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Graphic Design: A Guide for Small Business Owners

Unlimited graphic design
Jun 5
/
5 min read

As a business owner, you need to know a bit of everything to make it work: accounting, marketing, graphic design, systems, IT, and the list could go on…

All businesses will require some form of graphic design and with varying degrees of frequency, the same can be said about web design. 

Here you’ll learn when and how a graphic designer can help your business and when do you need a web designer instead. As a busy business owner knowing what to look for will save you time and money. 

When do I need a graphic designer for my business? The answer to this question depends on where you’re at in your business.

I’m starting a new business

You’ll need a lot of things from a graphic designer especially in the beginning or at least it will feel that way. 

You should focus on the essentials, especially if you’re a startup or a business on a budget. At this point, you know that you need a logo, perhaps a business card, and all the cool stationery. But who should hire? Should you do it yourself?

Doing it yourself in this day and age sounds tempting, but I’ll advise you to not do that. Even if you’re on a budget. Your logo is how people will remember you, investing $100 on your first impression seems like an easy decision to make.

Start with your logo and a brand guideline 

Logo

You know what a logo is and you probably have an idea of how you want it to look, and even if you don’t certain styles resonate with you. A good graphic designer will ask you some questions to figure out what it is that you are trying to convey with your logo and what style you’re looking for.

A good graphic designer, like the ones you get with us, can make all the difference in the world:

Brand guideline

Maybe you’ve heard about a brand guideline, maybe you haven’t. Chances are that you’re not sure why you need one, but having one is certainly something that you need, let me explain why.

A brand guideline is a document for your graphic designer in the future. Where the rules of your brand will be explained to any other person using your brand.

Think of it as insurance for your brand. Having a brand style will help you and anyone working with you stay consistent. 

I have a logo and a brand guideline, now what?

Having a logo and a brand guideline is just the beginning, now it’s time to decide what to do next. Regardless of what type of business you’re, digital or local - you’ll need social media presence, and that’s true even in the B2B space. 

If you as the business owner are going to run your marketing strategy you should then start by creating your strategy and after that, you’ll know where to look next.

Can my logo designer help me with my website?

Maybe, but not likely. Let me explain.

There are specialists in every area. Usually, web design is very different and moves at a much faster pace than graphic design.

While your logo designer might be able to help you with your website, you should consider hiring a graphic designer that specializes in web design instead. There’s a lot that goes into web design that is not dealt with on a day-to-day basis from a general graphic designer.

I’m a small business with some clients and a small team

At this point, you’ve probably dealt with the problem of getting graphic design help. Usually, your options are to either hire an agency, hire a local or remote freelancer, or do it in-house.

Each option presents a challenge on its own, and they all come with pros and cons.

Your marketing department will either be run by a solo person or in most cases, yourself, so you already know the importance of graphic design in your business.

You’ll need graphics for your day-to-day marketing campaigns as well as for other more permanent business settings.

What are the usual graphics that your marketing operations will need, and where to source them?

Your marketing strategy will dictate the type of graphics that you’ll need. If you’re using a strategy that includes digital and traditional marketing, you’ll not only need a graphic designer but also a printer that you can count on.

In the following, you will learn what options do you have to get the graphics that you need to make successful your marketing campaigns.

If you’re running a digital campaign then you will most likely need:

  • Landing pages
  • Social media images
  • Ads (for Facebook, Google, etc)
  • Graphics for your newsletter
  • Infographics
  • Graphics for blog posts
  • Retouched photos
  • Graphics for your landing pages/website
  • E-books
  • Email signatures

If you’re running a traditional marketing campaign then you will most likely need:


  • Flyers
  • Business cards
  • Billboards
  • Brochures
  • Trade show banners
  • PowerPoint presentations
  • Labels
  • Door hangers
  • Postcards
  • Folders
  • Table tents
  • Magnets
  • Ads for magazines/newspapers


Where do I get all these graphics from?

I only recommend that you look for a landing page designer if you need one, if you need any other material, regardless of the path you’re going (digital or traditional) a good professional graphic designer will suffice.

But getting a good affordable graphic designer is the hard part.


Your options as a small business owner


Hire someone in the house


 If you need graphics constantly and you need them as fast as possible, hiring an in-house graphic designer might be your best bet. 


It might be, however, very difficult depending on your budget, even on a part-time basis, it might be more than you can afford.


If however, it’s something that you can afford by all means you’ll get high quality as long as you hire the right person and also super fast turnaround time on your graphics if the price tag doesn’t scare you this is your best option.


Find a freelancer on an online marketplace


Working remotely and finding a reliable freelancer online in a marketplace can be tricky but rewarding if you do it right.


The biggest advantage of following this path is that you might be able to find something willing to work with you on the hours that you need them to.


The downside is that finding this person will take a lot of time and interviewing and running weekly tests with prospects, in some cases even a very good candidate will leave you with only a day’s notice. 


Find a local freelancer


Finding a local freelancer might prove to be a good option, especially if you want to fight against most of the downsides of finding one in an online marketplace. Local freelancers tend to be more reliable but also more expensive.


If this option is attractive to you always ask for referrals, you will find someone much faster that way. 


Do it yourself


In today’s age with tools like Canva and depending on the brand that you’re running, doing it yourself might be an option for you. However, the downsides are that if you’re not very skilled it might give your brand a cheap look and in most cases, this is not the outcome that you’d want to be successful. 


Following this path will also make scaling your business and marketing strategies harder because you’ll have less time to do big picture strategy, so while this might prove to be a decent option in the beginning or at a very early stage doing this might cost you more than it saves in the long term.


Kapa99


I was a business owner just like you and I tried all of these options. In the end, I realized that there had to be a better way. A way that had the best of all options. 


Enter Kapa99: an unlimited graphic design service that for a monthly flat fee will help you with all your marketing materials and more. The mission of Kapa99 is to save you time, money, and frustration. Trying it is free for 5 days. 



Conclusion


Whether you’re just starting up or an already established small business owner, your marketing strategy will dictate the type and frequency of the graphics that you will need. Based on this you can choose the very best option for you, whether that might be hiring an in house graphic designer or 


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