I can’t be good at everything!). Luckily, I’m married to a financial planner, so I get a lot of good advice on the cheap (I just have to pay him with foot rubs and snacks, mostly). But when it’s tax time, I turn over all of my expense tracking, receipts and spreadsheets to my trusty CPA.
But could I do my taxes myself? I’m a fairly intelligent individual, I’m sure I could buy one of those do-it-yourself programs and figure it out. But would spending two weeks doing nothing but staring at numbers with a confused look on my face be the best use of my time? Probably not.
And likewise, if you aren’t a designer, my guess is that creating your logo with a magic marker or in Microsoft Word, and learning bits and pieces of HTML to throw together your website is not the best use of your time either.
I bet that if you spend the same amount of time actually working on your business and whatever it is you specialize in (developing your business strategies, securing new clients, and networking with people in your industry), you are likely to make more money than you would have saved by assembling those mediocre marketing materials yourself.
But, hey, I’m no business expert — I’m just a designer — so you may want to consult with a professional to be sure.