Does Your Business Have a Graphic Design Plan?
It’s becoming increasingly clear that every business needs a graphic design plan. Between social media, email marketing, printed collateral, and signage; every business has design needs. And nothing screams unprofessional like design that was obviously cobbled together using clip art and Microsoft Word.
If you’re looking to get high-quality graphic design for your business, you only have a few options. I’ll run through the pros and cons of each one – and hopefully, find a solution that works for your business.
Hire an Employee
The most direct way to deal with your graphic design needs is to hire a professional graphic designer for your business. Whether you hire a fresh college grad or an experienced design veteran, there are certain pros and cons that go along with hiring an in-house graphic designer.
Hiring a graphic designer can be a great move – especially if you have a lot of design needs. An in-house employee allows you to find the talented designer and build a relationship over the long haul. Having an in-house designer means you get the chance to deepen your relationship over time – and that’s always a good thing.
As a business owner, you probably already know the cons of hiring another employee. The costs of acquiring and training a new employee, the risk of hiring the wrong person, and the continuing cost all make it difficult for most businesses to hire a full-time graphic designer.
Do It Yourself
This is an attractive option for a lot of small business. As an owner, you already wear several hats (owners, accountant, marketer, etc.). What’s the harm in adding one more (graphic designer)? In just asking the question, I think you see the dilemma, but let’s look at the pros first:
Taking the do-it-yourself approach means you have total control over your design work. There is no time spent communicating your vision to a third-party, instead, you can focus on creating eye-catching designs for your business.
The cons here should be fairly obvious – it takes a serious time investment to acquire even basic skills in a program like Photoshop. Plus, you’re probably already busy enough without adding another task to your plate. And the do-it-yourself approach just isn’t sustainable as your company grows.
Many businesses are turning to cheap, overseas outsourcing for their graphic design services. There are a ton of services popping up that will connect you with someone who is willing to work for a fraction of US-based designers. The appeal is strong, but there are some things to consider before jumping in.
Cheap. But that’s about it.
You get what you pay for. Best case scenario, you are paying for someone to slap some text on a stock image. If you don’t believe me, pay for a cheap design and then do an image search of your ‘new’ logo. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, you’ll see you just paid ten dollars for a premade logo from a stock photo site.
Many companies (including us) will design a one-off request for a flat or hourly rate. This has been the traditional way that graphic design agencies work, and isn’t a bad way to go about getting designs for your business.
You get high-quality designs from a professional designer without dealing with employees. That’s a pretty big pro for a pay-per-design system. This method works great if you don’t have on-going graphic design needs, but that’s not always a common situation.
Getting your graphic design this way can get expensive in a hurry – especially if you are paying by the hour. That’s great if you’re a huge corporation with a massive budget. But for the majority of business, it just isn’t feasible to pay a designer every time you need a social media graphic.
The final way is one of our favorites: monthly graphic design plans. The idea behind this system is simple: you pay a flat monthly fee to have an on-call designer. The way these plans are structured vary from company to company, so make sure you dig into the fine print and know exactly what you are getting. At Fusion Group USA, our monthly plans include unlimited designs, a dedicated designer, and unlimited revisions.
Having a graphic design firm on retainer can be a great way to get professional graphic design without breaking your budget. There are no employees to deal with and you get the same level of control over your projects. And with unlimited designs, you don’t have to worry about a busy month throwing off your plans.
To be honest, I really love unlimited monthly plans. So, I won’t have much to say here, but I can think of a few: if you only need 3-4 designs per year, then it might not be right for you; or if you need hundreds of in-depth designs a year, then consider going in-house. But beyond those two scenarios, there aren’t many cons to the monthly plan system.
What’s Right for You?
At the end of the day, there are pros and cons to each method. So, I can’t say what is right for you and your business. However, I do think that monthly plans offer the most flexibility and the biggest benefits to the majority of small to medium-sized businesses. But your answer will depend on your budget, time available, employee resources, and goals.
Here at Fusion Group USA, we offer a few graphic design solutions. You can sign up for an unlimited monthly plan, you can pay us to design by the hour, or you can get a design package (like logo or business card design) that includes designs and revisions at a flat rate. If you are in need of graphic design for your business, contact us today and we can help you pick what’s right for you!