New business owners will know too well the feeling of money slipping through your fingers, setting up websites, social media accounts, advertising… and that’s just the start! Often it’s tempting to skimp on your design work, but that can be a make or break decision affecting your future success.

Think about it. If your core skill set doesn’t extend to design – and you’re selling a thousand dollar product – it’s time to hire a professional! Sending out plain typed documents doesn’t provoke much of a promise for a client in that kind of price bracket. Sometimes you will have no choice but to spend money.

There are ways to save money in the meantime, however, and I’m going to run through a couple of your options today.

PROBLEM: Not having the money to hire a professional photographer for your profile photos

This is a tough one, because great quality photos really count for something – yes, we’re all a bunch of shallow types, aren’t we?! But your profile picture is one potential point of connection for new clients… and it has to count for something.

Unless you’re particularly adept at ye olde selfie, it’s time to track down someone you trust to take the pics. Perhaps you’ve got someone who needs pics in return? It’s always handy to schedule in something the day you get your hair done or you’re glammed up for an event.

PROBLEM: Low on funds, can’t get pictures of your business

There’s just one thing you can do until you’re up and running – stock photography. Like it or love it, great images of people bring your website, social media and flyers to life. We’re people… and people who need people are the luckiest people in the world (or so says Barbra Streisand). We need human connections. Check out what’s available on Shutterstock. You can get around 5 pics for $50, not big bickies for something that will get you quality product.

PROBLEM: That old money pit, the business brochure

A well presented business brochure is essential for the up-and-coming entrepreneur – how else will your ideal client know what you’ve got for them? But you can start looking at hundreds of dollars of design work before you even begin to order the printed copy. Online print-on-demand services including Vistaprint have multiple templates you can choose from and customise to your own requirements.

The only limitation is that they won’t supply a PDF format that you can store as a download on your website. You will, however, end up with a very snappily printed brochure for under $100 – and you can’t complain about that. And a workaround if you want a downloadable file is to transcribe your brochure information into a printer friendly version which doesn’t use much ink. Win, win.

SOLUTION: When money starts to flow, call in the big guns…

It’s essential to note that these are only temporary solutions to get things up and running, because design – any design – counts. You want that all important lasting first impression from day 1, so take your visual imagery and marketing collateral seriously. As your business grows, however, look at getting as much of your design work done as professionally as possible. You’ll end up looking a million bucks – for a whole lot less – and be on the road to success in no time.



PS I’ve got contacts for all your visual imagery needs, so please don’t hesitate to contact me for a referral when / if your budget permits. Simply email for details.

PPS Don’t have a Digital Branding Strategy yet? It’s the essential first step in your Strategic Business Storytelling suite. Determine who exactly you’re talking to and why, Unique Selling Proposition, Vision and Mission, business and personal profiles, target audience pain points and more.

Click here for more information.

Lucy Bowler

Digital Content Creator, Branding Strategist and Communications Specialist

Whenever I meet people, it’s always 20 questions. I can’t help myself – I always like to know more. As a communications specialist, this insatiable curiosity means I always get the best from my clients. I work to raise profiles, create compelling content, systematise communications and seek golden opportunities for revenue raising. I work with small business professionals and not-for-profits who want to take off to the next level.

Learn more about how I work here.


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Your Strategic Business Storytelling Suite

Streamlined communications in three simple steps:


Digital Branding Strategy

Your essential first step in Strategic Business Storytelling. Define your target audience, create Unique Selling Proposition, Vision / Mission, business and personal profiles.

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It’s not always easy to sell what you do. Whittling it down into as few words as possible isn’t easy. What if you leave out the most important part or people don’t understand?

Learn the skills to grow your brand through strategic digital communication, the platforms you should be on (and how to use them), plus  time savers and apps that get the job done.


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