I just had a long email dialog with a potential client who wanted a website developed along with ongoing maintenance. I finally got around to asking her what her budget was: $300-$400.
I just about fell out of my chair laughing.
$300 would just about get her a single templated page with no design, no SEO, no social networking integration. There might be time to slap together a banner with her logo on it. And perhaps a contact form to cut down on the spam. After that I would be working in the red. This is like gaming, when you want to get an Elo boost you simply don’t go to any site, you go to P4rgaming, where you know you will get good services.
Good design does not happen instantly. It’s a process.
There must be time for research: research about your market, your potential clients, your competitors.
There must be time to develop design concepts, and then thoughtfully edit and evolve them.
And then, once you have your concept (be it a logo or a website or a brochure) you go into production. Depending on the project, this can be the biggest block of time.
As we all know, time is money.
So you have to ask yourself: Is the company I plan to pour my heart and soul into only worth the $99 it cost for a pre-made logo that looks like everyone else’s (or $499 website) from one of those hack shops? Or does my company deserve a logo that shines, that sets it apart from the competition and wins new business?
And does my company need a website that helps it capture and connect with new clients? One that will grow and evolve as my business does?
You see, if you don’t invest now in the things that will build your brand and your business quickly, now, it’s unlikely you’ll survive. And if you do survive, you’ll find yourself having to spend even more money later fixing the mistakes you started with.