Investing in your business - Why hire a designer?

I have just redesigned my website, which involved a lot of thinking about how I wanted to talk to potential clients. This also got me thinking about what I can offer and how it can help business owners and brands achieve their targets. What was the conclusion to all this thinking? Why should you, a business owner hire a designer?

This question isn't meant to sound negative. The are many cheap (although not necessarily right) alternatives to hiring a designer, you can get a logo for a fiver, and a website on line in minutes. But these options come with a number of draw backs. Everyone else can also go for the cheap option, which more often than not means they will use the same template for their website. A logo you 'bought' may look good, but what does it say? How does it show off your brand or product? What thought has gone into it that makes it a unique solution to your business and its needs? 

So what does a designer bring to the table?

Design thinking. This may sound obvious but let me explain it a little. Design thinking or design as a way of thinking means applying a creative process and design methods to problem solving.  Design thinking doesn't just have to be about creating a logo either, it could be about how you interact with people on social media as part of a wider strategy, or how you provide a service to make it more efficient or enjoyable for your customers. Design thinking invented the iPod.

By involving a designer in your process, whether it be for a brand launch or re-branding exercise, developing a new website, app or online service or creating a new brochure or look book you are making a statement that you want the best solution for your business or brand. You're not willing to settle for the five pound logo that looks like everyone else five pound logo.

Why does it matter to you?

Because consumers are becoming increasingly savvy about where they spend their money. They are also loyal to brands that stand for something they believe in. More importantly, they will shun and disown a brand that conflicts with their world view. A designer's job is to consider all of these things and create a solution that speaks to your customer in a way they want to be spoken to. A good brand or business is one that speaks clearly and consistently to build loyalty with its customers.

So where do you start implementing design thinking in your business? Think about any areas where your brand could be lacking. Look at how your brand or business is perceived. Does your brand say what you want it to say. Is your website working to achieve your business goals? Do you have all the material you need to showcase your product or services when following up new leads? Do some research into designers that you like the look of, or that have done work similar to what you require.  Contact the ones you like and see if they seem like a good fit for your business. 

Good Luck.

P.S I would like to share more of my process with you as I believe it is better for designer and client to understand each other as much as possible. With that in mind I will be writing more on how a designer can improve your business.