One of the things entrepreneurs have to face early on in the start of the business is the decision to enlist help from other professionals or to DIY and look for shortcuts for the things they are trying to accomplish. Some say its timing, but most say it is a money factor. Sadly, most starting professionals make the mistake of not investing in themselves and here are the types of effects it has on their business.
1. Not investing in a good brand, or marketing materials (such as media graphics, promotion videos, photography, etc) does more to reflect your business than you think. The fact that some professionals choose NOT to spend money on such things tells their potential client that they are not proud enough of their business image or believe in their product enough to invest in themselves. See the problem?
Why should a client invest in you if you won't invest in yourself?
Simply put, the client wont.
2. If a starting professional chooses to go without professional help, than they will most likely lose a capture (when a client/customer chooses to go with your business and you ultimately make a sale) when compared to other businesses.
A customer will almost always choose the more advanced looking and practicing business. This ultimately costs the starting professional business clients, growth, and profit.
3. In most cases when starting professionals go with "cheaper" options up front, they end up not truly loving the product they receive. Once they get to a point where they can't deal with it anymore, they finally invest in themselves the way they should have in the first place.
Instead of hiring a professional to create a product they could have been proud of from the beginning they have suffered through months/years with a below-par product and ended up spending more money in the long run because they had to hire for the second time.
4. Interim brands can be ok for a short while If you are working toward a quality brand that will represent your business. Unfortunately there are cases when starting professionals purchase an interim brand but then they never put a real effort into getting to the brand they ultimately intended. Interim brands are NOT thought out.
They are do not represent who you are as a professional or what your business is about most of the time. When they are not updated they become your companies image.
This can be harmful because if you do a lot of growing in your business first couple years, your brand should match the caliber of your business and it will not if your interim brand never gets updated. You will fall back into that cycle of missing the capture of a client when compared to other businesses. Another harmful factor is it will be much harder to "change" your professional image from the interim brand to the premium one, (though not impossible), after your client base has become used to the interim one.
If you are in a financial spot, here are some solutions if you are tightly budgeted.
1. Put a little money away each time you sell a service or product. Before long you will have enough for a quality brand even if it's just the quality basics.
2. Make a trade! I can't tell you how many times I did this while growing my business and sometimes still do if I know a client can't offer back the entire cost of the project. HR, Videography, Photography, Physical goods...are all "tradable"
3. Payment Plans. I recommend number one far more than this one, but sometimes this option is just the best fit. Most business have payment plans available now, including us. It is a great way to get your brand immediately and to kick-start your business in a great way.
If you are weighing the pro's and con's of getting branding done for your business, than these are all points to consider. We hope this helps and that you get your brand off to a great start!