In 2009, I started an event planning and decoration company. It was my first venture into entrepreneurship. The financial crisis of ‘07-’08 left me feeling insecure about the future of my career in construction management. However, I had been helping family and friends plan and decorate for parties and weddings for years. Despite the economy and couples downsizing their dream weddings, weddings were still a $50 billion industry. So I decided to turn my hobby into a part-time business that would hopefully support me if I were to lose my 9 to 5. First thing I set out to do was obtain a logo and a website. I paid $3,000 for a local graphic designer to do the work. While I was happy with the work at the time, the website was not easy to update myself and I eventually recreated the entire site myself with Wix. I realized it was not the right investment for me. My company grew via word-of-mouth and referrals.
If you cannot afford $3,000+ to pay a graphic designer for your logo and website, the internet has made it easy for you to do it yourself. This is an option for the not so tech-savvy business, the self-funded start-up and those that are not ready to invest in marketing professionals.
We are sharing resources that we have used ourselves. We are not being paid sponsors for any of the below listed products and/or services.
If you are creative and have an idea what you want, try out these free websites/software:
Canva - Create graphics for free or for $1. They have many templates, and it is very easy to use for all your graphic needs.
GIMP - A free GNU Image Manipulation program you can download.
Microsoft Word, Powerpoint and Publisher - Good options for simple graphic design. You can save work as images or PDF.
When designing something yourself, keep it very simple and clean. The logo is going to represent you and your company. Minimize the number of colors. Think about how it will look printed on letterhead, business card and signage.
If you'd rather have someone else do it but have a limited or no budget try:
Fiverr - A website where you can secure freelance services per project at a starting costs of $5 or more.
Community college or high school - Contact these resources and tell them you are looking for a talented art student that would be willing to design your logo. Offer to provide a letter of recommendation upon completion, while also providing the platform to grow their portfolio.
There is no shortage of website builders online. Furthermore, some provide a free option (usually if you allow the website builder to include their logo on your site). Additionally, many provide the option to buy your domain name and email address.
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