Are you putting off having your new business's logo and marketing materials professionally designed until after you get off the ground or land your first clients? If so, you're making a big mistake. Starting your business without a well-thought-out logo and marketing materials puts your small company at a big disadvantage compared to the competition.
A professional-looking business logo and marketing materials help make your new business more visible and credible-two key factors in its growth and success. But because they lack customers and cash flow, many entrepreneurs try to save money by designing their own marketing materials. It's easy enough to design a business card or logo at the local office supply store or online, but if you don't have design or marketing expertise, doing so could cause more problems than it solves.
Here are three reasons not to delay having a professionally designed logo and marketing materials created for your business:
- Your business will appear unstable. If you start out with a "do-it-yourself" logo and marketing materials today, then switch to a new look a few months later when you can afford professional design services, you'll confuse clients and prospects. They'll wonder, "Is this the same business? Did the store change owners?" Changing your logo and "look" too often can give the appearance of a business that can't make up its mind.
- Your business will look amateurish. Do-it-yourself marketing materials can make your business look unprofessional, suggesting to potential clients that you cannot perform to or meet the standards they expect. Customers may think that if you don't care how your business presents itself, you don't care about the quality of your product or service, either. (Read more about the importance of your logo and marketing materials in Branding a Startup.)
- You will look unfocused: If your logo and your other marketing materials don't have a unified look and feel, it can cause an identity crisis for your business. For example, if you design your own business card with one look and feel, then later have a website professionally designed with another look and feel, potential clients may think they are looking at two different businesses. Working with a professional enables you to tie all your marketing materials together from the start.
While putting off having a professional logo and marketing materials designed may seem like a good idea from a cash-flow point of view, it could keep your business from getting off the ground. If you think you can't afford to have a logo designed when starting your business, consider this: Can you afford not to?