If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur

Advice you can take to the bank.

Should you hire a professional? The titular quote is most commonly attributed to Red Adair and it applies very well to graphic and website design services.

Recently, though, I’ve learnt that it applies to just about everything; a revelation that came as a result of a costly mistake.

Many years ago, I had a job that involved servicing diesel compressor engines. Servicing engines isn’t rocket science. It basically boils down to changing filters/spark plugs and replacing/topping up fluids. With this in mind, I recently decided to service my own car.

Overall, the service went smoothly. The very last thing I did was change the oil filter; an awkwardly placed little bugger that had to be done by feel rather than by sight. As a consequence of this, when I replaced the filter the rubber seal was about 1cm too low, which meant when I drove the car, all of the oil was blown out of the engine causing it to cease.

A new engine was needed, so the crux of this was that trying to save £100 cost me thousands!

While I’m clearly still learning to apply my design ethos to everyday life, I thought that now would be a good time to drive home (sore subject) why it is so important to hire a professional for your businesses design needs.

Design Studio

Let’s start from the beginning.

Starting a new business is scary. Often our clients have left the comfort of salary based employment to traverse the mountains of the great unknown.

When in this position, many people make the mistake of being overly frugal with aspects of their business which are extremely important.

Take Bob, for example. Bob is a skilled plumber and after years of making a mint for other people, he decides to become his own boss.

Bob hires his friend’s nephew to create a logo for £50 and then knocks together his own website using something like Wix. Bob receives his business cards from Vista Print and smiles when he thinks about all the money he’s saved on graphic and website design.

What Bob doesn’t realise is that he’s already begun to lose money.

 If you don’t value your own business, don’t expect other people to

When people go to Bob’s website or look at his business cards, they’re looking at a visual representation of Bob’s business. As a result of this, Bob looks like an amateur, so not only is he losing business, he’s also not getting clients that are willing to pay what he’s actually worth.

By the time the penny drops, Bob has lost a lot of money. He then shells out for the logo, branding, and website that he should have gotten in the first place. He then has to pay to have all his business stationary and van graphics reprinted.

 Buy cheap, buy twice.

This is an example of how buying cheap can affect a small business, but larger businesses make the same mistakes too, and the larger the business, the costlier it is to not get it right the first time.

Trust me, hire a professional.

Let’s be clear. I’m not suggesting you break the bank by spending huge sums of money before you even know if the business will take off. What you should do, though, is take the time to hire a professional that understands what you want to say about your business and can create a logo and website that accurately reflects the quality of the products or services that you offer.

Bear in mind, even great brands and websites will need to be tweaked as a business expands and adapts. The important thing is that you hit the ground running.

Price should not be the deciding factor

Of course, when hiring a professional price is going to be a factor, but you shouldn’t look at the price a measure of quality.

 A fool and their money are soon parted

Some businesses are reassured by high prices. While it is true that agencies that do great work will often charge higher prices, it is also true that high prices can just be the result of large overheads.

Bear this in mind, not just when hiring a designer, but when hiring any service provider.

Will Carey

About the Author

Will Carey is the founder of The Big Dot Company and Creative Chair. He started experimenting with digital design in the 90’s, turning it into a business after obtaining a degree in graphic design in 2012.