So you are at a networking bash, you’re wandering round talking to strangers when you’re mum always told you not to as a child. There are printers, photographers, maybe an SEO guy too. Then you get introduced to a Graphic Designer. What’s your first reaction?

I use one of those in my business

Could I use one of those in my business?”

I can’t afford one of those in my business

I’m not that kind of business, only big companies use designers

What’s a Graphic designer?”

Graphic design seems to be one of those areas that people still don’t understand. If I tell people I design websites I get “Oh, so you’re a web designer” No. Or I work with print “Oh, so you’re a printer” No.

I do do those things, but it’s only a tiny part of what I do. Marketing and design often get chucked into a pot together and shaken all about, but design and marketing really go hand in hand. Graphic designers are not a replacement for a photographer or a web developer or a copywriter. They are an integral part of the marketing team, the one that puts it all together in a usable form.

Having a designer in your business is highly underrated. There is a stigma that you have to be Tesco or Virgin to be able to afford one and it’s simply not true. The largest chunk of my client base are sole traders and small businesses. People that understand that to compete with the big boys you have to do it properly.

So why should I use a graphic designer then?
If you want to show your business off in the best light, project a consistent and professional brand, then you should use a designer. Yes, you probably can do it yourself but should you? Would you be happy fixing your own car, rewiring your own house, making your own wedding dress? Quite possibly not so why should you treat the image of your company any differently.

A good graphic designer can bring so much to a business that you might not be aware of. When I go to see new clients I research them, their customers, their competitors. I find out what they want to achieve and how much they want to spend then we can plan schedules and budgets. If I spot something I think might work I will suggest it to my client and if I see something that’s wrong I will let them know that too. I keep diary notes for upcoming events and trade shows to make sure my client has everything they need in advance. I keep track of seasonal and trending issues so my clients can make the most of the opportunities available. But most of all, I make sure my clients image is always consistent, correct and well presented.

Even if its just an hour a week to do banners for your social media, a designer can make the difference to your company image. People recognise it when the time has been put in, or if it hasn’t.

Isn’t it time you got one?