In these tough economic times you may be forced to cut down on your business’s expenses. This can be a delicate matter depending on the number of expenses you have. Only you know where you should trim the fat. The knee jerk reaction of many establishments is to pull back on the things they think they don’t need or can do themselves like advertisement, marketing, or promotions. This usually turns out to be a big mistake, hurting the company more than helping. Without effective advertising, marketing and promotions businesses die.
Having been a Graphic Designer for a number of years I’ve seen my share of businesses struggle with choosing to bring in a freelance designer, hire someone full-time, or having someone from within, (who is unqualified,) tackle design projects. In light of these challenges, I’d like to help you through the process by sharing some tips you can follow that won’t bite you in the you know what later.
When sending a job to a commercial printer, ask if they are running any similar jobs that you can share a press with. By doing this you can save on the cost of ink, setup time, and maybe even paper. If possible you could also plan future collateral creations based on your printers press schedule. If they are running an oversized package design for another client, see if there is room for your hang tags or take out menus on the same sheet.
This is the obvious one. Do the smaller projects yourself. You can get business cards and brochure kits from Office Depot that look really professional. Or you can use the services of sites like vistaprint.com or 123print.com and save a pretty penny. Logo design ideas can be found all over the internet. I wouldn’t suggest that you take someone else’s design, but you can use them as inspiration. I’ll share some very cool and easy ways to design your own killer logos in future posts.
Look for ways to slim down your website. I know lots of companies that are running big bulky resource hogs for websites. Oh sure they look cute with all their bells and whistles, but are the pyrotechnics serving a real purpose? Probably not. Take a look at your site and ask yourself what’s it costing you to keep it running in it’s current state. If your site’s core function is to attract attention you may be able to save money by running a blog or a series of videos on Youtube. One client of mine was a church that had this elaborate site built by a web designer that tried to pack every possible feature into every site he built. The church site took so long to load in most browsers that no one stayed around long eough to see the nice flash animations that graced the site. After taking a look at the sites basic functions it was determined that all the church needed was a few static pages with service time, church location, and prayer list contact information. They could have saved not only on the setup costs but also on what this guy was charging in maintenance fees.
I hope these suggestions have pointed you to some alternative ways to budget cut. If your New years resolution was to save money in ’09 visit my blog often as I will be sharing many creative ways to get your design projects done right.